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Product risk relieving : the effect of endorser type and gender on male and female consumer responses

Wolbers, L.E. (2014) Product risk relieving : the effect of endorser type and gender on male and female consumer responses.

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Abstract:Consumers want to maximise their leisure time, especially regarding meal preparations. Therefore manufacturers invent more and more products that meet consumers’ convenience needs, However some of these products are associated with high levels of perceived physical product risk (e.g.: boiling water burns in case of boiling water taps). These high levels may influence consumers’ attitudinal and behavioural intentions: attitude toward the advertisement, product attitudes, and purchase intentions. Furthermore, these consumer responses can influence each other as well. Therefore, risk-reduction mechanisms need to be used in order to relieve risk among consumers. The easiest mechanism to manipulate and implement is an endorsement, which can influence attitudes and purchase intentions. However, endorsements exist in three types (celebrity, expert, and consumer), in which the expert and consumer endorser have the potential to relieve risk without many negative effects. In addition, the endorser’s gender and audience’s gender can influence consumer responses. Therefore, this study has examined the impact of the independent variables endorser type, endorser’s gender, and audience’s gender on the dependent variables perceived physical product risk, attitude toward the advertisement, product attitude, and purchase intention. The models (male and female) were chosen based on a preliminary investigation and were photographed as experts and as consumers. By selecting the male and female endorser in a preliminary investigation, the study tried to eliminate influences by non-similarity, such as age and attractiveness. The settings of the final photos were adjusted based on the discussions about this topic during preliminary investigation focus group sessions, as well as by a content analysis of advertisements within several magazines. The chosen innovative high physical risk product used for this study was a 3-in-1 boiling water tap (chance of boiling water burns). The main study consisted of a two by two by two design and the data was collected by online questionnaire. In the end, the data of 345 respondents was analysed. The results showed only a significant influence of endorser type on attitude toward the advertisement, where the consumer endorser elicited a more positive attitude toward the advertisement than the expert endorser. Other investigated relationships did not result in any significant differences. Moreover, no significant interaction effects were found. Therefore, this study did not support any of the assumptions based on established theory.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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