By Daha Tijjani, PhD
Celebrity endorsement is a technique in advertising that possesses persuasive power to influence consumers’ decisions and target audiences. As a result, it remains a popular way for marketers to promote their brands, products, and services.
In political communication, it is one of the tools used to project the image of political parties and candidates in the minds of electorates and ultimately influence voters’ decisions.
However, numerous studies have found that several products have failed to attract customers’ attention despite being endorsed by celebrities.
Several researchers have investigated the effect of celebrity endorsement on products. However, few studies have looked at the impact of celebrity endorsement on political parties and their candidates. Also, little is known about the effects of celebrity endorsement and branding of political parties when it comes to developing economies.
Thus, knowing the effects of celebrity endorsement and branding of political parties and their candidates will give valuable insights to the party leadership on what strategy they should adopt when embracing a celebrity to help their brand.
As a result of this perceived lacuna, a group of researchers from universities in Nigeria, Ghana, Malaysia, and Germany examined the effects of celebrity endorsements of political parties using the Nigerian 2019 Presidential elections as a case study. The study report was published by Technium Social Science vol 22 (2021): A new decade for social change.
The study investigated and discerned the factors motivating eligible voters in Nigeria to vote, using the predictors (Endorser Credibility, Political Brand Credibility, Political Brand Equity, and Voting Intention). The study also examined the mediating role of Political Brand Credibility (PBC) and Political Brand Equity (PBE) towards Voting Intention (VI).
The data for the study was collected in 2019 from 320 eligible respondents with Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) from the cluster of 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory.
The study has found that the endorsement of celebrities alone does not necessarily influence electorates to vote for political candidates. Instead, the credibility of the party and its equity play a pivotal role in the voting intention of voters.
Despite being credible with attributes such as Attractiveness, Trustworthiness and Expertise, the study further revealed that the celebrity endorser is not a good predictor of positive voting intentions. Likewise, the findings revealed that a credible endorser would not have a positive and significant effect on a political party’s brand equity.
Taken collectively, the new empirical findings in this study would provide a new understanding of this new political marketing strategy in the Nigerian context. Furthermore, the insights gained from this study may assist the political parties to focus and invest more effort, resources, and energy in branding their parties with meaningful manifestos that would touch the lives of the electorates.
How to Cite: Abdurrahaman, D. T., Owusu, A., Bakare, A. S., Apejoye, A., Ibrahim, M. M., & Ahmad, T. H. (2021). Assessing the effects of Celebrity Endorsements of Political Parties: An empirical study of Nigerian 2019 Presidential Elections. Technium Social Sciences Journal, 22(1), 676–699.Retrieved from https://techniumscience.com/index.php/socialsciences/article/view/4266
Note: The corresponding author can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter handle @dahatijjani.