Celebrity Endorsement: Advertising Agency Managers¶ Perspective

Celebrity endorsement has been established as one of the most popular tools of advertising in recent time. It has become a trend and perceived as a winning formula for product marketing and brand building. It is easy to choose a celebrity but it is tough to establish a strong association between the product and the endorser. While the magnitude of the impact of celebrity endorsement remains under the purview of gray spectacles, this paper is an effort to analyze the impact of celebrity endorsements on brands. Objective of this article is to examine the relationship between celebrity endorsements and brands, and the impact of celebrity endorsement on consumer's buying behavior as well as how consumer makes brand preferences. This paper proposes a 20 point model which can be used as blue-print criteria and can be used by brand managers for selecting celebrities and capitalizing the celebrity resource through 360 degree brand communication which, according to this paper, is the foundation of the impact of celebrity endorsement. Celebrity endorsement is always a two-edged sword and it has a number of positives - if properly matched it can do wonders for the company, and if not it may produce a bad image of the company and its brand. This paper explores advertising agency managers¶ attitudes concerning celebrity endorsement strategy. Although a number of scholars have written about the strategy, their research centres on the characteristics of effective celebrity endorsers. They have usually employed deductive approaches in deriving hypotheses from the communication theory (e.g. Source Effect Theory) and empirically tested with student samples. This study provides another perspective to the celebrity endorsement strategy by using semi-structured in-depth interviews with twelve advertising agency managers.

Firms have been juxtaposing their brands and themselves with celebrity endorsers (e.g. athletes, actors) in the hope that celebrities may boost effectiveness of their marketing and/or corporate communication attempts for at least a century. One of the early example is Queen Victoria¶s endorsement of Cadbury¶s Cocoa (Sherman 1985). Three of humankind¶s greatest inventions, (cinema, radio, and television) have extended the scope of endorsement as an advertising technique. Today, use of celebrities as part of marketing communications strategy is fairly common practice for major firms in supporting corporate or brand imagery. Indeed, according to a Marketing (February 1st, 1996) survey, advertising containing celebrities proved to be a key to gaining national headlines in 1995 in the UK and the cover story for Admap in April 1998 was devoted to issues involved in developing a celebrity endorsement strategy. Scholars, mostly US-based, have explored the celebrity endorsement strategy (e.g. Caballero et al. 1989; Debono and Harnish 1988; DeSarbo and Harshman 1985; Friedman and Friedman 1978; Kahle and Homer 1985; Kamins 1989; Misra and Beatty 1990; Nataraajan and Chawla 1997; Ohanian 1990; 1991; Till and Busler 1998). Their contributions usually tested effective celebrity endorser characteristics by deductive methodologies with student samples (for an extensive literature review see, Erdogan 1999). Interestingly, so far no studies have explored what advertising agency managers think of celebrity endorsement as a specific strategy, what are their reasons for suggesting celebrity campaigns, how they execute celebrity campaigns, or how advertising agencies select celebrity endorsers. Miciak and Shanklin¶s (1994) study could be seen as an exception although they only investigated factors considered by practitioners in selecting celebrities. This paper aims to provide some answers to first three questions as the fourth question is another paper in its own right which has been submitted to elsewhere. To address these issues we took Brownlie et al.¶s (1994) suggestion that marketing scholars should undertake more in-depth studies of what marketers in different contexts actually do and carried out semi-

structured in-depth interviews with advertising agency managers. The next section details the methodology used.

In the absence of prior research, it was impossible to follow µsomeone else¶s footsteps¶. Thus, semistructured in-depth interviews were deemed as appropriate for this research. An interview schedule was derived from the literature that identified the key issues to be explored and allowed the researchers flexibility to let interviews develop naturally and without leading or direction from the interviewer. When selecting the agency sample, Campaign¶s (February, 28, 1997) Top 300 Agencies Report was utilised and the top thirty advertising agencies ranked by annual sales in 1996 were chosen. It was thought that advertising agencies with large annual billings were more likely to utilise celebrities in marcom campaigns as celebrities bear high price tags. After several phone calls to the agencies, as well as personal contacts, ten managers (two CEOs, three account directors, two creative directors, a casting director, two planning directors) from nine advertising agencies and a celebrity director from the Celebrity Group were interviewed. Two fax responses were also received from two agencies. Interviewing directors from diverse agency departments allowed the researchers to explore every department¶s view on a potential celebrity selection. The sample was believed to be quite representative of the population, but nonetheless it was a convenience sample which may be defined as µa form of non-probabilistic or purposive sample drawn on a purely opportunistic basis from a readily accessible subgroup of the population (Baker 1990). Table-1 lists the twelve participating companies. Table-1 Participating Companies Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Ltd. Bartle Bogle Hegarty Ltd. Butler Lutos Sutton Wilkinson Ltd. DCA Group of Companies Faulds Advertising Ltd. Grey Communication Group Ogilvy and Mather Ltd. Publicis Ltd. Saatchi and Saatchi Advertising Group The Celebrity Group WCRS Ltd. Young and Rubicam Ltd.

Interviews took place at advertising agencies and at the icebreaking stage of every interview, managers were specifically informed that this research was concerned with any kind of celebrity utilisation (i.e. actors, endorsements, testimonials, or spokespersons) in marketing communication activities. Interviews lasting on average over three-quarters of an hour, were tape-recorded and transcribed. Before presenting findings it is necessary to summarise the key issues which underpinned the interview schedule. This research specifically explored;

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managers¶ reasons for utilising celebrities in marketing communications managers¶ opinions on effectiveness of celebrity campaigns in terms of generating awareness, recall, positive attitudes towards advertising and brands, purchase intentions, and actual sales whether managers perceive there is an increasing usage of celebrities in marketing communications factors considered while selecting celebrity endorsers commonality of these considered factors¶ importance within the UK and among other countries types of media used with celebrity campaigns manager¶s view on utilising celebrities in integrated marketing communication campaigns managers¶ opinion on international transferability of celebrity campaigns managers¶ view on utilising multiple celebrities for a particular celebrity campaign

The research findings are presented in terms of issues grouped into three sections; Practitioners¶ Reasons, Opinions and Trends; Selection Criteria and Their Commonality; and, Executional Issues.

