An exploratory study on perception of celebrity endorsement in public services advertising

Kara K W Chan*, Ting Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
203 Downloads (Pure)


An exploratory qualitative study was conducted to examine how young adults perceive the mechanism of creation and the influence of celebrity endorsement in public services advertising. Face-to-face interviews were carried out with 29 persons aged 18 to 24 recruited through a quota sampling. Interviewees were asked to recall a government public services advertisement with celebrity endorsement, and report why they found them memorable. Results indicated that the main reasons for finding the advertisements memorable were attributed more to slogans, repetition, and personal relevance than to the performances of the celebrities. Interviewees expected celebrities in PSA to be morally sound. Interviewees perceived strongly that self-interest motivates celebrities to appear in social services advertisements. Based on the results, public services marketers should put emphasis on visual and verbal elements of PSA. Efforts should be made to recruit celebrities that are close to the public. Ficitious characters may be explored in the future as an alternative to celebrity endorsement in the PSA context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-209
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing
Issue number2-4
Early online date7 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • Celebrity motivation
  • Communication effects
  • Non-profit marketing
  • Social policy
  • Young adults


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