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CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT-MARKING AN IMPACT ON CUSTOMER BUYING DECISION ABSTRACT The crescendo of celebrities endorsing brands has been steadily

over the past 20 years, despite the cost and the risks involved with this technique of advertising. It has been used quite intensively in the present era. Firms spend millions of dollars to sign up celebrities to endorse their products. Celebrity endorsement cannot guarantee fool-proof success. The celebrity endorsement strategy must be integrated with target market characteristics, and other elements of the marketing mix such as product design, branding, packing, and pricing. Although the potential benefits of utilising celebrity endorsers are significant so are the costs and risks. This section of the paper will first explore advantages of the celebrity endorsement strategy, and then potential hazards. Managers today have to decide on the selection of celebrity, cost of advertising above all their decision should be in accordance with the customers preference which will have an impact on their buying decision, Marketers use celebrity endorsers to influence the purchase decision of consumers in order to increase their sales and extend their market share. This made the author curious to explore the impact of celebrity endorsement on customer buying decision behaviour. This study focuses on examining the perception of Indian consumers about celebrity endorsements, examining the celebrity attributes likely to influence consumer purchase intentions and finally the impact of celebrity endorsements on their purchase intention. INTRODUCTION Advertisement helps consumers in making their purchasing decision. Over the years advertising strategies have gone through various changes. Today, one of the most popular advertising strategies used by companies is celebrity endorsement. In India, celebrity brand endorsement has started since late 1970s. Celebrities are people who enjoy public recognition and mostly they are the experts of their respective fields having wider influence in public life and societal domain. Attributes like attractiveness, extraordinary life style or special skills, larger than life image and demigod status can be associated with them. Using a celebrity in advertising or for any, other type of communication for brand building is likely to positively affect consumers' brand preference, brand attitude, brand association and their purchase intentions. celebrities like film stars and cricketers have not only been successful in gathering

huge public attention, but also in increasing sales volume. For example, Cadbury used Amitabh Bachchan to promote the brand when it went through a bad phase in India. Soon the ad recreated peoples love for the brand and increased Cadburys sale. (Joshi and Ahluwalia, 2008; Matrade Chennai, 2005).Today even smaller companies with limited budgets are beginning to use celebrities to endorse their products. The reason why companies use celebrities because it is one of the good way to enter into foreign markets as celebrities with global popularity can help a company to reach out with a message over the whole world. Now lets discuss the impact of celebrity endorsements on customers buying decision.

Source: TAM AdEx Media: tv

CELEBRITY VERSUS NON CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS According to Seno and Lukas(2007), celebrities are more effective than other type of endorsers such as the company manager, typical consumer and professional expert etc. Using a celebrity will associate the brand with the celebrity and therefore influence the customers buying decision. Today due to competitive advantage many brands are being introduced and therefore customers sometimes are not aware of the products that are being available in the market therefore endorsing a celebrity will always keep the products in recognition. A
research on celebrity endorsement reveals that celebrity endorsers produced more positive attitudes towards advertising and greater purchase intentions than a non-celebrity endorser (Atkin and Block 1983; Petty et al. 1983; Ohanian 1991).

On the contrary companies sometimes hold limited control over the celebrity endorsers since they have created their own persona over the years. Non-celebrity endorsements are
sometimes positive when considering the risks in endorsing a celebrity. When a popular brand is endorsed with a popular celebrity customers tend to be more attractive and this attractiveness in turn reflects in their positive buying decision.

CUSTOMER BUYING BEHAVIOUR In todays dynamic and competitive environment, customers are continuously exposed to several brands and they are confused in choosing the product. This is an important factor in marketing because marketing is not selling what we produce but to produce and sell what customer needs. Therefore it is very difficult for marketers to understand the customer buying behaviour. According to Perner(2009) knowledge of consumer buying behaviour helps marketers in developing their marketing strategies . The buying behaviour of customers is unpredictable customers choose the products due to various criterias like quality,attractiveness,brand image, price, etc. Any negative impact on the product image reflects in their purchasing decision.Advertising is one of the key factor which influences their buying decision and one among the best ways of advertising is Celebrity endorsement.

BENEFITS OF CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT


INCREASED ATTENTION . Today in this competitive advantage it is necessary for companies to get customer attention and one of the best ways to capture the attention of customers is to endorse a celebrity for a product because celebrities have the capacity to hold the viewers attention. Endorsing a popular celebrity also makes the advertisements standout from the rest . IMAGE POLISHING When the image of the company goes down in the minds of customers endorsing a celebrity is a good way to polish back the image of the company since the image of the celebrity will be reflected on the product which in turn gives the product a new image.