Practitioners¶ Reasons, Opinions and Trends
This section embodies three parts and explores: advertising agency managers¶ reasons for using celebrity endorsers, opinions regarding effectiveness of celebrity involved campaigns (e.g. awareness, recall, positive attitudes towards advertising and the brand, actual sales), and whether advertising agency managers perceive there is an increasing usage of celebrity endorsers.

Reasons for celebrity campaigns
Respondents indicated that the biggest challenge in marcoms nowadays is how to stand out²break through ever increasing media clutter. As can be seen in Table-2, consistent with the academic literature, managers considered that celebrity endorsers enable messages to overcome this challenge due to their fame and high profile. Table-2 Managers¶ reasons for utilising celebrity endorsers Standing out or shorthand Awareness or attention getting Celebrity values define, and refresh the brand image Celebrity add new dimensions to the brand image Instant credibility or aspiration PR coverage Desperate for ideas Convincing clients An agency CEO stated that every time advertisements appear in television or press, they interrupt a program or an article. Therefore, they are an intrusion and very few people positively welcome advertisements though many do not reject them. People see advertisements as a part of their normal life.

But, as an advertiser you have got to stand out from the crowd and celebrities can potentially achieve this. It was disclosed that the recent campaign for Ford Puma involving Steve McQueen generated instant awareness. Actually, the same spot won the best famous person usage award in the 1998 Creative Circle Honours (Campaign 1998). Ten out of twelve managers indicated that celebrities could build, refresh and add new dimensions to brands by transferring their values. They argued that what celebrities stand for enhances brands. Many managers cited the Bob Hoskins and BT relationship as a great example of celebrity values transferring to the brand. A planning director claimed that Bob Hoskins brought his charisma, gentleness, and warmth to BT which had had none of these qualities. Another relationship which was mentioned frequently was between Jack Dee and John Smiths Bitter. Managers argued that the company has transferred Jack Dee¶s smart, cool, laid back, no non-sense characteristics to the brand. Although most academics have argued that celebrity endorsements work because celebrities are credible and attractive, only 50 percent of the respondents mentioned these qualities as reasons. A possible explanation for this discrepancy between scholars and practitioners could be that most advertising agency managers may perceive a celebrity as a gestalt, and do not differentiate attractiveness and credibility characteristics. Indeed, one of the respondents claimed that when a person is famous, people forget about what the person looks like as everyone knows the face, it is hard to judge whether the person is pretty or ugly. Managers believed that celebrities save time in creating the credibility a company has to build into products. They argued that when consumers see a credible celebrity endorsing a product, consumers think that the product must be at least µOK¶. However, it was revealed that Nanette Newman was used by Fairy Liquid for years because she was perceived as trustworthy, believed in, and motherly. Four out of twelve advertising agency managers mentioned PR coverage as another reason for using celebrities. Managers perceived celebrities as topical, which created high PR coverage. Indeed, celebritycompany marriages are covered by most media from television to newspapers (e.g. The Spice Girls and Pepsi). This particular reason has not been mentioned in the academic literature previously to the researcher¶s knowledge. Two managers were quite sceptical about advertising agency motivations for using celebrities. One stated that when agencies are desperate for an idea or all else fails, they bring in a celebrity. Another argued that agencies use celebrities because it is easy to convince clients since a successful celebrity campaign could make clients¶ marketing managers famous and keep them comfortable in their position for a while.

Opinions on campaigns involving celebrities
Although managers argued that when used well celebrities could be very powerful and help magnify the effects of a campaign, at the same time they were very cautious. They emphasised that celebrities alone do not guarantee success as consumers nowadays understand advertising, know what advertising is, and how it works. One of the managers argued that years ago celebrity mania prevailed, but has now dissipated. People know celebrities are being paid a lot of money for endorsements and this knowledge leads them to cynicism about celebrity endorsements. According to this respondent, people are annoyed that celebrities are endorsing products. Specifically, all respondents postulated that celebrities were good at generating attention, recall and positive attitudes towards advertising provided that celebrities are supporting a good idea and there is an explicit fit between celebrities and brands. On the other hand, they were not agreed on issues such as creating positive attitudes to brands, purchase intentions and actual sales.

An account director claimed that the combination of product innovation and celebrity endorsements lead to absolute success for Pizza Hut. He argued that the product, stuffed crust pizza was a very good product and had a point of difference to other Pizza¶s because it had cheese in the crust. The launch of the product and other promotional activities involved celebrities (e.g. Ruud Gullit, Murray Walker, Damon Hill). All the financial modelling the agency had done in terms of the actual contribution to the company¶s business in sales terms indicated a phenomenal growth. Another example for a successful celebrity usage was the Steve McQueen²Ford Puma campaign. The agency argued that the car was instantly sold out and second hand models were selling for £1000 more than new ones. According to another account director, the Hula-Hoops and Harry Enfield relationship generated phenomenal recall and awareness figures as well as increased sales. Most sports person endorsements are argued to create positive attitudes towards products and generate sales (e.g. Nike²Michael Jordan, Dunlop²John McEnroe, Adidas²Prince Naseem Hamed). It was argued that people know they are not going to be as good as these athletes, but having their equipment makes them feel better. The issue of a celebrity overshadowing the brand (the vampire effect) was widely known to advertising managers. They indicated that they were very careful about this phenomenon when deciding which celebrity to use. One cited that overshadowing is just like an atomic bomb which can blast the campaign to nowhere. Two specific examples were given; Dawn French²Cable Association and Leonard Rossiter²Cinzano. Both of these campaigns were aborted due to celebrities getting in the way of effective communication. Another issue was raised as making sure a celebrity endorsing a brand actually uses the brand as well. Sainsbury¶s encountered a problem with Catherina Zita Jones, whom the company used for its recipe advertisements, when she was caught shopping in Tesco. Managers also suggested that whether the celebrity is endorsing another brand in the same product category must be investigated. In sum, managers thought celebrity endorsements could be effective when celebrities were chosen accurately and campaigns were planned and executed well. Moreover, a good campaign idea and an intrinsic link between the celebrity and the message were musts for a successful celebrity involved campaign.

