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has been steadily increasing over the past 20 years or so. Marketers overtly acknowledge the power of celebrity in influencing buyer's purchase decision. They have firm believe that likeability or a favorable attitude towards a brand is created by the use of a celebrity. The crore of rupees spent per year on celebrity endorsement contracts show that celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Sharukh khan and Sachin Tendulkar play an important role for the advertising industry. It is an established fact that celebrity endorsement can bestow unique features or special attributes upon a product that it may have lacked otherwise. In India from late 1970's and early 80's the new trend in advertising started. Brands started being endorsed by celebrities. Hindi film and TV stars as well as sportspersons were roped in to endorse prominent brands. Advertisements featuring stars like Late Jalal Agha (Pan Parag), Tabassum (Prestige cookers), Sunil Gavaskar for Dinesh Suiting, Ravi Shastri and Vivian Richards (Vimal), Persis Khambhata and Kapil Dev (Palmolive Shaving cream) became common. Though marketers should remember that celebrities are mere living beings like us and if they can highlight the benefits or advantages of a brand they can also have some uncanny negative impact. Theory and practice suggests that the use of stars and their unleashing power in advertising generate a lot of publicity and attention from the public but the underline questions are, do these stars really help a brand by increasing its sales? On the other hand, can they really have an Impact on the person's consumption pattern, thereby changing his brand preference? How an advertisement featuring a celebrity can influence consumers buying decision and can create an association between a brand and a common man. To answer these questions, the article will examine the relationship between celebrity endorsements and brands, and the impact of celebrity endorsement on consumer's buying behaviour as well as how consumer makes brand preferences. We will apply a wide range of accepted principles of how consumers brand attitudes and preferences can be influenced, how buyer's behavior can be influenced, how buyer's behavior can be molded. We will use the principles of credibility of source and attractiveness, the match-up hypothesis, the consumer decisionmaking model and the communication model to understand this phenomenon. Brand- A layman perspective Brand is the proprietary visual, emotional, rational and cultural image that you can associate with a company or the product. Few examples will bring home the meaning i.e. Amul - utterly butterly delicious; Coke ± thanda matlab coca-cola; Pepsi ± Yeh dil mange more; Kurkure- Masti bole to kurkure and Daewoo ka India. These examples convey one message that when people watch advertisement a connect is being created and result is that people go for experience of buying. People feel by using the brand they will portray certain traits or characteristics that otherwise they do not have. This generates a certain level of emotional affiliation and a sense of fulfillment. It is this emotional relationship with brands that make them so powerful. Advertisements enforces what exactly the brand stands for and what to expect by its consumption and above all what factors, features and attributes makes it better from competition. Advertisements along with other marketing efforts generate expectations and feelings in a customer and force them to think when they see or hear the brand name. This Thinking process and emotional bonding gets more mature and relevant when a celebrity endorses the brand. The subjective intangible feelings of a customer become objective and tangible in the form of celebrity and the level of expectations will rise. The customer will start to perceive himself in the reference frame of the celebrity after the brand or the advertised product has been purchased or consumed by him. Celebrity and a Brand Star power in India can be gauged by the successful endorsements done by Sharukh Khan (Pepsi, Hyundai Santro, Sunfeast, and Navratan etc.), Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Hrithik Roshan and the others. The inevitable question is, if and how the lively interest of the public in the rich and famous can be efficiently and effectively used by companies to promote their brands and consequently to increase their sales revenues. This fact can be brought out by using certain examples i.e. Mr. Amitabh Bachchan promoting Cadbury chocolates after the fiasco of infestation when the image of Cadbury India went very low in the eyes of people. Soon the company found a perfect fit and a reliable celebrity to transmit the correct message and help regenerating the lost trust. The fit between the product and celebrity is evident as Mr. Bachchan and Cadbury chocolates both have tested troubled times and still they stand tall and the love and trust they both share with the people all across India. This is a live example of how a celebrity brought certain attributes to a product like chocolate. Actor Sharukh khan has also endorsed diversified products. His endorsement basket is ranging from Hyundai Santro to Sunfeast biscuits on one hand and from Compaq computers to Videocon electronics on the other. According to Advertising research companies both the actors are doing well and the ad spent on both by the companies is increasing at a phenomenal rate, so does their basket of endorsements. These actors bring
