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Globally, ‘celebrity endorsement’ is a very powerful marketing tool, employed by firms to build their brand equity. In India, the Lux soap is known to have been endorsed way back in 1941 by the then famous film actress Leela chitnis. The introduction of celebrity endorsement in Indian TV advertising is marked by the commercials of 80’s featuring Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Tabassum endorsing various consumer products. So, the potential of this concept has been well acknowledged, and tried and tested on the Indian soil for over 70 years now. Why Endorse?
The compelling reasons for companies to yield a strategic position to celebrity endorsement in their marketing schemes vary. Very frequently celebrities are roped in during new brand introductions. The basic idea remains to cash on the popularity, credibility and mass appeal of the celebrities which is expected to help raise awareness of the brand, generate positive associations for it, and build purchase intention among its prospective customers. Sometimes, it’s merely a reactionary step meant to nullify the impact of celebrity endorsement exercised by a competitor. The last decade also witnessed a novel application of celebrity endorsements for crisis management, manifested brilliantly in the Cadbury case to weather the ‘worm’ storm. What are Frequently Endorsed?
Among the industries that have generously employed this marketing tool, and have reaped healthy dividends are those representing FMCG, consumer durables, automobile, construction, healthcare and gems and jewellery among others . Top 10 Categories in Celebrity Endorsements on TV during Jan-Dec 2010 Rank 1 2 Top Categories Shampoos Toilet Soaps
It is also true that a number of ordinary faces also gained celebrity status with their appearance in some iconic ads. the Complan boy and the Rasna girl to name a few.3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Note: Source: AdEx Who Endorses? Ranks India (A are Division based of TAM Cellular Phone Service Soft Drink Aerated Fairness Creams Cellular Phones Branded Jewellery DTH Service Providers Washing Powders/Liquids Televisions on Media Secondages Research) Among the public figures. followed by politicians. cinema and TV actors. activists and some others who have been. like Surf’s Lalitaji. journalists. . artists and sportspersons are said to be the first choice for endorsements in India. promise to be very successful in their niche areas. or.
children. the message she communicates and the medium through which it is conveyed. as the heart of a successful celebrity endorsement lies there. It decides the avatar a celebrity personifies. housewives and elderly. psychographic and behavioural. The lingo. Similar is the case with distinct genre of celebrities appealing to different members in the same family. demographic. accent. Its target market or segment can be broadly identified on the following parameters: geographic. say. fashion and luxury products. dressing and props used in an ad that may appeal to urban customers may not be the most popular and effective ones in rural settings. A company needs to feel the pulse of its customers. the entire aura and cult figure of the . teenagers.Note: Figures are based on Secondages Source: AdEx India (A Division of TAM Media Research) Choice of a Celebrity The ‘consideration set’ of personalities for endorsement must be guided by the nature of customers a brand serves. The role a celebrity plays in an ad depends on the kind of brand being endorsed. When it comes to lifestyle.
to add to the believability factor. due diligence needs to be carried out to closely estimate the expected returns on investment (ROI). influence and trust. After valuation. But when there is a repeat purchase or low involvement product. several publications like Filmfare and India Today release similar lists valuing celebrities on expertise. In India. the brand value of a celebrity is indicated by some popular indices like Q score (a function of favourite and familiarity) and Davie-Brown Index (DBI) (a function of appeal. the celebs are usually made to resemble a common citizen representing shared points of pain and happiness.). It is thus better advised to take professional help before a company takes a call on celebrity endorsements. Hence. the functional benefits tend to be highlighted more. In the minds of consumers. a number of renowned publishing houses like TIME. this kind of product is usually placed as an aspirational one and the focus is more on emotional appeal. Forbes and Businessweek also come up with their Power & Influence lists every year. most of the endorsement deals are carried out through celebrity agents and expert ad agencies. celebrity endorsement is a costly proposition for most companies. In addition. likability and trustworthiness factors.celebrity needs to be accentuated. Rocketing Endorsement Fees Financially. With contract fees crossing Rs 1 crore for top celebrities in India. Top Celebrities Aamir Khan Shah Rukh Khan Amitabh Bachchan Kareena Kapoor Priyanka Chopra Deepika Padukone Expertise Actor Actor Actor Actress Actress Actress Endorsement Fee Rs 3♦5 crore Rs 1♦5 crore Rs 1-1♦2 crore Rs 2♦5-3 crore Rs 2-2♦5 crore Rs 1♦5-2 crore . How are Celebrities Valued? In the US.
In the case of sports celebrities. It would also be interesting to study the impact on celebrities switching their endorsements for rival brands (most of them doing so in the wake of their being dumped by the previous brand owners). the more offers for endorsement she gets. viewing endorsements as a mere substitute for good products would only tantamount to a strategic blunder. In Celebrity’s Shoes From a celebrity’s point of view. the more she becomes a household name. Even a minor aberration on their part draws censure from all corners of the society. betting entirely on the performance of the endorser may have a more severe impact on the brand popularity than in the case of artists and actors endorsing the brand. But with every contract signed. They are sometimes signalled in the media as no-more-good-enough and when they switch loyalty they are berated for chasing only money. as a rule of thumb. Also. There is another risk for the brand getting permanently associated with the personality of the celebrity. at least in public appearances . . popularly known as the ‘celebrity trap’ . The fallout for the brand she endorses may be devastating in some cases if the person over a period of time has become a synonym for the brand. she is restricted in her choice and the exercise of her free will is curtailed to some extent.Top Celebrities M S Dhoni Sachin Tendulkar Vijendra Kumar Saina Nehwal Abhinav Bindra Sushil Kumar Endorsement Expertise Cricketer Cricketer Boxer Shuttler Shooter Wrestler Endorsement Fee Rs 8-10 crore Rs 3-5 crore Rs 1 crore Rs 80 lakh Rs 80 lakh Rs 40 lakh Risks Celebrities attract the maximum glare of today’s 24x7 media. The subsequent offers only promise a better deal for her.
engage and entertain their bevy of fans and followers quite effectively. Celebrity Proliferation The onslaught of mass media is churning out celebrities every day from a plethora of domains. Leveraging web 2. the crux is. the relevance of celebrity endorsement is not the heart of the debate today. Many of them seem to be mere a flash in the pan.Its immediate consequence is a loss of face. So. which may hit the lesser mortals more critically than the very established ones.0 platforms . but their impact in influencing consumers is nevertheless felt. they have been able to garner. who should we call a celebrity? .
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