The impact of brand activism on brand image
: the mediating role of perceived brand authenticity and the effect of celebrity and non-celebrity endorsements

  • Patrícia Ribeiro Bernardino (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Nowadays, consumers expect brands to be more involved in social matters, which has led in recent years to several global brands taking stands on major socio-political issues. Brand Activism is an increasingly popular topic that has become a part of brands’ marketing strategies. Due to the highly controversial nature of social problems, however, there are long-term consequences that need to be evaluated. This study intends to assess the impact that engaging in social activism has on a brand’s image and how authentic consumers perceive brands’ activism efforts to be.First, a pre-survey was used to select in an unbiased way the social cause and celebrity to be represented in the main study. Afterward, a survey was applied in order to expose the respondents to one of the five different stimuli: Male Celebrity Endorsement; Male Non Celebrity Endorsement; Female Celebrity Endorsement; Female Non-Celebrity Endorsement; No Endorsement nor Activism. Main findings suggest that Brand Activism positively impacts the Brand Image, and that Perceived Brand Authenticity fully mediates this effect. Furthermore, Celebrity Endorsed Brand Activism has a higher impact on Brand Image than Non-Celebrity Endorsed Brand Activism, while both Endorsement strategies have the same effect on Perceived Brand Authenticity. This study recommends that brands should only take a stand when there is a congruence between the social cause supported and the companies’ values. Further research should investigate other forms of activism and assess whether the same results apply.
Date of Award29 Apr 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPaulo Romeiro (Supervisor)


  • Brand activism
  • Brand image
  • Perceived brand authenticity
  • Endorsement
  • Ativismo de marca
  • Imagem de marca
  • Autenticidade de marca percecionada


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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