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Influence of TV endorser types on advertising attitudes and purchase intention among Indian rural women: an exploratory study

India has a growing rural consumer base that has been largely ignored by advertisers. Today, Indian rural consumers, especially women, are increasingly literate, brand savvy, and possess rising disposable incomes. Considering the nation's love for films and the availability of television broadcasting, celebrity endorsement has become one of the most popular strategies used by advertisers in India. However, its impact on rural consumers has yet to be tested. Using self-categorization as the theoretical framework, the current study examined the influence of endorser types (national celebrity, regional celebrity, and noncelebrity) on advertising attitudes and purchase intention of Indian rural women. In addition, the authors also analyzed the impact of the three dimensions of source credibility. A sample of rural women (N = 167) from the Kudumbashree mission, one of the largest woman empowerment projects in the country, was recruited for the experiment. Findings showed that noncelebrity endorsers were most effective and that trustworthiness was valued more than expertise and attractiveness. Implications for advertisers are discussed.

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