Businesses have long sought to distract and attract the attention of potential customers that live in a world of ever-increasing commercial bombardment.
One well-used approach at differentiating advertisements is the use of celebrity endorsements. Celebrities are seen as dynamic individuals with likeable and attractive qualities. The words and sometimes just the image of a popular person will cause many people to stop and pay attention.
For years, professional athletes, top models, famous actors, and musicians have been the traditional favorites to feature in advertisements. As the advertising market continues to grow and competition becomes fiercer, marketers have turned to new categories of celebrity spokespersons. Notable ex-politicians, successful mutual fund managers, and high-profile CEO’s are now used with frequency to sell a variety of products.
When considering the choice of using a famous spokesperson, a marketing manager must consider the advantages and disadvantages of using celebrity endorsers.
A good celebrity-product association can capture a viewer’s attention, increase the public’s awareness of the product, and cause consumers to purchase the product endorsed.
However, a bad celebrity-product association can be very costly and risky depending on the potentially volatile image, nature, and credibility of the spokesperson used.
After assessing the advantages and disadvantages of celebrity endorsements, a company will decide whether or not to use a celebrity in their marketing plan. From here the question of which celebrity to use can be answered using several different methods. The choice of the right celebrity can mean the difference between an effective and ineffective advertising campaign.
There have been numerous reports regarding the effects that celebrity endorsers have on consumer product perception and attitudes (Zollo, 1999; Ohanian, 1991, McCrackan, 1989; Berkowitz, 1995; Wentz, 2002; Papiernik, 2002). The reason why companies use celebrity endorsers to promote a company’s product include
- Cognitive product recall (Bonnett, 2002: Rescoe, 1980; Friedman & Friedman, 1979)
- Product credibility (Rescoe, 1980; Kamins et al., 1989; Bonnett, 2002)
- Product image and loyalty (Veltri, 1998), and
- Improve corporate profits (Agrawal & Kamakura, 1995)
Using a celebrity in advertising is therefore likely to positively affect consumers’ brand attitudes and purchase intentions. To ensure positive results, however, it is critical for advertisers to have a clear understanding of the ‘black box’ of celebrity endorsement.
ADVANTAGES OF CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS
With increased competition, differentiation becomes vital to future business. To be considered effective, a celebrity endorser should be able to do the following:
- Capture the viewer’s attention (Dyson & Turco, 1998; Miciak & Shanklin, 1994; Swerdlow, 1984)
As products have become more generic and media clutter has increased, celebrity endorsements have become a favored method of capturing the target market’s attention. An easily recognizable figure or team who generates excitement can cut through the clutter and will draw attention to the product more than an unknown person or a faceless ad. Once that attention is captured, it is up to the content of the ad or the charisma of the celebrity to sell the product.
- Increase product awareness (Wilson, 1997)
Awareness is the first step in the purchase process. Increasing product awareness has always been a high priority for companies. If the target market is not aware of your product the chances of them buying it are very low. This can be accomplished with any supplemental advertising, however a celebrity attached to your brand name will increase the likelihood of product recall as well as infuse your product with the charisma and success associated with the celebrity.
- Influence the purchase decisions of the target market (Ohanian, 1991)
This is where having a direct correlation between product and the celebrity of the spokesperson is most important. If the spokesperson is not seen as credible or as an expert on the product, the pitch will fall short and not resonate with the target audience. The endorsement will also infuse the product with the charisma and success of the celebrity, inciting the target audience to purchase the product to equate them with the celebrity. Audiences are less likely to buy a product or service from someone who has no relation to the product.The credibility of an advertisement plays an important role in convincing the target audience of the attractiveness of the company’s brand. Persuing a celebrity endorsement strategy enables advertisers to project a credible image in terms of expertise, persuasiveness, trustworthiness, and objectiveness. To create effective messages, celebrity advertisers also have to consider the attractiveness of the spokesperson. It refers to the endorser’s physical appearance, personality, likeability, and similarity to the receiver.
The L’Oréal Paris spokespeople have their own passions, style, and personalities but they all have in common a real charisma. Their very own way of sharing a particular vision of beauty as a means of personal accomplishment, a source of freedom and a way of escaping.
A subtle blend of sensuality, glamour and authenticity is provided by celebrities, who captivate and inspire women of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities.
Each of OMEGA’s ambassadors embodies the distinctive values the brand exhibits: unparalleled class, bold style and elegant performance. These exemplary men and women have been selected for their distinguished excellence in not only their chosen fields, but also in their humanitarian efforts.
DISADVANTAGES OF CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS
The company must be aware of the potential problems when considering the use of celebrities to endorse its products, including:
- High costs to secure a celebrity endorser
- Celebrity’s image and public reputation
- Multiple product endorsement by a celebrity
- Credibility and effectiveness of the celebrity endorser
Utilizing famous personalities can be an effective method of promoting products. If the choice is successful, the celebrity endorser will capture a viewer’s attention from the clutter of daily advertising, increase the public’s awareness of the product, and ultimately influence consumers to purchase the product. However, if the celebrity is carelessly chosen, the results can be costly and damaging.
Source: Academy of Marketing Studies Journal,
The DreamCatchers Group, LLC.