Abstract: Today’s media landscape is heavily infiltrated by advertising with the pressure of branding being virtually inescapable within society. It seems as though everywhere we look we are bombarded with thousands of advertising images and messages per day, all of which provide insight into culture and society. In the past decade celebrity endorsement has been the most prevalent and successful form of advertising. Reason for this is that celebrities are considered to demonstrate a number of dynamic qualities including; credibility, expertise and physical attractiveness, which can be transferred through marketing.
This thesis consists of a textual analysis examining the relationship between celebrities and advertising and its desired effects on consumer behaviour and cultural studies. This issue is worth attention, given the fact that there is limited academic material specifically addressing the proven effectiveness of the use of celebrities in advertising. Hence, the value of celebrity endorsement is recognised but poorly understood in terms of advertising. The purpose of my thesis will be to identify why celebrity endorsement is regarded the most effective form of advertising for certain products. The concept of scandal, social theory, queer theory and transgression in the media and its effects on advertising will also be discussed with reference to two case studies British supermodel Kate Moss and Bollywood film star Shahrukh Khan. The outcome of this thesis will be to identify why consumers are so heavily influenced by the use of celebrity endorsement and what impact this has on cultural studies. This thesis will serve as a collection of academic material specifically addressing the relationship between celebrities and advertising, and is intended for an advertising and cultural studies audience.
Author: Annalise Mastrangelo
Supervisor: Peter Kemp