Virtual influencers’ attractiveness effect on purchase intention: A moderated mediation model of the Product–Endorser fit with the brand

Hyojung Kim, Minjung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

The fourth industrial revolution has fundamentally altered the way we live, and social media has become a crucial channel for the promotion of brands through influencers. This study explored the relationship between a virtual influencer's attractiveness and a consumer's purchase intention, the mediating effect of mimetic desire and brand attachment, as well as the moderating effect of the product–endorser fit with the brand. An online survey of 364 female Instagram users was developed using confirmatory factor analysis and PROCESS macro models 4 and 59. The findings revealed that virtual influencers' attractiveness was not directly associated with purchase intention; however, mimetic desire and brand attachment mediated this relationship. Additionally, the conditional direct effect of virtual influencers' attractiveness on purchase intention was partially supported while indirect effects via mimetic desire and brand attachment were moderated by the product–endorser fit. This study makes important contributions to source attractiveness model literature through emphasis on the role of virtual influencers in enhancing customers' favorable perceptions toward advertisements, which in turn leads to greater purchase intention. It also suggests managerial implications for marketers, including the finding that a good product–endorser match is a crucial factor in determining the effectiveness of advertisements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107703
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume143
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Attractiveness
  • Brand attachment
  • Mimetic desire
  • Purchase intention
  • Virtual influencer

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