Investigating Chinese audience-consumer responses towards TV character-based fashion related social media content

Delia Vazquez, Jenny Cheung, Xiangran Wu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Products and brands placed in film media content is acknowledged as an important source of influence in group discussion topics with viewers (Noguti and Russell, 2015). Parasocial relationships are often developed between audiences and their favourite characters (Russell and Stern, 2006), which can influence audiences' evaluation and consumption of products/brands placed within a TV series. This study investigates brands placed within the context of a TV series, as TV series have long been identified as a source of peer group discussion with audiences (Noguti and Russell, 2008). TV audience consumer engagement is particularly compelling when TV series feature emotionally empathic characters. This study aims to analyse the effect of social media fashion brand communications with Chinese TV series audiences' online purchase behaviour. An online survey (n=150) was conducted to analyse the links connecting parasocial relationships between TV audiences with the characters, and audiences' purchase intention and product/brand evaluations. The results indicate that consumers develop parasocial relationships with TV characters that positively affect their social media purchase intentions. These results are significant, as fashion brands and marketeers of all brands seek to find strong emotional connections with their consumers across an increasingly fragmented media landscape. Emotional connections and emotional brand engagement are key to future brand growth; integration within empathic storylines in lifestyle based TV series can be viewed as a vitally effective future marketing tool.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-73
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational Journal of Business and Globalisation
    Issue number1
    Early online date31 Jan 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • Chinese consumers
    • Emotional engagement
    • Fashion marketing
    • Fashion social media
    • Parasocial
    • TV characters emotional brand associations


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