Social media influencers & transgressive celebrity endorsement in consumption community contexts

Cocker, Hayley and Mardon, Rebecca and Daunt, Kate (2021) Social media influencers & transgressive celebrity endorsement in consumption community contexts. European Journal of Marketing, 55 (7). pp. 1841-1872. ISSN 0309-0566

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Abstract

Purpose This paper aims to elucidate instances whereby celebrity endorsements by social media influencers (SMIs) embedded within online consumption communities are perceived as transgressive by their fellow community members. In doing so, this study provides insights into the new challenges and considerations that such community contexts present for celebrity endorsement. Design/methodology/approach The research team conducted a longitudinal, netnographic study of the YouTube beauty community, involving an initial phase of netnographic immersion followed by an investigative netnography that examined community members’ response to celebrity endorsements by 12 SMIs within the community. Findings This study identifies five recurring celebrity endorsement transgressions, each violating an established moral responsibility within the community. The paper explores how community members attribute responsibility for transgressive endorsements and identifies consequences for both the SMI and the endorsed brand. Research limitations/implications This study focused on a single consumption community, developing a deep understanding of the distinct moral responsibilities that shape the reception of celebrity endorsements within this context. Practical implications The paper presents managerial recommendations that will aid both SMIs and brands in implementing celebrity endorsements that avoid communal perceptions of transgression. Originality/value The analysis extends prior study on celebrity endorsement by SMIs by explaining when and why SMI endorsements are likely to be perceived as transgressive by the community and providing new insights into community member responses to transgressive SMI endorsements. It also extends wider theories of celebrity endorsement by highlighting the influence of consumption community contexts upon endorsement reception and examining consumer responses to celebrity endorsements perceived as transgressive in and of themselves.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
European Journal of Marketing
Additional Information:
This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1400/1406
Subjects:
ID Code:
150637
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
11 Jan 2021 12:15
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
01 Dec 2021 12:47