The role of product type and country-of-origin in decisions about choice of endorser ethnicity in advertising



Two experiments examine the effects of endorser ethnicity and product country of origin on consumer responses toward ad and brand, and investigate the moderating role of utilitarian versus hedonic product type. In Experiment 1, for utilitarian products, participants showed more favorable responses when the endorser's ethnicity was incongruent with the product's country of origin compared to when it was congruent, supporting an attribution-theory explanation. For hedonic products, however, participants preferred ads that featured an endorser whose ethnicity matched their own, irrespective of the product's country of origin. In Experiment 2, building on the attribution explanation, two endorsers of different ethnicities generated more favorable responses than two of the same ethnicity. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.