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Celebrities and shoes on the female brain: The neural correlates of product evaluation in the context of fame

  • Stallen, Mirre
  • Smidts, Ale
  • Rijpkema, Mark
  • Smit, Gitty
  • Klucharev, Vasily
  • Fernández, Guillén
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    Celebrity endorsement is omnipresent. However, despite its prevalence, it is unclear why celebrities are more persuasive than (equally attractive) non-famous endorsers. The present study investigates which processes underlie the effect of fame on product memory and purchase intention by the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging methods. We find an increase in activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) underlying the processing of celebrity-product pairings. This finding suggests that the effectiveness of celebrities stems from a transfer of positive affect from celebrity to product. Additional neuroimaging results indicate that this positive affect is elicited by the spontaneous retrieval of explicit memories associated with the celebrity endorser. Also, we demonstrate that neither the activation of implicit memories of earlier exposures nor an increase in attentional processing is essential for a celebrity advertisement to be effective. By explaining the neural mechanism of fame, our results illustrate how neuroscience may contribute to a better understanding of consumer behavior.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 802-811

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:5:p:802-811
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    1. Heath, Timothy B & McCarthy, Michael S & Mothersbaugh, David L, 1994. " Spokesperson Fame and Vividness Effects in the Context of Issue-Relevant Thinking: The Moderating Role of Competitive Setting," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(4), pages 520-34, March.
    2. Petty, Richard E & Cacioppo, John T & Schumann, David, 1983. " Central and Peripheral Routes to Advertising Effectiveness: The Moderating Role of Involvement," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 135-46, September.
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