Celebrity usage trend
Nine respondents felt that there was an increasing usage of celebrities as endorsers, but four out of nine thought that this increase was in line with the overall growth of advertising. The remaining three did not see an increase in the UK. Increasing consumer interest in sports and leisure activities was argued to be a reason for the increasing utilisation, as promotional activities have been simultaneously moving more towards entertainment as well as product/service selling. Availability of far more celebrities (e.g. footballers, rugby players, and comedians) who are willing to endorse products because they can make a lot of money and gain fame as a result of endorsements was another reason. The snowball effect, which occurs when a company uses a celebrity, as others start to consider using one was given as another reason. Last, but not least the need to stand out quickly in today¶s expensive and cluttered media environment was mentioned as an additional reason for the increasing usage of celebrities in marcoms. Managers observing no increase claimed that personalities come and go. They indicated that certain products (e.g. female skincare products, shampoos, cigarettes) always had celebrities namely Ronald Reagan for Chesterfield cigarettes and Ian Botham for Hamlet. They argued that celebrities have got

more expensive and probably more risky since media nowadays digs out the lives of celebrities. Celebrities were thought to be not enjoying the untouchable status they had in the 60s and 70s. Even though managers were only asked to give their opinions on reasons for using celebrities, effectiveness of celebrity endorsements, and whether there was an increasing utilisation, most of them also commented simultaneously on potential pitfalls of this strategy. These responses could lead to the conclusion that managers are very cautious in selecting celebrity endorsers. Indeed, as it is presented in the following part, a range of factors are considered in choosing celebrities to endorse brands.

Selection Criteria and Their Commonality
In this section, factors considered while deciding on a particular celebrity endorsers for a campaign and whether these factors¶ importance may differ within the UK and among other countries are explored.

Selection criteria
According to managers, factors considered while selecting celebrities vary depending on how celebrities are utilised; celebrity as the central feature, or celebrity for the added interest. In the former case, a campaign can not work without a particular celebrity (e.g. BUPA Health Centre used Arsenal¶s striker Ian Right who rapidly recovered from his injury). On the other hand, in the latter case an agency can use a variety of celebrities as the aim is to get added interest (e.g. One-2-One mobile phone company used such celebrities as Chris Evans²John Lenon, and Ian Right²Martin Luther King, to promote its new service). Table-3 comprises a list of criteria mentioned in choosing a celebrity endorser for a campaign in a ranking order.

Table-3 Selection criteria
Fit with the advertising idea Celebrity²Target audience match Celebrity values Costs of acquiring the celebrity Celebrity²Product match Celebrity controversy risk Celebrity popularity Celebrity availability Celebrity physical attractiveness Celebrity credibility Celebrity prior endorsements Whether celebrity is a brand user

Celebrity profession Celebrity Equity membership status As can be inferred from the table, respondents mostly argued that a celebrity must be right for the advertising idea though it is ambiguous as to how one decides whether the celebrity is right. It is our belief that what respondents tried to communicate was that agencies do not start with a celebrity and then build a campaign around them. Usually the campaign idea would be developed first and then a celebrity search would start. It is about what suits a campaign rather than using an available and popular personality, although casting departments occasionally are asked to put forward a list of possible celebrities for campaigns. In these exceptional occasions, a personality is chosen first and an advertisement is written around the particular celebrity. The second most frequently mentioned factors were target audience feelings towards a celebrity, what the celebrity stands for, and how much the celebrity charges for an endorsement contract. These finding are similar to academic suggestions put forward by McCracken (1989), Brierley (1995) and findings by Kamins (1990) and Langmeyer and Walker (1991a, 1991b). The third most cited factor was whether the celebrity image matched product characteristics, which was widely suggested by scholars (Ohanian 1991; Bertrand 1992; Callcoat and Philips 1996; O¶Mahony and Meenaghan 1997). Surprisingly, celebrity characteristics such as credibility and attractiveness were only cited by twenty-five percent of the interviewees whereas in the academic literature (Caballero, et al. 1989; Chawla, et al. 1994; Debevec and Kernan 1984; Klebba and Unger 1982; Ohanian 1990; Patzer 1983,1985) these two variables were believed to be two of the most important factors in getting a source¶s message across. Again, the earlier given possible reason for this disparity may be that practitioners think of celebrities µin the round¶ and so are concerned with the whole person or µgestalt¶ rather than specific characteristics. A whole set of variables such as the risk of a celebrity getting into public controversy, prior endorsements, celebrity availability and willingness, a celebrity¶s profession and whether a celebrity is a user of the product or service was reported to be taken into account in selecting celebrities. It was pointed out that whether a celebrity is a member of an organisation called Equity, a union for advertising presenters and industry workforce, must be taken into account in choosing a personality. The long lasting strike by Equity members because of the fact that everyone involved in shooting advertisements were not being paid adequate wages was reported to affect decisions. Indeed, sudden increase in utilising football stars in advertisements is partially attributed to the fact that footballers are not Equity members (Table-4). Table-4 Advertisements involving footballers Footballer Gary Lineker Ruud Gullit, Steward Pierce David Ginola David Beckham Eric Cantona Brand Walkers Crisps Pizza Hut L¶Oreal Elvive Brylcreem, Adidas Eurostar, Nike

Ronaldo and Brazilian Nationals Del Pierro, Zinedine Zidane Ian Right Peter Schmeichel Alan Shearer

Nike Adidas BUPA Health Centre, One-2-One Danepak, Sugar Puffs McDonald¶s, Braun Razors

This sudden increase in utilising football stars in advertisements can also be explained by the 1996 European Cup and the 1998 World Cup Finals which have enjoyed extensive media coverage.

