How are Peer Endorser Characteristics Related to Brand Selfie Attitude? An Abstract

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


People often post “brand selfies” on social media. A form of peer endorsement, these are selfies that include identifiable branded products. As consumers deem user-generated endorsements to be more trustworthy than marketer-generated advertisements or influencer-generated affirmations (Jin, 2018), companies can leverage brand selfies for brand-building purposes by reposting them on social media. However, selecting the “right” brand selfies to repost is challenging owing to their overwhelmingly great diversity (Rokka & Canniford, 2016). The literature on brand selfies is limited and fragmented. A few endorser characteristics (e.g., smiles) have been identified to affect viewer perceptions (Nanne et al., 2021, Liu & Foreman, 2019). However, the literature lacks a comprehensive framework that explains how endorser characteristics in brand selfies predict viewers’ brand selfie attitude. Drawing on the literature on endorsement advertising and user-generated content (UGC), this study investigates how six endorser characteristics— (1) endorser attractiveness, (2) endorser-brand fit, (3) endorser-viewer similarity, (4) endorser happiness, (5) monetary-gain motive, and (6) conspicuous brand usage—are related to brand selfie attitude. The mediating role of endorser authenticity is also examined.

A pre-test led to the selection of 360 brand selfies from the UK Instagram accounts of two shoe brands (Puma and Reebok) and two coffee brands (Starbuck and Costa). In the main study, 399 UK Instagram users responded to an online survey. Each was assigned to a brand selfie randomly. Data were analysed using PLS-SEM. Two findings are worth highlighting. First, the four endorser characteristics from the endorsement advertising literature (i.e., attractiveness, brand-fit, similarity, and happiness) were positively related to brand selfie attitude, whereas the remaining two from the UGC literature (i.e., monetary-gain motive and conspicuous brand usage) did not show significant negative relationships. This suggests that theories related to endorsement in traditional advertising, such as the match-up hypothesis (Erdogan, 1999), are also applicable in the context of brand selfies. Second, although previous research implied that a peer endorser appearing authentic is the key in achieving endorsement success (Ilicic et al., 2018, Kapitan & Silvera, 2016), endorser authenticity only mediated two of the six relationships (i.e., those of similarity and happiness on brand selfie attitude). This indicates that endorser authenticity may not be as relevant in the context of brand selfies compared to traditional advertising. Overall, the findings suggest that social media managers should repost brand selfies from those who look attractive and happy, irrespective of conspicuous brand usage and monetary-gain motives. The endorsers should also fit the brand’s image and appear similar to their dominant consumer base.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2023
Event2022 Academy of Marketing Science Annual Conference: Optimistic Marketing in Challenging Times: Serving Ever-Shifting Customer Needs - Monterey Bay, California, United States
Duration: 25 May 202227 May 2022


Conference2022 Academy of Marketing Science Annual Conference
Abbreviated title2022 AMS
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

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  • brand selfies
  • user-generated content
  • endorsement
  • Instagram
  • authenticity

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