Title: A time comes when silence becomes betrayal: the Indian expatriate perspective of social marketing

Authors: Kayanne Framroze; Helen Verhoeven; Paul Hopkinson; Neelofer Mashood

Addresses: Etihad Aviation Group, Global Loyalty Company, Etihad Airways Masdar Center, P.O. Box 35566, 3rd Floor, Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi, UAE ' Heriot-Watt University Dubai, P.O. Box 294345, Plot UG 05, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai, UAE ' School of Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, P.O. Box 294345, Plot UG 05, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai, UAE ' Middlesex University Dubai, P.O. Box 500697, Block 16,17, 19 and 4, Knowledge Park, Dubai, UAE

Abstract: This study examines the role and impact of celebrity endorsed social marketing and its ability to create behavioural change, from an Indian-expatriate perspective. It concludes that not only are celebrities perceived as enablers of social change, but also that the younger generation of Indian expatriates believe this to be one of the core responsibilities of these personalities. In line with extant literature, the study finds that celebrities have a two-fold impact on social marketing: 1) increased awareness of the cause and increased influence over the audience; 2) endorser credibility and source-message congruence, and the lack thereof, respectively enhance or erode campaign effectiveness. The study offers several new insights, including the potential for celebrity attractiveness to weaken social message credibility, and exposure of the 'reverse vampire effect'. Managerial implications suggest first, the need for distinction between social marketing and social media, and second, that source credibility is critical to campaign effectiveness.

Keywords: celebrity endorsement; celebrity responsibility; social marketing; cause-related marketing; sustainability; sustainable marketing; sustainable society; behavioural change; celebrity source models; celebrity selection models; persuasion models; India; Indian perspective; Indian expatriates.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2017.085740

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2017 Vol.9 No.1, pp.94 - 117

Received: 01 Sep 2016
Accepted: 16 May 2017

Published online: 10 Aug 2017 *

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