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Impact of Celebrity Endorment

Impact of Celebrity Endorment

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Published by Bilal Raja

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Published by: Bilal Raja on Jun 04, 2011
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IMPACT OF CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS ON OVERALL BRAND
Successful branding programs are based on the concept of singularity. The objective is tocreate in the mind of the prospect the perception that there is no other product on themarket quite like your product." 
Al Ries & Laura Ries
Indian advertising started with the hawkers who used to call out their wares right fromthe days when cities and markets first began. Since then, Indian advertising hasmetamorphosed into a strategic tool that enhances sales, siphons more profits and helps inthe process of brand-building and product promotion. With this evolved a strategy thattried to benefit from the emotional attachment of the admirers or the fans of thecelebrities; in the form of celebrity endorsement. It does help in creating instantawareness and visibility; but for a cost.This paper tries to look beyond the obvious benefits that might be derived out of celebrityendorsement. It tries to understand the process of consumer psychology and impact of celebrity endorsement on the overall process of brand building. The in-depth study of various models brings to light the complexities pertaining to celebrity endorsement.Analyzing its success is as much a necessity as is the understanding of its need. Theimportance of celebrity management has been emphasized to realize success or failure inits true sense. A symbiotic model has been proposed to define: how to make celebrityendorsement a win-win situation for both the brand and the brand-endorser.
"Brand"
is the most valuable asset of any firm. Any thoughtless adventure can be likethe Sword of Damocles. It's the
"strong idea" 
of promotion which is a more strategicmeans of brand-building; which can be an economical alternative over celebrityendorsement.
"It doesn't matter how new an idea is; what matters is how new it becomes." 
- Elias Canetti
 If you're trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language in which they think." 
- David Ogilvy
 
Introduction
If the world were full of all wise men and all wise women; we would have never heard of a term called
"advertisement" 
. And then good products would have found the rightcustomers and grown to prosperity. Firms would have worked out a mathematicalformula to sell and succeed. But the buying process isn't rational; and so is this world.Today, the business firms are trying out different ways in advertisement to increase their sales. Indians are die-hard movie and sport buffs; and this aspect of the consumers hasinvited the concept of "Celebrity Endorsement" to the world of advertisement. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of Celebrity Endorsement in the process of  brand-building by taking appropriate examples from the advertising landscape.The modern world of marketing communication has become colorful and inundated withadvertisements, and it is hard to get noticed. It is an uphill task for the designer of anadvertising campaign to differentiate itself from others and attract viewers' attention. Inthis jet age, people tend to ignore all commercials and advertisements while flippingthrough the magazines and newspapers or viewing TV. But even then, the glamour of acelebrity seldom goes unnoticed. Thus, celebrity endorsement in advertisement and itsimpact on the overall brand is of great significance. In this process, the companies hirecelebrities from a particular field to feature in its advertisement campaigns. The promotional features and images of the product are matched with the celebrity image,which tends to persuade a consumer to fix up his choice from a plethora of brands.Although this sounds pretty simple, but the design of such campaigns and the subsequentsuccess in achieving the desired result calls for an in-depth understanding of the product,the brand objective, choice of a celebrity, associating the celebrity with the brand, and aframework for measuring the effectiveness.
Definition of Celebrities
Celebrities are people who enjoy specific public recognition by a large number of certaingroups of people. They have some characteristic attributes like attractiveness,extraordinary lifestyle or special skills that are not commonly observed. Thus, it can besaid that within a society, celebrities generally differ from the common people and enjoya high degree of public awareness. Among the classic forms of celebrities, actors (e.g.,Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachhan, etc.), models (e.g., Malaika Arora, Bipasha Basu,etc.), sports-persons (e.g., Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza, etc.) are significant. Accordingto
Friedman and Friedman
, a "celebrity endorser is an individual who is known by the public for his or her achievements in areas other than that of the product class endorsed".Compared to other endorser types, famous people always attach a greater degree of attention, recall and loyalty.According to Melissa St. James, a doctoral fellow and marketing instructor at The GeorgeWashington University, "Studies show that using celebrities can increase consumers'awareness of the ad, capture [their] attention and make ads more memorable."
 
In this age of intense competition, where capturing a position in the consumers' mindspace is extremely tough, celebrity endorsements give an extra edge to the companies for holding the viewers' attention. Celebrities can catalyze brand acceptance and provide theenormous momentum that brands require by endorsing the intrinsic value to the brand.
Important Celebrity Attributes
While selecting a celebrity as endorser, the company has to decide the promotionalobjective of the brand and how far the celebrity image matches with it. The selection is infact a collaboration, from which both the company and the celebrity gains.The most important attribute for a celebrity endorser is the
trustworthiness
. The targetaudience must trust that a celebrity carries a particular image and it must match with the product.The second attribute in order of importance is
likeability
. The celebrity also must beaccepted as a popular icon by a large cross section of the audience.Companies use celebrity endorser because they are considered to have stopping power,i.e., a celebrity can be a very useful tool to draw attention to advertising messages in acluttered media environment. The overall popular image coupled with exact product-image match enhances the consumer attention resulting in greater brand recall.
Similarity
between the target audience and the celebrity is the third important attribute.A person well-known in a society can have greater impact than a celebrity of a differentworld. If the endorser and receiver have similar needs, goals, interests and lifestyles, the position advocated by the brand communication is better understood and received.Similarity is also used to create a situation where the consumer feels empathy for the person shown in the commercial. The bond of similarity between the endorser and thereceiver increases the level of persuasiveness.
Branding & Celebrity Endorsement
Indian firms have been juxtaposing their brands with celebrity endorsers in the hope thatcelebrities may boost effectiveness of their marketing and/or corporate communicationattempts. Today, use of celebrities as part of marketing communication strategy is fairlycommon practice for major firms in supporting corporate or brand imagery.
What is a Brand?
Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, once said, "Our most valuable assetsare our intangible assets." The intangible asset he was referring to is a brand. TheDictionary of Business & Management defines a brand as: a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify goods or services of one seller or agroup of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitor.

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