Celebrities’ Parasocial Interaction and Relationships: Predictor of Voting Preference towards Endorsed Political Candidates
This paper follows through a previous work (“Celebrification in Philippine Politics”) in 2010 that investigates the role of celebrity endorsers’ parasocial interaction and relationships (PSIR) in voting preferences towards the endorsed candidates of the 2007 Philippine senate elections. As a sequel, this current work confirms the paradigmatic relational approach on how celebrities affect voters’ political behaviors in the context of the succeeding 2010 Philippine presidential elections. Furthermore, this study offers improvement of the parasocial scale by adopting recently developed scales and suggesting an additional dimension realized from an in-progress complementing qualitative study of the paper. More importantly, this paper develops and highlights a logit model of celebrity PSIR’s effects to the odds of positive voting preferences towards the endorsed political candidates. The paper concludes that, in general, celebrity endorsers’ PSIR significantly contributes to voting preferences of the public (i.e., a strong agreement to each PSIR item may lead voters to 1.089 times more likely to vote for the political endorsee of celebrity; with effect size R2 = .21). However, when analyzing individual celebrity—political candidate pairs, the model estimates show that only two of four celebrity exemplars’ PSIR coefficients are significant. Implications on political marketing, opinion leadership, and relational paradigm in celebrity endorsements are discussed.