Criteria commonality
Interviews indicated that considered factors are very much the same in the UK because the advertising industry has creatively developed to a stage where agencies are often condemned when they use celebrities as it is seen to be an easy way out. In fact, an agency manager resented the fact that they utilised a celebrity due to his popularity and fame and as a result the campaign failed. Six managers believe advertising is more different than similar among countries because of cultural differences which are assumed to affect the considered factors¶ weight in selecting celebrities. According to an agency CEO, when using celebrities in Germany, there would have to be a very literal connection between products and celebrities. Utilising Michael Schumacher to endorse motor cars could bring phenomenal results, whereas an endorsement by him for clothing apparel would not work in Germany. People need to see a greater association between celebrities and products. That is very different in the United States where personalities, irrespective of whether they are a basketball player, athlete, or singer, could endorse virtually any product successfully. They can endorse a product that is outside their profession. For example, Michael Jordan, whose effect on the whole American economy was calculated to be around $10 billion in the fourteen years of his NBA career (Fortune 1998), has endorsed a range of brands from different product categories (e.g. Nike, Coke, Wheaties, McDonald¶s, Hanes, WorldCom, Oakley, Gatorade). The conventional use of celebrity endorsers; "I am a rich, famous, successful person and I use this product" was attributed as the American way. Interviewees indicated that there were only few such endorsements in the UK. Celebrities are said to be used not only to bring a lot of fame into commercials, but also to transfer their fame and meanings to brands. One of the respondents argued that in British advertising occasionally humour is turned against a celebrity rather than using the celebrity to say, µif you want to look rich and famous use this product.¶ According to the respondent, the best Pizza Hut advertisements were ones where celebrities enter in to the humour of the commercial in the nicest possible way and they laugh at themselves. For instance, Damon Hill appeared in a Pizza Hut advertisement with Murray Walker just after the season when he came second and there was a whole joke about him finishing second again. This appeals to the British sense of humour, but also requires the celebrity to say I am big enough to laugh about myself. On the other hand, it is much harder to get American celebrities to laugh about themselves, and this is not the style of American advertising. In the USA, people celebrate success which the British would find embarrassing.

Execution Issues

This section specifically investigates; types of media used by advertising agencies in campaigns involving celebrities, opinions of managers concerning utilising celebrities in integrated marcom campaigns, international transferability of celebrity involved campaigns in managers¶ view, and whether to use one or multiple celebrities in campaigns.

Media usage with celebrity campaigns
Even though respondents indicated that they have used celebrities in all available media, television was the main form of utilisation. They maintained that an agency had to balance expense items in any given campaign budget. As celebrities come with high price tags, not using them in television seemed unreasonable for managers as it would be a waste of money due to the fact that press does not bring personalities to life. Media such as billboards, sponsorship, cinema advertisements, point of sale, posters, press, PR, and radio are generally used to support television advertisements. Managers argued that using celebrities in several media was good for getting a return on investments from celebrity fees. Managers pointed out that many minor celebrities were used in media such as press and direct mail pamphlets, but major celebrities are reluctant to commit themselves to media other than television.

Opinions on integrated marketing communication campaigns
Traditionally, marketing communications elements²advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and marketing public relations²have been thought about, studied and executed separately, but there has been a distinct trend to integrate these activities since the late 1980s. Reasons for this integration includes cluttered media, advancing database technology, changing media buying practices, increasing importance of below-the-line promotions, and lastly shifting marketplace power from manufacturers to retailers. This trend of integration has been noticed by many academics as well as practitioners (Fawcett, 1993; Kitchen, 1994; Krugman, 1994; Schultz, 1991; 1994; Schultz and Kitchen, 1997; Shimp, 1997). Kitchen and Schultz (1997) point out that there are academics who question whether the IMC phenomenon is just another management µfad.¶ One response is that most activities in the past have been focused on breaking down marcom activities into definable categories, but IMC requires companies to adopt marcoms strategies that co-ordinate various different promotional elements along with other marketing activities that communicate with consumers. Furthermore, their study, which aimed to discover attitudes of advertising agencies in the UK toward IMC, showed that 100% of respondents agreed that campaigns should be integrated in terms of communication, advertising agency staff are spending 25% or more of their time on integrated programs, and also there is a trend to more, not less, integration. It appears that there has been a constant move towards integrating marketing communication activities. A good example of integrated celebrity campaigns is one of the World¶s leading Pop groups, the Spice Girls, who have not only appeared in advertisements for Pepsi, but also in product launching and PR events. Since anything the Spice Girls do is news for the media, in a sense, companies are able to get free mass media exposure from these comparatively dull marketing communication events. Another example is Pierce Brosnan¶s involvement with Ericsson, the Swedish electronics group. The company has not only placed its cellular phone and communications technology in the latest James Bond action movie, "Tomorrow Never Dies," starring Pierce Brosnan, but also used him in its commercials with the headline "Ericsson Made/Bond Approved" (Matthews, 1997). As companies invest large sums of money in celebrity endorsement contracts, any celebrity endorsement relationship must contribute to larger marketing strategies (Erdogan and Kitchen 1998). Accordingly, campaigns involving celebrities are believed to bring more positive results if they are properly integrated than traditional non-integrated campaigns (Bertrand and Todd, 1992; Rogers, 1997). In order to discover what advertising agency managers think about integrating campaigns involving celebrities, they were asked to give their opinions on the issue. Ten interviewees responded that integration could be of enormous value for campaigns if agencies can persuade celebrities. Integration could bring instant recognition of a big idea, but for the reasons

