FLY HIGH …. with the stars

We as consumers are exposed to hundreds of advertisements on a daily basis via mass and social media. In this ” busy, modern Era”, people tend to overlook most of  the commercials and advertisements. BUT then there is that one advertisement which engages your eyes…

A Celebrity Endorsed Advertisement

According to MarketWatch 2006, one in four advertisements use celerity advertisements.!






Let’s take into consideration the Airline Industry. Emirates, a Dubai based airline, released an advert featuring its new brand ambassador ” Jennifer Aniston”, right after Etihad airways hired Nicole Kidman  as it’s brand ambassador.

This marketing campaign by emirates made the airline jump to the top position of the annual BrandIndex ranking..!

A question pops up in my mind then ..Do we as consumers alter our behaviour with regards to celebrity endorsements?


Consumers are simple and predictable but are often rather complex. Their desires and preferences defer frequently( Iacobucci , Dawn edition 2014)

CLASSICAL CONDITIONING  is one mechanism via which a link between a celebrity and a brand can be done.

Demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov this learning process involves pairing a neutral stimulus (ringing of bell) with an unconditioned stimulus ( dog’s salivation response to food) , result of which , even when food was not present the ringing of bell still elicited salivation.(Puber et al,2009)

Let’s co-relate the two –  When a celebrity is associated with a brand, consumers link themselves with the celebrity , indirectly associating themselves with the brand. This inculcates as a memory inside the consumers brain. So whenever the celebrity pops up in front of your eyes or in your mind, you tend to link it automatically to the product.

BUT why are we influenced so much ?

Celebrities highten the appeal of advertisements. According to the source credibility model (Hovland, Jannis, & Kelley, 1953), many studies on endorser effectiveness have suggested that a celebrity generally has a greater impact on attitude change and purchase intention than a non- celebrity spokesperson. Celebrities increase the audience attentiveness, add glamour to the product, make the advertisement  memorable, credible and desirable( Spielman, 1981).People tend to feel that the celebrities fame is related to their association with the product. We encounter the trustworthiness,  attractiveness, expertise and credibility of the celebrity in relation to the brand.

By purchasing and using the product endorsed by the celebrity, consumers can obtain some of those meanings and use them in constructing a satisfying self-concept( McCracken, 1989). This gets them motivated to attain a state where their actual self matches their ideal self.  Considering the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs , the self esteem ” level is catered in , by directing the consumers towards an aspirational group i.e. celebrities. The implication being that the consumers should align their preferences accordingly in order to achieve that status.( Iacobucci , Dawn , 4th edition)

Brand equity is also generated when a celeb is linked up with a brand , a certain value is added to the brand name , giving it an edge of uniqueness over the others.Breaking through the clutter of advertisements, Celebs make the advertisement and the brand more noticeable.

Does this always work?

 A brand is strongly associated with the celebrity, an occurrence of negative information in relation to the celebrity also activates , to some degree , in our memory towards the endorsed brand,  which allows for the transfer of the reduced evaluation of the celebrity to the brand (Till, 1996). Consumers show varied reactions to misbehavior and misdeeds of celebrities which acts as a critical determinant of their perceptions. Take the example of the famous Lance Armstrong who was dropped out of his endorsement with Nike after his involvement in doping because consumers were willing to switch their product as the sense of trust with the celeb was lost.

 It has been noted that celebrity endorsements work better than others when a natural match is seen between the celebrity and the product ” A product match up”( Mc Cracken, 1989).Overshadowing and Blocking are some factors that cause difficulty in formation of an associative link between the celebrity and the endorsed brand.

GOING BACK to the Emirates advert in relation to this – Jennifer Aniston , a leading actress who started her career with a soap named ” Friends” was famous for her humorous side (despite the level of attractiveness she holds) on that show which certainly brought up a lot of fan following.

The company thus, focused on this side of Jennifer by launching an advertisement  targeting  the humour appeal aspect of consumer behavior ( Also considering the product match up ). And let’s not forget about the sensual and visual appeal she tags along with her in the advertisement.

Emirates target market are high end people who desire luxury, and this ad along with Jennifer gives them exactly what they expect.



A shower in the sky, forget about high end people this certainly makes even the economy section “drool” and change their “wants”.


Emirates being a global luxurious brand along with a  famous celebrity having millions of fan followers, will certainly turn out to be a “BOOM” for the company.

Let’s Sum it up….

Celebrity endorsements provide high standards of achievement to which consumers aspire (Escalas & Bettman, 2003). Consumers can only observe the behaviour and lifestyle of celebrities and do not have direct access to them. A consumer’s attraction to such lifestyle and the influence this aspiration group exerts on the consumer has been widely used in marketing and is reflected in the extensive use of celebrities in advertising.


Marketing Management : Dawn , Iacobucci edition 2014

It Is a Match: The Impact of Congruence between Celebrity Image and Consumer Ideal Self on Endorsement Effectiveness : Sejung Marina Choi , Nora J. Rifon                           DOI: 10.1002/mar.20550

European Journal of Marketing : Celebrity endorsement, brand credibility and brand equity: Amanda Spry, Ravi Pappu, T. Bettina Cornwell                                                                  DOI 10.1108/03090561111119958

Brian D. Till, (1998),”Using celebrity endorsers effectively: lessons from associative learning”, Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 7 Iss 5 pp. 400 – 409

European Journal of Business and Management :Endorsement and Consumer Buying Behaviour; Enhancing the Promotion Function of Marketing in the Central Business Area of Accra, Ghana:Wilson Edzorna Dzisah,  Chosniel Elikem Ocloo    ISSN 2222-1905 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2839 (Online)

Deepsha Kataria

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