Cristel Antonia Russell, PhD, Professor of Marketing, Pepperdine University
Cristel Antonia Russell, PhD is Professor of Marketing at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. She was previously professor at American University, in Washington DC, at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and at San Diego State University, in California. She has also held visiting positions at universities including Université de Lyon, Paris Sorbonne and Paris Dauphine and she is currently affiliate faculty at Audencia Business School in Nantes, France. She has taught Consumer Behavior around the globe, from HEC Paris to Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Professor Russell grew up in Europe, born to a Spanish father and a French mother. She completed her undergraduate international business degree at ESSCA, a French Business School where the final year consisted of a study abroad which she completed at Southern Illinois University, where she also completed an MBA. Cristel went on to the University of Arizona in Tucson to complete a PhD in marketing.
Professor Russell is an experienced consumer researcher. As of 2022, she has published 78 articles in academic journals from premier business outlets such as the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (JAMS), as well as interdisciplinary health and policy journals such as Addiction and Psychological Services. Her journal articles are widely cited and she ranks amongst the world’s most prolific consumer researchers.
Professor Russell’s research spans many facets of consumer behavior and draws on multiple methodological approaches. She uses experiments with eye-tracking and biometric measures to study the psychological processes of attention, memory and persuasion in the context of advertising messages and those embedded in entertainment such as product placements. She researches the social influences of celebrities and of traditional and social media on young audiences with a variety of approaches including field studies and large national surveys. She uses in-depth interviews and other qualitative techniques to explain, among many things, how consumers engage with brands, how they relate to new technologies, or why they rewatch movies or reread books.
Professor Russell’s research on the influence of marketing on youth has received funding from the United States' National Institutes of Health and France's Institut National du Cancer. She also collaborates with military research institutes to study problematic consumption amongst soldiers and veterans. Her interdisciplinary research with a focus on implementable policy solutions earned her a Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Union for a project on media literacy for at-risk youth.
Professor Russell serves on many scientific and journal boards. She is currently Area Editor for the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (JAMS), Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Advertising and on the editorial review board of the Journal of Consumer Research. She also chairs the social sciences panel of Belgium’s research foundation (the FWO). After 10 years as the executive secretary of the Consumer Culture Theory Consortium, she was elected to its board.
Professor Russell’s research is often featured in prominent media outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic, and she has an active blog on Psychology Today called The Savvy Consumer. In addition to her professor ‘day job’, Professor Russell is a passionate fitness instructor, teaching a variety of group fitness classes from strength training to step, aerobics, and cardio kickboxing and yoga.