sociopsychology. The celebrity adds new edge and dimension to the brand. Belief in efficiency and new appearance that will result in at least trial usage. which also creates a 'Top of the Mind Position'. It attempts to understand the buyer decision-making process. association. Understanding these issues helps us adapt our strategies by taking the consumer into consideration. and society in general. informal group and Referent Group. The behavior of consumers while shopping or making other marketing decisions. Celebrity endorsements are powerful. brands. These factors though at time are not very much visible but they make an impact and affects sales of a product or brand up to a great extent.g. products). they help in increasing the sales revenues. media). aspiration and connectivity to brand. . Following are the important issues that have significant influence on consumer's psyche and their ability to take decisions: The psychology of how consumers think. Religion. both individually and in groups. what they buy. culture. Recognition of brand and its significance along with the traditional factors plays a very significant role in consumer decision-making process. It blends elements from psychology. each buyer would like to buy and consume one of the highly acceptable. reason. Income. Their Age. and How marketers can adapt and improve their marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to more effectively reach the consumer. feel. Therefore. Traditional Factors affecting consumer decision making There are several factors that affect consumer's decision to purchase a brand and a product. a known brand or an optimally exposed brand will find more recognition and buyers in the market in comparison to completely unknown or unexposed brand. why is it so? This power is offered by the following elements. More or less every consumer has a brand preference and given the affordability and societal norms.reliability and trust in the brand and above all. and select between different alternatives (e. family. sociology. recognizable. Culture. The study and knowledge of consumer behavior helps firms and organizations to improve their marketing strategies and product offerings. has become evident from the above two examples but. when they buy and why they buy. Values and image of the brand is defined. * * * * * Instant Awareness. Limitations in consumer knowledge or information processing abilities influence decisions and marketing outcome. Credibility. highlighted and refreshed by the celebrity. Impact of a Brand on consumer purchase decision Research studies have proven that known products and names are sold more than unknown ones.. and behavioral variables in an attempt to understand people's wants. It studies characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics. The above given model explains the important role that a brand plays in three different stages of consumer's purchase decision making. and reputed brands.. The table below shows some of these factors. signs. How consumer motivation and decision strategies differ between products that differ in their level of importance or interest that they entail for the consumer.g. A consumer start collecting data or information about his favourite brand than he keeps his favourite as one of the alternatives and he evaluate his selected brand against all available options and on finding it suitable or best among all options based upon a qualitative and quantitative evaluation he will ultimately purchase the selected or favourite brand. reference groups. knowledge about the brand and easy recall. The psychology of how the consumer is influenced by his or her environment (e. trust. psychographics. friends. It also tries to assess influences on the consumer from groups such as family. Understanding Consumer Behaviour Consumer behaviour is the study of how people buy. anthropology and economics.
The diagram above explains how various traditional factors along with brand preference interact during purchase decision process and finally results into a consumer's final product choice or ultimate purchase. and opinion of others. brand association and purchase intentions. dynamic. trustworthiness. thus to the perceived social value of the source. whereby persons who perform well on one dimension example: physical attractiveness or top professional performance. After the debacle of the first campaign.First Amitabh Bachchan. famous people achieve a higher degree of attention and recall. Source Credibility Central goal of advertising is the convincing of consumers and persuasion to purchase. involving such elements as good taste. generating positive attitude. connect user to brand and are perceived by consumers as more entertaining. a brand called Reid & Taylor presented its perfect example when they first launched their advertising campaign featuring James Bond fame of the time Mr. he translates the modernism of the brand well. They reckoned that they have spent 40-50 percent less on media due to sheer impact of using hottest star like Hrithik. They can also help the company in reducing their expenditure on Media and other forms of publicity. Celebrity and a brand Surveys suggest that compared to any other types of endorsers. and objectiveness. the ultimate objective. company introduced a family ad where children are celebrating there parents silver wedding anniversary and they are out with their father to purchase a suit for him. Source attractiveness refers to the endorser's Physical appearance. brand attitude. To create effective messages. a famous relative to a 'normal' spokesperson is more effective for products high in psychological or social risk. then the hottest advertising icon for their launch advertising for TAMARIND.e. The Ad recall was as high as 70 percent and the campaign can be termed as a great success. In India. Amitabh Bachchan as Reid & Taylor man. the credibility of an endorser along with advertisement plays an important role in convincing the target audience of the attractiveness of the company's brand and generates sales. This behavior mainly goes back to halo effect. Likeability and Similarity to the receiver. reinforce positive association and ultimately to generate sales. persuasiveness. To ensure positive results. is to some how attract consumers to the market offering of the company. may be a trial purchase. company introduced Mr. modern. however. When S Kumars. Pierce Brosnan along with the tagline 'BOND WITH THE BEST' but the James Bond idea did not worked and the company was not happy with the results. Celebrities also create positive feelings towards brands. celebrity advertisers also have to consider the attractiveness of the spokesperson. Even this commercial did not work and it was taken off the air. now