The field of the consumer behavior is the study of the individuals, groups/organization and the processes. Although, numerous factors affect the buying decision process but the use of right Celebrity has the great influence on the consumers.
Marketers pay millions to celebrities hoping that they will bring magic to their brands they endorse and make them more appealing and successful. The effectiveness of using a celebrity to endorse a firm’s product can generally be improved by matching the image of the celebrity with the personality of the product and the actual or desired concept of the target market. There is a high correlation between the appearance, knowledge, liking, credibility, and advertising believability and purchase intentions.
The theory behind the use of celebrity is that featuring stars in advertising has special cultural significance, born from the unique way they have constructed an image through various forms of media. In associating the celebrities with the product, these special meanings are passed on the products or brands. In a competitive market, a famous face can give a brand an added appeal and helps it to stand out. Celebrities have particular configurations of meanings that cannot found elsewhere.
Sports celebrities are often popular, picks to endorsers of everything from apparel to vehicles. For example Nike used basketball star Michael Jordan as spoke person since 1985 and the Air Jordan line was still selling. In December of 2000, Venus Williams signed the most lucrative endorsement deal ever for a female athlete when she agreed to a three-year deal with the Reebok international reportedly worth $40 million.
Another popular industry from which to draw celebrity endorsers is the music industry. One of the famous singer Britney Spears was singing her way through Pepsi commercials in 2005. Adnan Sami performed the same process in Asian market for the Pepsi Ad. Along the same lines, companies often use actors, actresses and supermodels to endorse their products.
However, in addition to the exorbitant costs, there are risks and danger associated with the use of celebrities in advertising. The best laid plan can still backfire. Pepsi signed up Madonna for several million dollars in order to feature her in Pepsi campaign. Then controversy over the religious imagery in Madonna’s “Prayer” video led to the threat of a consumer boycott and Pepsi lost $10 million. Cybill shepherd’s Ad for the beef industry flopped when she publicly admitted she rarely ate red meat. These examples are only a few of the problems with celebrity endorsement. Unfortunately, there are hidden dangers when using celebrities. A Celebrity’s consumer appeal may fade if the celebrity disappears from the media spot light before the end of his or her contract.
If so many dangers abound, why use celebrities? Many advertisers feel that celebrities make an advertisement more effective. The use of celebrity has demonstrated to lead to higher recall of an advertisement. For example in early 2001, Revlon ceased using celebrity models and hired relative unknowns for their Ad campaigns, thinking women wanted models to whom they could relate more easily. In November 2001, they reversed this decision and started hiring celebrities such as Julianne Moore and Halle Berry, after losing 10.6 percent of the cosmetics market share over the previous year.
The above examples reflect the importance of the celebrities in the product association and their effects. Marketers must be comprehended before the selection of the celebrities. For example, a make-up company may target both young and old women, and the aspirational celebrity chosen for younger women may be non-aspirational for the older women.
Consumers who have used brand associations to construct their self-identities may be more brands loyal and less likely to switch to competitors’ brands in response to price cuts, special displays, bundling tactics and coupons.
To assess the effectiveness of a celebrity endorsement, all three elements must be taken into consideration celebrity image, brand image and consumer aspirations.
The celebrities can be used to reduce the conflict between the nations or a country. Adnan Sami live in India and Annie in Pakistan; both were appeared together in the Pepsi commercial. Pepsi introduced this Ad in both of the markets of Pakistan and India. Such type of Ads shows the good relation between the countries or nations.
Right use of Celebrity plays a vital role for the success of the brand along its advertising over the target market. Selection of Celebrity requires a detailed study to predict its affects on the target market. Companies must have to conduct the complete research process before the selection of the Celebrity for their desired association with the product, especially in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) celebrities’ selection which becomes more critical.
[Article by Abdullah Nazir]