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The Role of Products in Consumer-Celebrity Relationships

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2004, 00:00 by John Zimmerman, Ellen Ayoob
Celebrities, designed and packaged to elicit an emotional reaction from consumers, appear to be indistinguishable from products. However, their role as characters in narrative creates a very different type of emotional attachment than products enjoy. By both being and being in narrative content, celebrities allow consumers to vicariously experience many new lives, and it is this fantasy connection that makes the consumercelebrity attachment both strong and long lasting. In this paper we explore how celebrities effect consumers, and we detail how celebrity products support activities that create and grow consumer-celebrity relationships. In addition, we offer some insight into how understanding these activities can both lead to better design of celebrity products and lead to design of future products that form a similar level of attachment with consumers.