Shahrukh Khan) interacts with the type of brand being advertised. self-image. In this respect. They increase awareness of a company's advertising as well as help in retention of message in the psyche of the audience. Establishing a Perfect Match Research proves that a spokesperson especially for a service product or organization (ICICI. Titan uses Aamir Khan in his different avatars for communicating to the public that their watches are as reliable and passionate as Aamir is for films. An example will bring more clarity. This is evident from the use of Fardeen Khan. At later stages. As a last resort. happiness and coolness. a man propagating the brand for special occasion and for very special . Personality. The impact of celebrity endorsement on any brand as well as on consumer's purchase decision is very critical. social status are assumed to excel on other levels as well i. other type of communication for brand building is likely to positively affect consumers' brand preference. the sponsor may work towards creating a brand loyalty but generating initial sales or increasing the existing sales is the primary objective. now one of the premium readymade brands. it is critical for advertisers to have a clear understanding of consumer's reactions and reinforcement of celebrity endorsement. Both Fardeen and Aamir carry the message well and enhance the credibility of the brand they endorse. Pursuing a celebrity endorsement strategy enables advertisers to project a credible image in terms of expertise. These stars communicate the value of the product and transform an ordinary service into a miracle solution for all problems of an ordinary customer. outgoing and smart personality for Provogue. a known textile brand entered into readymade garments business they used Hrithik Roshan. According to Friedman and Friedman (1979). Several research studies have examined the congruency between celebrity endorsers and brands to explain the effectiveness of using famous persons to promote brands. Using a celebrity in advertising or for any. though not openly spoken.
There was complete congruency and compatibility between the celebrity endorser. As chess is considered to be a game full of strategies and a game for smart people and when one of the greats of the game is asking people to join NIIT it was suppose to have a positive influence on the people and actually it had. Results show that an attractive spokespersons are more effective in terms of attitude change when prompting brands that enhance one's attractiveness i. the 'match-up hypothesis' specifically suggests that the effectiveness depends on the existence of a 'fit' between the celebrity spokesperson and endorsed brand. there was a perfect match of an ideal Indian family man. Empirical work on the congruency of brand with the celebrity often has concentrated on the physical attractiveness of the endorser. and a bench mark in their respective field and qualified to talk about the product. celebrities add value to the image transfer process by offering meanings of extra depth and power. where the product and the celebrity were a perfect match. the product and the message. NIIT adopted a very smart strategy by roping in Vishwanathan Anand an international chess wizard for their advertising campaign. The commercial from the initial days got good response and did extremely well as people were able to connect with Mr. Bachchan and the values he was propagating. To understand this phenomenon Mc Cracken (1989) suggested a comprehensive model known as Meaning Transfer Model. Keeping the focus only on success. Primary data states. health drinks or fashion wear. the customer acquires the brand's meaning. even the entire campaign collapsed due to heavy weight celebrity as the agency or the ad failed to establish the relationship between the endorser and the product.people in life. to . The third stage of the model explicitly shows the importance of the consumer's role in the process of endorsing brands with famous persons. Finally. This three-stage model suggests how the meaning associated with the famous person moves from the endorser to the product or the brand. Therefore. Thus. Transferring the Meaning After watching an advertisement the consumers try to find the meaning of the advertisement and associate the same with the endorser and eventually transfer to the brand.e.e. Among the possible reasons identified by several authors. would be incorrect and may turn out to be a very dangerous preposition resulting into a big calamity for the entire advertising campaign or the brand. Second example that can be quoted is of Vishwanathan Anand. a star and a good quality but bit highly priced brand reserved especially for special occasions and for very special people. however. Assuming that a person just have to be famous to represent a successful brand. they should be knowledgeable. cosmetics. for celebrity spokespersons to be truly effective. For the masses. but there is considerable number of failures as well. Very well accepted and attractive super stars like Abhishek Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan failed in turning their endorsements into success i. experienced. Contrary to only favorable outcomes. following are few examples: Celebrity Endorser Company / Product Amitabh Bachchan * Dabur * Cadbury * Reid and Taylor * Parker Shahrukh Khan * Santro * Videocon * Sunfeast * Pepsi Juhi Chawala * Kurkure Ustad Zakir Hussain * Taj mahal tea Aamir Khan * Titan * Coke * Toyota Innova Aishwarya Rai * Nakshatra * Lux Rani Mukherjee * Fanta * Nestle Munch Kajol and Ajay Devgan * Whirlpool * Tata Indicom The campaigns are not only basking with the glory of success stories. there are several examples where the product. including overexposure and identification. in the consumption process. In contrast to anonymous endorsers. Maruti Versa similarly Virendra Sehwag also failed to deliver Reliance Telecommunication with the master stroke of his cricketing genius. mature. who endorsed NIIT. what is complemented by their life style and personalities. meanings attributed to the celebrity become associated with the brand in the consumer's mind.
