Ronaldo & Tag Heuer Advert
David Elvis

Member Article

Source and Message variables in Advertising

It is not rare for large multinational brands to now use actors, sports stars or musicians for their advertising campaigns, but do you ever look at the advert and wonder what the source of that advertising message is? Take the advertisement showing footballer Cristiano Ronaldo endorsing Tag Heuer watches. Who is the source in this message? It is Ronaldo? Tag Heuer? Or a combination?

In many instances, sources are individuals delivering the message. On other occasions, it is the organisation or the brand behind the product of service that is the instance. The audience can often make a distinction between a direct and an indirect source. A direct source is a spokesperson delivering a message or demonstrating a product whereas an indirect source does not deliver a message but is nevertheless associated with the product or service. In the above example, Ronaldo is not speaking directly about the product to the audience, but is merely associated with the brand.

Credibility with an advert includes the source expertise and trustworthiness. Whilst all companies would want their message to be presented by credible sources, research suggests that the impact of source credibility is sometimes impressive and sometime negligible. Source credibility influences message processing and persuasion predominantly when recipients are not particularly motivated to process the message. Since this is often the case with advertising messages, it is understandable that companies go to such lengths to harness expertise and trustworthiness.

So let me ask you this. Would you buy a Tag Heuer watch because Cristiano Ronaldo is acting as an indirect source in an advertisement?

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This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by David Elvis .

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