explained later on, celebrities will not always accept endorsement deals requiring them to appear in more than the main medium²television. According to managers, if an agency can persuade a celebrity to be involved in a brand¶s integrated marketing communication activities, the agency should take the celebrity through all available media, though the agency not only has to make sure the celebrity is good enough to be the brand¶s front line, but must also justify increased costs. Nike sports wear¶s usage of sports personalities (NBA, NFL players, Brazilian Internationals, and athletes) in an integrated fashion was given as a successful integrated celebrity utilisation. On the other hand, two respondents were somewhat sceptical about extending celebrity endorsements to multi media. They believed that integration was a dangerous word as agencies can try to integrate campaigns for the sake of integration, but this may backfire. Thus, agencies have to carefully analyse every kind of communication technique in its own way. Accordingly, they argued that celebrities were much more effective when they were animated in television than on static media. Of course, if there is a good reason for a multi media solution, it is essential. They also claimed that the additional cost of using celebrities in other media might outweigh the additional benefits. Even though building-up a whole marketing communication campaign around a celebrity(s) makes complete sense, most celebrities are reluctant to sign such deals for four reasons.


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First, they are very concerned about their exposure. Should they sign a deal for more than the main media, they know their picture can be stuck all over the place and they would lose control over their exposure. Second, they do not want to be too closely associated with a particular product that may cost them other potential deals. Third, they are uncomfortable with some media, as they are motionless. Comedians work well on television since it is animated, which allows comedians to present their personality. For instance, Henry Enfield is only comfortable with television and radio because his humour comes into life in these mediums. Last, but not least they may be unable to sign for some media as their previous deals prohibit them. For example; a celebrity might be endorsing an alcohol brand in print and his/her deal prohibits them to endorse any other products in print.

In sum, agency managers believed that if a celebrity is good enough for a firm¶s front line, benefits from integration exceed costs. If the celebrity is willing to be involved in an integrated campaign, integrating campaigns involving celebrities would bring better results than traditional campaign execution tactics.

International transferability
In the literature, it has been argued that celebrities with world-wide popularity can help global marketing communication attempts (Kaikati, 1987). In order to discern what advertising practitioners think about transferring campaigns involving celebrities globally or internationally, they were asked to comment on the subject. It should be noted that the academic dispute on the difference between the terms µglobal¶ and µinternational¶ was dismissed in order to prevent confusing practitioners. Therefore, responses should be treated as answers for transferring campaigns to another nation or nations. All respondents argued that celebrities were as transferable as their fame world-wide. With celebrities, agencies try to bring instant shorthand for campaigns. In this respect, a planning director believed that celebrities with international recognition were more valuable internationally than nationally as the need for instant shorthand is greater in the international arena. Of course, transferring campaigns to countries where celebrities are not known does not make any sense. For example, Jack Dee and John Smith¶s no nonsense straight-talking pint of beer campaign would not make sense in countries where Jack Dee is not

known due to the fact that Jack Dee would be seen as an ordinary consumer. Most transferable celebrities are suggested to be film stars because everybody around the world sees their films. Campaigns involving sports people in world sports such as football, basketball, car racing and athletics (e.g. Ronaldo, Michael Jordan, Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher, Carl Lewis), pop stars (e.g. Spice Girls, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson), and supermodels (e.g. Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell) are also argued to be transferable. Television stars like all the cast of Friends, and Seinfeld may transfer to countries in which their series are run. It was claimed that Ford Puma¶s McQueen advertisement worked well in the western world. Respondents contended that in deciding to transfer a campaign to other countries the brand subject of the campaign is an important factor. The more a brand is international/global, the easier it is to transfer campaigns for the brand. If a brand is not internationally known and an international celebrity is endorsing the brand, it is more likely that consumers would remember seeing the celebrity in an advertisement, but could not remember what the advertising was for (the vampire effect). Another important point raised was the campaign objective. In order to execute campaigns internationally, they needed to be developed keeping global objectives in mind. Developing international campaigns was deemed to be a difficult task because of cultural differences. International advertisements are about pure endorsement rather than humour. With international campaigns the cost of acquiring celebrities increases and the number of suitable celebrities decreases. Agencies have to work out to which countries a celebrity¶s fame transfers and consider the brand¶s business within those countries. For example, because Australia and South Africa buy their television coverage from the UK, Damon Hill and Murray Walker are well known in these countries, but Pizza Hut only ran its advertisement with these two celebrities in Australia and did not run it in South Africa because Pizza Hut¶s business was not enough in this country to justify television coverage. An accounts manager argued that if the goal is to save money, which is the most often given justification for global/international campaigns, with global endorsement deals, agencies had better not use a celebrity unless the celebrity is entirely global.

Use of multiple celebrities
It was argued that answers to the following questions would help agencies in deciding how many celebrities to utilise for a campaign. Is it better to have different celebrities who appeal to different people within the target audience? Is one celebrity enough? How long is the campaign supposed to run? How much money is going to be spent? What media it is going to be run in? Using multiple celebrities or a single celebrity partially depends on the time scale a campaign is using to have impact. If the campaign has a long-term strategy, agencies would be more careful because potential downsides are much more than potential upsides. The longer the time scale, the more substantial the brand, and thus, the less likely a campaign would stay with a particular celebrity. In the case of using multiple personalities, none of the celebrities may be specifically associated with the endorsed brand or vice versa. An interviewee claimed that if a campaign has a large advertising and media budget, multiple celebrities would be introduced in order not to bore target audience. According to the same manager, people change and the way they relate to brands also changes. Therefore, the sort of personality used to endorse a product should be different for different age groups. For example, two celebrities may be used to give slightly different attitudes to brands. In a lot of cases a brand has a wide range of consumers and sometimes the use of multiple celebrities is needed to cover the whole target audience, though it must be made sure that each celebrity¶s values reflects core brand values. What this interviewee seems to be implying is that the audience/market segments that exists in the target audience/market. More specifically, following Baker¶s (1996) footsteps, the manager accepts differences in the target audience/market and tries to adjust promotion strategy accordingly. On the contrary, another manager believed that a celebrity is the mouthpiece for a brand in communicating messages to target audiences rather more effectively than any other voice. The personalities of celebrities are very strong and they can rapidly change perceptions of a brand. If a

