Department of Digital Media, Myongji University, 50-3 Namgajwadong, Seodaemungu, Seoul 120-728, South Korea
a r t i c l e i n f o
Received 11 January 2010
Received in revised form 11 March 2010 Accepted 27 April 2010
Charitable giving Personal public relations Celebrity credibility Attitude toward celebrity Purchase intention of celebrity performance
a b s t r a c t
This study examined how charitable giving by entertainment celebrities inﬂuences celebrity personal public relations. Survey participants showed positive attitudes toward charitable giving. Attitudes toward charitable giving positively inﬂuenced celebrity credi-bility perception. Credicredi-bility also inﬂuenced attitudes toward the celebrities, which in turn positively inﬂuenced the purchase intention of their performance. Also, attitudes toward charitable donations were positively associated with attitudes toward the celebrities. Schol-ars and practitioners need to note charitable giving as an efﬁcient and strategic personal public relations factor and method.
© 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Scholars have found that celebrity credibility has a positive inﬂuence on attitudes toward advertising, brands, and behavior intention of purchase. However, few empirical studies have examined what activities are inﬂuential in enhancing celebrity’s credibility. Taking a note of the recent charitable giving by entertainment celebrities in South Korea, this study regards the charitable giving by the public ﬁgures as a potential efﬁcient personal public relations method for building, enhancing, and maintaining their credibility. The ﬁrst purpose of this study is to examine whether attitudes toward charita-ble giving inﬂuence how publics evaluate celebrities’ credibility. Second, this study tests whether attitudes toward charitacharita-ble giving directly inﬂuences attitudes toward celebrities and the purchase intention of their performance in a positive way.
Also, this study examines whether attitudes toward charitable giving indirectly affect attitudes toward celebrities and the purchase intention of their performance by way of celebrities’ credibility perception.
2. Method 2.1. Procedure
Targeting young consumers for the entertainment industry, this study sampled undergraduate students recruited from the journalism classes of four large universities in two of South Korea’s major cities—Seoul and Busan. The survey question-naire was distributed to a total of 500 students for the month of November 2009. 464 students voluntarily participated in
∗ Tel.: +82 2 300 0712; fax: +82 2 300 0654.
0363-8111/$ – see front matter © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Attitudes toward celebrity charitable giving was measured using three questions by referring to the measurement scale of attitudes toward advertisement (MacKenzie & Lutz, 1989). Seven point semantic differential scales were used (good/bad, favorable/unfavorable, and like/dislike,˛ = .91). Celebrity credibility was deﬁned as perceived dimensions of credibility (seeOhanian, 1990). Attractiveness, trustworthiness, and expertise were measured with the following items, respectively: attractive/unattractive, classy/not classy, and sexy/not sexy; sincere/insincere, reliable/unreliable, and trust-worthy/untrustworthy; and expert/not an expert, experienced/inexperienced, and skilled/unskilled. Seven point semantic differential scales were used and the Cronbach˛ values were .61 for attractiveness, .89 for trustworthiness, and .84 for expertise. Sexy/not sexy item was excluded in the ﬁnal analysis because the reliability value of the other two items was highly acceptable (˛ = .86). Each dimension was calculated into index score (summated score divided by the number of question items). Attitudes toward the donating celebrities were measured with three general responses toward the brand (MacKenzie & Lutz, 1989) because an entertainment celebrity can be regarded as a single outstanding brand. The items were good/bad, favorable/unfavorable, and positive/negative and again measured with seven point scale (˛ = .95). Finally, the purchase intention of celebrities’ performance was operationalized using two items: “I consider purchasing the ticket of his or her performance such as concert, musical, or movie” and “I will buy his or her performance ticket.” The items were developed by referring to the purchase intention scale ofFerle and Choi (2005). Seven point Likert scale was used (1: strongly disagree (SD) to 7: strongly agree (SA),˛ = .93).
Structural equation modeling was used with the statistical software of AMOS 7.0.
This study used maximum likelihood (ML) calculation method in analyzing the model. Referring to the model modiﬁcation index scores, two error co-variances in the same construct, credibility, were reasonably added in the original model. The2 goodness of ﬁt value was 158.84 (df = 37, p < .001). While the signiﬁcant p-value indicated that the model does not perfectly ﬁt the data,2is quite sensitive to sample size and therefore this study noted the other ﬁt index scores. First, the ratio of2 to the degree of freedom was 4.29 less than 5, which is desirable. The other ﬁt index scores were as follows: comparative ﬁt index (CFI, .97), goodness of ﬁt index (GFI, .94), normed ﬁt index (NFI, .96), Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI, .96), root mean squared residual approximation (RMSEA, .085), and root mean squared residual (RMR, .045). Most index scores indicated a good ﬁt. Most standardized factor loadings to each latent variable were higher than .70 (.84, .93 and .86 for attitude toward the charitable giving; .84, .88 and .57 for credibility; .90, .94 and .93 for attitudes toward celebrity; and 1.01 and .86 for purchase intention).
