Impact of Celebrity Endorsement

4 April 2017

In today’s highly competitive markets, big brands are at fight when it comes to products, each having a similar product to that of a rival. Where does one brand gain that perfect advantage – advertising, service, promise of trust, or even the all important price factors? Advertising seems to be the best platform where brands prefer to compete on – right from hiring the best advertising agencies to getting the biggest celebrities. What would be the formula to success then?

Well, a good creative agency, a large enough promotional budget and a huge star to endorse your brand would definitely ensure in the minds of a brand management team a feeling of security, success and a triumph over the competitors brand. The general belief among advertisers is that brand communication messages delivered by celebrities and famous personalities generate a higher appeal, attention and recall than those executed by Non-Celebrities. The quick message-reach and impact are all too essential in today’s highly competitive environment.

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But celebrity endorsement has not always helped in promoting the product but it has been developed considerably over the years. It is very expensive to endorse a celebrity for a product but in the long run it has helped in increasing the sales of the product. Celebrities are also interested in endorsing themselves in the product as they get compensation for it and their image is been developed considerably. The most important thing to remember is that putting a celebrity in an ad is not an idea in itself. Unfortunately, this is how most celebrities are being used in Indian advertising, where they just become a prop.

Ideally, there should be an idea that makes the celebrity relevant to the product and the consumer. A celebrity’s presence in the ad should be contextual. Therefore this shows that using a celebrity endorsement cannot guarantee fool-proof success and important marketing strategies has to be implemented before using them. So it is important that we analyze the impact of celebrity endorsing a product with a non-celebrity endorsing the same product. And must ask , do any stakeholders in a company (employees, contractors, customers, shareholders, communities the company supports with jobs) benefit from a celebrity endorsement?

Does anyone buy a product because a Bollywood or TV actor/actress stands up and reads a script in somewhat convincing manner? Are their distinctions in how consumers perceive these types of endorsements and respond to them? What happens when a celebrity endorser gets involved in a public scandal, or worse, dies? Will the product lose consumer support or perish? Before we go into analyzing success and failure stories of brands, we examine the title once again and try looking at it extremely minutely.

A product endorsement is a form of testimonial from someone which indicates that they like or approve the product. Commonly, product endorsements are done from people who are socially prominent, allowing companies to advertise their products with statements like as used by such-and-such an actress, or the official product of company/event X. It’s hard to miss a product endorsement on product packaging and in advertisements; most companies keep their endorsements front and centred so that they are always in the public eye. The concept of the product endorsement is quite ancient.

In England, for example, several companies have been advertising themselves as by appointment to the Queen for hundreds of years, indicating that they enjoy the patronage of the British royal family. Consumers are often seduced by the idea of purchasing a product which is endorsed by someone wealthy or famous, as though by buying the product, the consumer also becomes affiliated with the person who endorses it. Modern product endorsements can come with contracts worth substantial amounts of money. A product endorsement doesn’t necessarily mean that a product is good.

It just means that the company has managed to work its public relations connections to get a big name associated with it. Some endorsements take the form of written testimonials, where people write about how the product changed their lives. Historically, such testimonials were often printed on the product packaging directly; modern testimonials are more commonly included in advertising campaigns, with excerpts only on the packaging. Many companies also use photographs of famous people on their products to create a visual connection between the endorser and the product, which is why sports stars appear on your cereal box.

The modern mass media has increased the exposure and power of celebrity. (Erdogan (1999), “Celebrity Endorsement: A Literature Review”, Journal of Marketing Research, 15, 291-314) Endorsements and their effects on consumer India is a country where people are star-struck by film stars, cricketers, politicians, and even criminals. Why? Populations of 1 billion and ticking, everyday people need something or someone to look up to. A sense of security, admiration, comfort, familiarity, and above all, someone they aspire to be at some hidden level in their lives.

And clever marketers leverage this very celebrity appeal and are successfully carrying out their jobs by giving the bottom lines of all the brands what they want – profit, market share. But how much star power is too much? “Does Amitabh really use Tide,” asked a 6 year old to her mother. Her mother laughs and says, “No way, just a gimmick. ” What does that do to the brand? Now, despite the potential benefits derived from celebrity endorsements, they increase a marketer’s risk manifolds and should be treated with full attention and aptitude.

A brand should be cautious when employing celebrities to ensure promise believability and delivery of the intended effect. The growing importance of mythical characters as celebrities and their rule over the target segments are ample proof of public demand for icons to look up to. As the celebrities traverse from a mere commercial presence to public welfare message endorsements, a whole new dimension is added to this process and helps us in achieving a holistic view of the impact which celebrities generate in every sphere and segment through their well-versed endorsements.

Businesses have long sought to distract the attention of the potentials customers that live in a world of ever increasing commercial bombardment. Everyday consumers are exposed to thousands of voices and images in magazines, news paper, and on billboards, websites, radio and television . Every brand attempts to steal a fraction of an unsuspecting personโ€˜s time to inform him or her of the amazing and different attributes of the product at hand. Therefore brands must study consumer behaviour and factors that are responsible for making decision in buying a product.

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