campaign has two or three celebrities, then whose personality is the brand trying to take? In this case, there is a great chance of confusing consumers about the brand¶s identity. In order to prevent this possible confusion, when managers have genuine reasons and means to utilise more than one celebrity for a particular campaign, they should make sure every and each celebrity must possess compatible meanings that are sought for brands. marketing communications strategy for firms in today¶s competitive environment. For practitioners, the findings highlight some of µdos and don¶ts¶ of celebrity endorsement strategy. For example, managers should not suggest celebrity campaigns just because it is easier to get clients to accept them or they are out of creative ideas, but they should have genuine reasons. In a way, these findings provide guidelines for managers planning to utilise and execute celebrity-based campaigns. Since this research was exploratory and had a relatively small sample size, there is a need for confirmatory research with a larger sample testing hypotheses derived from the findings presented in this paper. Moreover, because the research involved managers working within large advertising agencies, further research involving managers from all sizes of advertising agencies is needed in order to confirm/revise/reject the findings. Researchers interested in the subject may wish to duplicate the research in other countries which may provide a basis for cros-cultural comparisons of managers attitudes towards celebrity endorsement strategy.

Celebrity endorsements are impelled by virtue of the following motives:
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Instant Brand Awareness and Recall. Celebrity values define, and refresh the brand image. Celebrities add new dimensions to the brand image. Instant credibility or aspiration PR coverage. Lack of ideas. Convincing clients.

The scope of a celebrity on the incumbent brand:
Simply stating, a brand is a differentiated product and helps in identifying your product and making it stand out due to its name, design, style, symbol, color combination, or usually a mix of all these. Before we can scrutinize the effects of celebrity endorsement on the overall brand, we have to ferret the implicit nuances that act as sources of strong brand images or values:
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Experience of use: This encapsulates familiarity and proven reliability. User associations: Brands acquire images from the type of people who are seen using them. Images of prestige or success are imbibed when brands are associated with glamorous personalities. Belief in efficiency: Ranking from consumer associations, newspaper editorials etc. Brand appearance: Design of brand offers clues to quality and affects preferences. Manufacturer¶s name & reputation: A prominent brand name (Sony,Kellogg¶s,Bajaj,Tata) transfers positive associations

The celebrity¶s role is the most explicit and profound in incarnating user associations among the above-mentioned points. To comprehend this, let us analyze the multiplier effect formula for a successful brand: S=P* D*AV --the multiplier effect Where S is a successful brand, P is an effective product. D is Distinctive Identity and AV is Added values. The realm of the celebrity¶s impact is confined to bestow a distinctive identity and provide AV to the brand; the celebrity does not have the power to improve or debilitate the efficiency and features of the core product. Thus, we are gradually approaching an evident proposition claiming, ³The health of a brand can definitely be improved up to some extent by celebrity endorsement. But one has to remember that endorsing a celebrity is a means to an end and not an end in itself.´ An appropriately used celebrity can prove to be a massively powerful tool that magnifies the effects of a campaign. But the aura of cautiousness should always be there. The fact to be emphasised is that celebrities alone do not guarantee success, as consumers nowadays understand advertising. They know what advertising is and how it works. People realize that celebrities are being paid a lot of money for endorsements and this knowledge makes them cynical about celebrity endorsements.

Compatibility of the celebrity¶s persona with the overall brand image
A celebrity is used to impart credibility and aspirational values to a brand, but the celebrity needs to match the product. A good brand campaign idea and an intrinsic link between the celebrity and the message are musts for a successful campaign. Celebrities are no doubt good at generating attention, recall and positive attitudes towards advertising provided that they are supporting a good idea and there is an explicit fit between them and the brand. On the other hand, they are rendered useless when it comes to the actual efficiency of the core product, creating positive attitudes to brands, purchase intentions and actual sales. Certain parameters that postulate compatibility between the celebrity and brand image are:
y y y y y y

Celebrity¶s fit with the brand image. Celebrity²Target audience match Celebrity associated values. Costs of acquiring the celebrity. Celebrity²Product match. Celebrity controversy risk.

y y y y y y y

Celebrity popularity. Celebrity availability. Celebrity physical attractiveness. Celebrity credibility. Celebrity prior endorsements. Whether celebrity is a brand user. Celebrity profession.

Successful celebrity endorsements for a brand- An Indian perspective The latter part of the '80s saw the burgeoning of a new trend in India± 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 Tabassum (Prestige pressure cookers), Jalal Agha (Pan Parag), Kapil Dev (Palmolive Shaving Cream) and Sunil Gavaskar (Dinesh Suitings) became common. Probably, the first ad to cash in on star power in a strategic, long-term, mission statement kind of way was Lux soap. This brand has, perhaps as a result of this, been among the top three in the country for much of its lifetime. In recent times, we had the Shah Rukh-Santro campaign with the objective of mitigating the impediment that an unknown Korean brand faced in the Indian market. The objective was to garner faster brand recognition, association and emotional unity with the target group. Star power in India can be gauged by the successful endorsement done by Sharukh for three honchosPepsi, Clinic All Clear and Santro. Similarly, when S Kumars used Hrithik Roshan, then the hottest advertising icon for their launch advertising for Tamarind, they reckoned they spent 40 50 per cent less on media due to the sheer impact of using Hrithik. Ad recall was as high as 70 per cent, and even the normally conservative trade got interested. In the Indian context, it would not be presumptuous to state that celebrity endorsements can aggrandize the overall brand. We have numerous examples exemplifying this claim. A standard example here is Coke, which, till recently, didn't use stars at all internationally. In fact, India was a first for them. The result was a ubiquitously appealing Aamir cheekily stating Thanda matlab Coca Cola. The recall value for Nakshatra advertising is only due to the sensuous Aishwarya. The Parker pen brand, which by itself commands equity, used Amitabh Bachchan to revitalize the brand in India. According to Pooja Jain, Director, Luxor Writing Instruments Ltd (LWIL), post Bachchan, Parker's sales have increased by about 30 per cent. India is one country, which has always idolized the stars of the celluloid world. Therefore it makes tremendous sense for a brand to procure a celebrity for its endorsement. In India there is an exponential potential for a celebrity endorsement to be perceived as genuinely relevant, thereby motivating consumers to go in for the product. This would especially prove true if the endorser and the category are a natural lifestyle fit like sportspersons and footwear, KapilSachin and Boost or film stars and beauty products. Some Global Examples:

Globally, firms have been juxtaposing their brands and themselves with celebrity endorsers. Some successful ongoing global endorsements are as follows:

y y y

y y

Celebrity endorsements have been the bedrock of Pepsi's advertising. Over the years, Pepsi has used and continues to use a number of celebrities for general market and targeted advertising, including Shaquille O'Neal, Mary J. Blige, Wyclef Jean, and Busta Rhymes, who did a targeted campaign for their Mountain Dew product. George Foreman for Meineke. He has also sold more than 10 million Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machines since signing with the manufacturing company. James Earl Jones for Verizon and CNN. Nike golf balls, since the company signed Tiger Woods in 1996, have seen a $50 million revenue growth. Nike's golf line grossed more than $250 million in annual sales. In 2000 he renegotiated a five-year contract estimated at $125 million. Other successful endorsements like Nike²Michael Jordan, Dunlop²John McEnroe, Adidas²Prince Naseem Hamed, and so on. Venus Williams, tennis player and Wimbledon champion has signed a five-year $40 million contract with sportswear manufacturer Reebok International Inc.

Advantages of a celebrity endorsing a Brand Brands have been leveraging celebrity appeal for a long time. Across categories, whether in products or services, more and more brands are banking on the mass appeal of celebrities. As soon as a new face ascends the popularity charts, advertisers queue up to have it splashed all over. Witness the spectacular rise of Sania Mirza and Irfan Pathan in endorsements in a matter of a few months. The accruement of celebrity endorsements can be justified by the following advantages that are bestowed on the overall brand:

y y



Establishment of Credibility: Approval of a brand by a star fosters a sense of trust for that brand among the target audience- this is especially true in case of new products. We had the Shah Rukh-Santro campaign. At launch, Shah Rukh Khan endorsed Santro and this ensured that brand awareness was created in a market, which did not even know the brand. Ensured Attention: Celebrities ensure attention of the target group by breaking the clutter of advertisements and making the ad and the brand more noticeable. PR coverage : is another reason for using celebrities. Managers perceive celebrities as topical, which create high PR coverage. A good example of integrated celebrity campaigns is one of the World¶s leading pop groups, the Spice Girls, who have not only appeared in advertisements for Pepsi, but also in product launching and PR events. Indeed, celebrity-company marriages are covered by most media from television to newspapers (e.g. The Spice Girls and Pepsi) Higher degree of recall: People tend to commensurate the personalities of the celebrity with the brand thereby increasing the recall value. Golf champion Tiger Woods has endorsed American Express, Rolex, and Nike. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is used by TMobile and Elizabeth Arden. 007 Pierce Brosnan promotes Omega, BMW, and Noreico. Associative Benefit: A celebrity¶s preference for a brand gives out a persuasive message because the celebrity is benefiting from the brand, the consumer will also benefit.


y y y y


Mitigating a tarnished image: Cadbury India wanted to restore the consumer's confidence in its chocolate brands following the high-pitch worms controversy; so the company appointed Amitabh Bachchan for the job. Last year, when the even more controversial pesticide issue shook up Coca-Cola and PepsiCo and resulted in much negative press, both soft drink majors put out high-profile damage control ad films featuring their best and most expensive celebrities. While Aamir Khan led the Coke fightback as an ingenious and fastidious Bengali who finally gets convinced of the product's `purity,' PepsiCo brought Shah Rukh Khan and Sachin Tendulkar together once again in a television commercial which drew references to the `safety' of the product indirectly. Psychographic Connect: Celebrities are loved and adored by their fans and advertisers use stars to capitalise on these feelings to sway the fans towards their brand. Demographic Connect: Different stars appeal differently to various demographic segments (age, gender, class, geography etc.). Mass Appeal: Some stars have a universal appeal and therefore prove to be a good bet to generate interest among the masses. Rejuvenating a stagnant brand: With the objective of infusing fresh life into the stagnant chyawanprash category and staving off competition from various brands, Dabur India roped in Bachchan for an estimated Rs 8 crore. Celebrity endorsement can sometimes compensate for lack of innovative ideas.

Disadvantages of a celebrity endorsing a brand: The celebrity approach has a few serious risks: 1. The reputation of the celebrity may derogate after he/she has endorsed the product: Pepsi Cola's suffered with three tarnished celebrities - Mike Tyson, Madonna, and Michael Jackson. Since the behaviour of the celebrities reflects on the brand, celebrity endorsers may at times become liabilities to the brands they endorse. 2. The vampire effect: This terminology pertains to the issue of a celebrity overshadowing the brand. If there is no congruency between the celebrity and the brand, then the audience will remember the celebrity and not the brand. Examples are the campaigns of Dawn French²Cable Association and Leonard Rossiter²Cinzano. Both of these campaigns were aborted due to celebrities getting in the way of effective communication. Another example could be the Castrol commercial featuring Rahul Dravid. 3. Inconsistency in the professional popularity of the celebrity: The celebrity may lose his or her popularity due to some lapse in professional performances. For example, when Tendulkar went through a prolonged lean patch recently, the inevitable question that cropped up in corporate circles - is he actually worth it? The 2003 Cricket World Cup also threw up the Shane Warne incident, which caught Pepsi off guard. With the Australian cricketer testing positive for consuming banned substances and his subsequent withdrawal from the event, bang in the middle of the event, PepsiCo - the presenting sponsor of the World Cup 2003 - found itself on an uneasy wicket 4. Multi brand endorsements by the same celebrity would lead to overexposure: The novelty of a celebrity endorsement gets diluted if he does too many advertisements. This may be termed as commoditisation of celebrities, who are willing to endorse anything for