The use of celebrity for endorsements create a very favorable impact on the consumer and it creates a connect which forces a consumer to purchase a product. (1996). Modern day consumers are well educated and smart. Compatibility of the celebrity's persona with the overall brand image is very important. Majority of the consuming population also knows what is advertising and how it actually works and this knowledge of consumer makes the task of celebrity endorsement all the more difficult and challenging for the advertising companies and the sponsors. 63-71. Grant (1989). NY: The Free Press. they know celebrities are being paid for these endorsements and this knowledge makes consumers rather more cynical about the product and celebrity endorsements. and Linda Friedman (1979). It has been proved from the discussion that celebrity endorsements are a powerful and useful tool that magnifies the effect of a campaign but the word of caution to be followed seriously. 203-213. i." Journal of Consumer Marketing. * Credibility." Journal of Consumer Research.e. * Costs of acquiring the celebrity and his or her popularity along with controversy risks associated with the celebrity. "Endorser Effectiveness by Product Type. Indian companies both advertising and product offering companies have top make an effort to overcome this ever-mounting challenge. It is the combination of several factors and elements that work together for the success of a brand and its acceptance in the minds of consumers as well as for its market offering. Conclusion A brief assessment of the current market situation indicates. "Who Is the Celebrity Endorser? Cultural Foundations of the Endorsement Process. * Daneshvary. "The Association Endorsement and * Consumers' Intention to Purchase. as a celebrity imparts credibility and inspirational value to a brand and his or her image should perfectly match the brand's image. 17 (3). References * Aaker. Hershey H. A good brand campaign idea and an intrinsic link between the celebrity and the message are must for a successful campaign. New York. These were the cases of perfect match between the brand image and the image or persona of the celebrity endorser. as several failures show. David A. * McCracken. first Kapil Dev's 'Palmolive da jawaab nahin' and second Nakshatra's brand recall due to its endorser. . Both brands have edged out and carved out their niche in consumer's mind due to image and credibility of their endorsers. Building Strong Brands." Journal of Advertising Research. the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Rennae and R. that celebrity endorsement advertising strategy can under the right circumstances indeed justify the high costs associated with this form of advertising. it is essential for advertisers to be aware of the complex processes underlying celebrity endorsement. the appropriate set of characteristics and the public should be able to visualize and comprehend the same. * Friedman.transfer the correct meaning to the consumer the company should select a celebrity that will produce the most favorable response for consumers and for the purpose the celebrity should have. Keith Schwer (2000). celebrities alone do not guarantee success nor does a great advertising campaign or the best possible product. The above points can be put to perspective by using two examples. Certain elements that generate a perfect match or compatibility between the celebrity and brand image are: * Celebrity's fit with the brand image along with celebrity-target audience match. The company should consider the consumer's needs while developing their communication strategy and selecting an appropriate celebrity to transmit the same. However. 16 (3). * Celebrity associated values and celebrity-product match. availability and physical attractiveness of celebrity. Kurkure used actress Juhi Chawala with the punch line 'Masti Bole To Kurkure' and the actress on screen and off-screen personifies the masti and helps the brand in communicating the same easily. 19 (5). 310-321.