H1 examined the relationship between attitudes toward the charitable giving and perceived celebrity credibility. The standardized coefﬁcient was .73 (standardized error (SE): .05, p < .001). Attitudes toward the donation were a signiﬁcant predictor of consumer perception of celebrity credibility. That is, those who positively perceive celebrity charitable giving were likely to evaluate the donating celebrities as highly credible. So, H1 was supported. Most participants showed very positive attitudes toward the donation (M = 6.01, SD = 1.12).
H2 tested whether perceived credibility inﬂuences attitudes toward the celebrities, which in turn positively inﬂuence the purchase intention of the celebrities’ performance. The two path coefﬁcients were .38 (SE: .07, p < .001) and .26 (SE: .14, p < .017), respectively. Perceived credibility positively inﬂuences the evaluation of celebrities, and the positive evaluation for the celebrities further increases the possibility of purchasing their performance tickets. So, H2 was also supported.
H3 proposed that attitudes toward the charitable giving will directly inﬂuence attitudes toward the celebrities. The standardized regression weight was .58 which was signiﬁcant at p < .001 (SE = .07). Attitudes toward the donation were a signiﬁcant predictor of attitudes toward the celebrities. That is, those who are positive about celebrities’ charitable giving are also likely to be favorable toward the donating celebrities. The direct effect (H3) was supported.
H4 investigated the relationship between attitudes toward the charitable giving and the purchase intention of perfor-mance tickets. Unlike expectation, attitudes toward the donation were not a signiﬁcant predictor of purchase intent. The standardized regression weight was .02 (SE = .16, p = .83). That is, positive attitudes toward the donation were not associated with the purchase intention of the celebrities’ performance. H4 was not supported.
Most importantly, this study insists that scholars need to note celebrities’ charitable giving as a signiﬁcant factor con-tributing to celebrity personal public relations. Through the direct and mediating effects, positive attitudes toward charitable giving contributed to all three main variables, the perception of celebrity credibility, attitudes toward the celebrities, and
The key practical message from this study is quite simple. That is, entertainment celebrity public relations practitioners need to strategically consider charitable giving for better personal public relations. Altruistic behaviors empirically inﬂu-enced credible image, favorable evaluation, and the possibility of commercial boomerang effects. Thus, the South Korean donating celebrities and their practitioners are actually donating money not only to poor people but also to themselves.
When celebrities share by charitable giving, their own proﬁt pie actually gets bigger.
Advertisers and practitioners also need to actively consider the donating celebrities’ endorsement in political campaigns and commercials. Credible celebrity endorsers positively inﬂuenced young voters’ attitudes toward candidates (Jackson
& Darrow, 2005) and voting behaviors (Pease & Brewer, 2008). Since the positive attitudes toward charitable giving by entertainment celebrities produce a more credible image, it stands to reason that candidates and campaign managers can take advantage of the halo effect caused by a celebrity’s heightened credibility and more altruistic image. Also, many celebrity endorser effect studies in corporate advertising supported the idea that credible celebrity endorsers positively inﬂuenced attitudes toward advertisement, brand, and the purchase intent of an advertised product or service. For better advertising effects, corporate advertisers and practitioners need to consider donating celebrities as efﬁcient endorsement candidates.
Ferle, C. L., & Choi, S. M. (2005). The importance of perceived endorser credibility in South Korean advertising. Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, 27(2), 67–81.
Jackson, D. J., & Darrow, T. I. A. (2005). The inﬂuence of celebrity endorsements on young adults’ political opinions. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 10(3), 80–98.
MacKenzie, S. B., & Lutz, R. J. (1989). An empirical examination of the structural antecedents of attitude toward the ad in an advertising pretesting context.
Journal of Marketing, 53(April), 48–65.
Ohanian, R. (1990). Construction and validation of a scale to measure celebrity endorsers’ perceived expertise, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. Journal of Advertising, 19, 39–52.
Pease, A., & Brewer, P. R. (2008). The Oprah factor: The effects of a celebrity endorsement in a presidential primary campaign. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 13(4), 386–400.
Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK