Celebrity endorsement advertising has been recognized as “ubiquitous feature of modern day marketing”. (McCracken, 1989).
Source: Google Images
Sporting personalities have proved the most successful for branding. The most memorable and long standing endorsements involve a great match between the values of a brand, the quality and the type of product, the right celebrity face to champion it. For example, real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo joins with Herbalife. The five-year agreement includes global publicity rights and promotion activities; and also Herbalife will work with Ronaldo to develop his own personalized nutrition programme.
Understanding the needs of the consumer is really important when it comes to creating the right advertisement for the right audience. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest football players in the world, and someone who embodies philosophy of good nutrition being at the core of a healthy, active life, and a key advantage in the competitive world of professional sport. “Hence his passion and belief will undoubtedly translate into tremendous opportunities for Herbalife and its independent distributors”, said chairman and chief executive officer of Herbalife, Michael Johnson.
Celebrity endorsements are a staple of brand marketing. Product and celebrity have always gone hand in hand, selling not just items but aspirational lifestyles too. But with those consumers empowered both by an abundance of choice and a wealth of information, they’re now in a position to question whether those brand promises really are true and whether the brand is truly worth buying in to.
Identify target audience: The advertisement in some way must touch the hearts of the end users for them to buy the product.
Understanding the psychology of how consumers think, helps companies to improve their marketing strategies. Meanwhile, badly thought out endorsements have the potential to negatively impact a brand. But some brands get it right. Like, Herbalife cleverly chooses world’s greatest sport celebrities for endorsing their products of health and nutrition. Having a famous player as endorser attracts most of the fans who are mostly young adults who tend to follow him. This logic definitely encourages young fans to use the product. With the emergence of sites like youtube.com or metacafe.com people tend to make videos about the reviews and results of the products indirectly doing free marketing for the companies.
The key question for businesses today, is how to expose marketing blind spots and remain relevant in the face of an evolving marketplace? It begins with understanding customers at a deep level. Understanding them as individuals, not demographic segments, but as social beings. Celebrities hold meanings in the eyes of the audience through their public manifestations. The underlying use of celebrities is the belief that they draw attention to the messages they deliver and transfer the image values into the communication messages and thus influence consumers.
Advertisements use celebrities because they enhance audience attentiveness, make the ad memorable, credible, and desirable and add glamour to product (Spielman, 1981).
Source: Google Images
Kaikati (1987) describes five advantages of employing celebrities to endorse products: drawing attention, crises management, brand repositioning, global marketing and boosting sales.
Source: (Biswas, Hussain and O’Donnell, 2009)
Culture influences behaviour through its manifestations: values, heroes, rituals, and symbols (Hofstede, 1997). In this framework we will consider consumer values and heroes as the relevant cultural manifestations. Celebrities fit into this category of heroes as reference groups and opinion leaders. The relationship between values and heroes can also be bidirectional. Celebrities who shape and refine existing cultural meaning and encourage the reform of cultural values.
In this adapted framework to study celebrity endorsements, the focus is on the cognitive aspects, which include:
- Perceptions of celebrity endorsements or advertisements with celebrities.
- Perceptions of brand or product with celebrities.
Advertisements in low-context cultures such as United states have more of hard sell approach (Mueller,1987). On the other hand, advertisements in high-context cultures such as India are likely to be emotional have more on soft sell approach. Compared to us consumers, Indian consumers are more likely to perceive celebrities to be employed as visual cues and for emotional appeal.
WHEN CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS GO WRONG
Sporting icons, movie stars and other famous celebrities have been associated with leading global companies who tend to increase their brand recognition and sales. But the same way an endorser private life can also effect the brand in many ways. The high profile celebrity scandals can lead to losing the contract with company and also effects the consumers trust with the product.
So have you had your shake today? But that’s what Cristiano Ronaldo says.
- Biswas, S., Hussain, M. and O’Donnell, K. (2009). Celebrity Endorsements in Advertisements and Consumer Perceptions: A Cross-Cultural Study. Journal of Global Marketing, 22(2), pp.121-137.
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- Ipsos-mori.com. (2016). Ipsos MORI | Comment & Analysis | When celebrity endorsements go wrong. [online] Available at: https://www.ipsos-mori.com/newsevents/ca/840/When-celebrity-endorsements-go-wrong.aspx [Accessed 27 Jul. 2016].
- Managementstudyguide.com. (2016). Role of Consumer Behaviour in Advertising. [online] Available at: https://www.managementstudyguide.com/role-of-consumer-behaviour-in-advertising.htm [Accessed 26 Jul. 2016].
- Sportspromedia.com. (2016). Ronaldo agrees five-year Herbalife endorsement – Sports Personal Endorsement news – Soccer Europe – SportsPro Media. [online] Available at: http://www.sportspromedia.com/news/ronaldo_joins_messi_with_new_five_year_deal [Accessed 24 Jul. 2016].
- Todaro, D. (2016). Celebrity Endorsements Have the Potential to Transform a Brand | Branding magazine. [online] Branding magazine. Available at: http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2014/11/11/celebrity-endorsements-have-the-potential-to-transform-a-brand/# [Accessed 25 Jul. 2016].