Impact of Celebrity Credibility in Social Advertising: A Systematic Review of Rahul Dravid’s Anti-tobacco Campaign Endorsement

  • Bharathi S Gopal Research Scholar, Christ University, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • N. Elangovan Institute of Management, Christ University, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Keywords: Social cause, anti-tobacco, celebrity endorsements, social marketing, social advertising, source attractiveness, source expertise, source trustworthiness


Tobacco cessation programs have had their share of hits and misses. While state-controlled organizations invest in such programs every year, it is hard to trace their effectiveness. This is a bigger challenge when celebrities are enrolled to endorse such programs. Several studies that track celebrity endorsements for marketing commercial products have validated the influence of celebrities on brand-related outcomes. This study provides a systematic review of a celebrity endorsement of an anti-tobacco advertisement.

To conduct a systematic review of a celebrity endorsement, we examined the responses of celebrity fans on source (celebrity) credibility factors and their attitude towards the social cause endorsement. A sample of 258 celebrity fans was surveyed using a questionnaire. The survey instrument contained a 15-item scale to measure celebrity factors of physical attractiveness, expertise and trustworthiness. Further, demographic details, social media activity and cigarette consumption details were captured along with cognitive and affective responses towards the anti-tobacco endorsement featuring the celebrity. It was found that physical attractiveness and trustworthiness of the celebrity were found to be influencing the attitude of the fan towards social cause. In addition, the study revealed the significant influence of education on attitude towards social cause in contrast to age and gender as evident in previous studies. The study provides very important insights for advertisers of social causes on effective use of celebrities as part of their communication campaigns.