Title: Factors of virtual influencer marketing influencing Generation Y consumers' purchase intention in Malaysia
Authors: Yoong Ruey Yap; Nurlida Ismail
Addresses: Taylor's Business School, Taylor's University, No. 1, Jalan Taylor's, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia ' Taylor's Business School, Taylor's University, No. 1, Jalan Taylor's, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Abstract: The advent of computer-generated virtual influencers disrupts the convention of traditional influencer marketing that relies on real human influencers as brand ambassadors. This study sheds light on the key factors of virtual influencer marketing that affect the purchase intention of Generation Y consumers in Malaysia by using relevant ideas from TEARS model and theory of planned behaviour. Using data analysis based on 450 respondents, it is confirmed that factors such as parasocial interaction and attractiveness have highly significant effects, except for perceived realism and trustworthiness. Interestingly, attitude towards virtual influencer strongly mediates the relationship between the significant factors (parasocial interaction and attractiveness) and purchase intention. Lastly, gender and persuasion knowledge only have significant moderating effects in the relationship between parasocial interaction and purchase intention, but they are insignificant towards other factors.
Keywords: virtual influencer marketing; parasocial interaction; attractiveness; trustworthiness; purchase intention; Malaysia.
International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2022 Vol.17 No.3/4, pp.437 - 458
Received: 13 Jan 2022
Accepted: 23 May 2022
Published online: 03 Nov 2022 *