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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Perfectly Imperfect – The Moderating Role of Product Type and Power Distance Beliefs in Consumers’ Evaluation of Brands Using Atypical Endorsers

Published: May 27, 2020


Svenja Hünies, Chair of Marketing, RWTH Aachen University; Daniel Wentzel, Chair of Marketing, RWTH Aachen University


atypicality; endorsements; brand valuation


In this paper, we investigate how product type (utilitarian vs. hedonic) and national culture (i.e. power distance beliefs) influence consumers’ brand valuation after exposure to advertisements featuring typical or atypical endorsers. Drawing on social comparison theory and past research on assimilation-contrast effects, we hypothesize that atypical endorsers induce higher brand valuations than typical endorsers for utilitarian, but not for hedonic products. Moreover, we predict an attenuation in countries scoring high on power distance. In three experimental studies, we find partial support for our hypotheses. Finally, implications for research and practice are outlined.