Mitigating the Vampire Effect of Using Celebrity in Advertising: An Eye-Tracking Approach

Terri H. Chan (Corresponding Author), Bolton K.H. Chau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


While marketing literature evidences celebrities and other well-known personalities as effective brand endorsers, practitioners are troubled by the potential for such famous personas to overshadow the brands and harm brand recall—a condition referred to as the vampire effect. This study investigates the existence of the vampire effect and more importantly how such an effect can be mitigated through changes in proximity and engagement between the celebrity and the advertised offering. A large-scale eye-tracking study of more than one hundred brands across eight product categories reveals that the vampire effect of celebrity endorsers is prominent, as viewers paid attention to the celebrity’s face for a significantly longer time than they paid to other ad elements. From a visual attention approach, this research also sheds light on how to minimize the vampire effect by investigating celebrity–product visual and cognitive proximity through two controlled eye-tracking experiments. Both theoretical and managerial implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-472
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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