BRAND INTRODUCTION Incase of introducing a new product in the market, using celebrities will provide recognition to the product. When a product is launched and endorsed by a celebrity the customer immediately associates the image of personality and pushes that image over the product. BRAND REPOSITIONING If the positioning of a brand does not work well as the company expected, then celebrity endorsement can be a good way to reposition the brand or product giving the brand a new image through the endorser.

RISKS IN CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT


NEGATIVE CELEBRITY INFORMATION One of risks involved in using celebrity endorsement is that the celebrity hired for the process can receive negative publicity(Till and and Shimp,1998).Negative information about the endorser affects the company in a negative way. It affects the company because the companies want their consumers to associate the brand with the celebrity. When negative information about the celebrity prevails ,it lowers the evaluation of the celebrity and therefore

OVEREXPOSURE AND OVERUSE Overexposure is a very important issue because when a celebrity is famous they often endorse several products .If a celebrities image evolves around several brands , then the connection between the brand and the celebrity becomes blurry, this in turn indirectly affects the customers preference towards the brand.The customers always connect the brand with the celebrity, which brand the celebrity stands for and the customer gets an illusion whether the celebrity really likes the brand or if it is only for the purpose of money. Overusing the

celebrity is also a risk because this have the same effect as using to a celebrity that is endorsing several different products. According to economic times(mar 28,2008)There is overexposure of Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan as celebrity endorsers. OVERSHADOWING Overshadowing is a very serious issue because consumers sometimes focus t the celebrity instead of the product that is promoted. The main reason is because the celebrity endorsing multiple products. Endorsing a celebrity should promote the product and not the image of the celebrity overshadowing the brand.

INVESTMENT RISK It is a big risk for companies to invest in celebrity endorsement. The cost for endorsing a celebrity for a product sometimes exceeds millions depending on the popularity of the celebrity. Since the companies do not have control over the actions of the celebrities and their behaviour. When small companies try to endorse popular celebrities they have to invest more than their desired budget. EXTINCTION Sometimes celebrities lose their popularity and disappear from the media flashlight and therefore the attractiveness that the celebrity is suppose to create towards the products also disappears. If this happens celebrities tries to change their image to become famous again which creates a negative impact on the product and the companies face a heavy loss in investing in the celebrity.

MANAGERS REASONS FOR UTILISING CELEBRITY ENDORSERS


Managers opt for celebrity endorsements for the following reasons Standing out or shorthand Awareness or to get attention Celebrity values define ,and refresh the brand image Instant Creditability or aspiration

PR coverage Desperate for ideas Convincing the customers

CONCLUSION
The study discussed the main and relevant concepts regarding celebrity endorsements. The author first made the concept clear by differentiating between Celebrity and Non-celebrity endorsements. The study reveals that Celebrity endorsement strategy is a marketing tool to influence consumers buying behaviour and the same time it has many risks involved in the product growth. Marketers have to decide if the benefits outfit the risks . The study explains the

perception of customers towards celebrity endorsements and the impact of celebrity endorsements influencing their buying decision. The reason why managers use celebrities to endorse their products is also explained in the study. Finally endorsing a celebrity provides benefits and challenges to the managers who select the celebrity with various criteria .

REFERENCE Kulkarni, A.S and Gaulkar, U.S., 2005. Impact of Celebrity Endorsement on Overall Brand. [online] Available at: http://www.indianmba.com/Occasional_Papers/OP88/op88.html
Joshi, V. and Ahluwalia, S., 2008. The Impact of Celebrity Endorsements on Consumer Brand Preferences. [online] Available at: http://www.indianmba.com/Faculty_Column/FC706/fc706.html [Accessed on 10th June 2011]

European Journal of social sciences volume 13 number 3, November 2010 Celebrity endorser influences on attitude towards advertisement and brands. Authors -Bahram Ranjbarain , Zahra Shekarchizade, Zahra Momeni Journal of Marketing Management 1999 Celebrity endorsement-A literature review Author B.Zafer Erdogan Till, B.D. and Busler, M. (1998), "Matching Products with Endorsers: Attractiveness versus Expertise", Journal of Consumer Marketing, 15, No.6, pp. 576-586.

Overview of Celebrity endorsements on TV during 2010. Indiantelevision.com's AdEx India Analysis((1 February 2011) Cyber Journal of sport marketing -Celebrity Endorsement: Advertising Agency Managers Perspective Author-B. Zafer Erdogan (Dumlupinar University, Turkey) and Michael J. Baker, Professor of Marketing (University of Strathclyde) Erdogan, B.Z. (1999), "Celebrity Endorsement: A Literature Review", Journal of Marketing Management, 15, No.4, in press. Celebrity endorsement:A stratergic perspective-Author:Dr.puja Khatri Impact of Celebrity Endorsements Article by Priya Chetty on August 22, 2011