A content analysis study of the use of celebrity endorsers in magazine advertising

George E. Belch and Michael A. Belch

San Diego State University


The use of celebrities in advertising has been a common practice for more than 60 years. Marketers recognise the value of using people who are recognised and often admired, or even idolised, by their target audience, such as actors and actresses, athletes, entertainers and other popular public figures, as a way to draw attention to their advertising messages. It is estimated that between 14 and 20% of all television commercials in the United States feature celebrities; and in some countries, such as Japan, India and Taiwan, they are even more prevalent in TV ads (Creswell 2008). It is interesting to note that estimates of the use of celebrities in advertising are based on their appearance in television commercials. However, estimates of the use of celebrities may be veiled by the pervasiveness of television advertising, which results in a lack of attention to their prevalence in other media.