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How similar-to-me is too similar-to-me? Do young women really want to be like the influencer in that luxury fashion advertisement?

Journal of Textile Engineering & Fashion Technology
Zoe McDonald-Mair,2 Lisa S McNeill1


This study asks whether social media influencers or celebrities are more effective in endorsing luxury fashion goods. Using a New Zealand sample of women aged 18-25, this study employed a between-subjects experimental design with participants responding to either a celebrity or influencer advertising condition, using a luxury handbag as a stimulus. Using match-up hypotheses and self-congruity theory, the current study finds that celebrities encourage greater feelings of wishful identification among the sample group of young women, that participants express an actual self-concept that is more similar to celebrity images and that celebrities promote stronger positive attitudes towards luxury products and advertisements amongst these young women. The study provides a novel contribution to endorsement and promotion literature, as it contradicts prior studies of low involvement goods (such as cosmetics or diet products) which find that young female consumers prefer endorsers who are socially closer to themselves. The study is one of the few to directly compare responses to celebrity and social media endorsement of luxury products, thus extending our knowledge of the likely return on investment in social media endorsement by social influencers.


celebrity, social media, influencers, endorsement, luxury