big bucks. Example, MRF was among the early sponsors of Tendulkar with its logo emblazoned on his bat. But now Tendulkar endorses a myriad brands and the novelty of the Tendulkar-MRF campaign has scaled down. 5. Celebrities endorsing one brand and using another (competitor): Sainsbury¶s encountered a problem with Catherina Zeta Jones, whom the company used for its recipe advertisements, when she was caught shopping in Tesco. A similar case happened with Britney Spears who endorsed one cola brand and was repeatedly caught drinking another brand of cola on tape. 1.6.Mismatch between the celebrity and the image of the brand: Celebrities manifest a certain persona for the audience. It is of paramount importance that there is an egalitarian congruency between the persona of the celebrity and the image of the brand. Each celebrity portrays a broad range of meanings, involving a specific personality and lifestyle. Madonna, for example, is perceived as a tough, intense and modern women associated with the lower middle class. The personality of Pierce Brosnan is best characterized as the perfect gentlemen, whereas Jennifer Aniston has the image of the µgood girl from next door¶.

Famous brands benefit from celebrity endorsement
SIGNING FILM PERSONALITIES and famous sportspersons for product endorsement by some of the top brands has been in practice for a long time now. Celebrity endorsement is a frequently used approach in marketing for the purpose of brand building. In India too Hindustan Lever Limited has roped in Bollywood stars to endorse their beauty soap Lux since the 1950s. Vimal, Thums Up and Gwalior are some of the other brands that have used star appeal during their early days of mass advertising. Companies pay huge signing amount to the celebrities to make them endorse product.

Celebrity endorsements have several benefits, like building credibility and getting attention of the public, which can translate into higher sales. Basically, celebrity endorsements are being preferred for almost every kind of product categories, like toiletries, telecom, readymade garments, razor blades, hotels, soft drinks and hard drinks among others. The most of the big companies have developed a new strategy to enrol celebrities and make them brand ambassadors of their products to increase the product sale. Whether it is Rehaan of Fanna for Coke or King Khan of Bollywood doing a Navaratan hair oil advertisement, one approving nod from a celebrity face can translate into millions for the company. For instance, the famous sports star Sachin Tendulkar endorses everything from tyres, Palio car to Pepsi, Visa, Adidas, stock trading portals and music systems. But, many risks have also been associated with such celebrity endorsements. The brand will flop as quickly as it moved up in the market despite well-known celebrities endorsing them. The film personalities who are well known to shape destinies cast enormous influence on customers. The companies like Parker, ICICI and Dabur have used Amitabh Bachchan remarkably well, while some others have been unable to exploit his µBig B¶ status. The endorsement of Hyundai Santro

or Airtel by Shah Rukh Khan has worked well for the actor as well as for the brands. Khan also canvassed the image of a metro-sexual man when he was seen endorsing Lux soap, which was usually treated as a women¶s soap earlier. Celebrity endorsement is, therefore, capable of manifesting both favourable and adverse effects for the brands with which they associate. When a celebrity is on the ascent it makes sense to hook the product to the star and derive maximum benefits before the star status fades away. The returns of celebrity endorsements, like any other advertising, are not easy to measure. The benefits accrue over a period of time, with the celebrity campaigns and other factors contributing to the overall increase in the brand value.
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fter a lull of over eight months when virtually no new endorsement deal of any significant value was signed, the

Rs 400-450 crore (Rs 4-4.5 billion) celebrity endorsement business is back on the recovery path. Celebrity management firms like Globosports and World Sports Group say the celebrity endorsement market is estimated to clock a healthy growth in 2009. Senior executives at these firms say while there is no organised agency to track the deal size of the endorsements, the market size is expected to grow 15 to 17 per cent in 2009. Endorsements by film stars, estimated at around Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.5 billion) and growing at 25 per cent, have displaced sports personalities from the top slot. Image: Actress Kareena Kapoor models for a cosmetic brand.

The Impact of Celebrity Endorsements on Consumer Brand Preferences

The crescendo of celebrities endorsing brands 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 produc 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 endorse 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 an 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 the 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 purchase or consumed by him. Celebrity

Celebrities are people who enjoy public recognition and mostly they are the experts of their respective field 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.

It is safe to deduce that within a corresponding social group celebrities generally differ from the social norm and enjoy high degree of public awareness.

Celebrities appear in public in different ways. To start, they appear in public when fulfilling their professiona

commitments example: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who played cricket in front of an audience in TwentyTwenty World Cup. Furthermore, celebrities appear in public by attending special celebrity events, example the movie award nights; special screening; world premiers of movies or for social causes. These celebrities have universal presence and appeal, they are present everywhere, in news, fashion shows and magazines, tabloids and above all advertisements. 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 th companies is increasing at a phenomenal rate, so does their basket of endorsements. These actors bring reliability and trust in the brand and above all, they help in increasing the sales revenues. Celebrity endorsements are powerful, has become evident from the above two examples but, why is it so? This power is offered by the following elements, which also creates a 'Top of the Mind Position'. * * * * * Instant Awareness, knowledge about the brand and easy recall. Values and image of the brand is defined, highlighted and refreshed by the celebrity. The celebrity adds new edge and dimension to the brand. Credibility, trust, association, aspiration and connectivity to brand. Belief in efficiency and new appearance that will result in at least trial usage.

Understanding Consumer Behaviour

Consumer behaviour is the study of how people buy, what they buy, when they buy and why they buy. I blends elements from psychology, sociology, sociopsychology, anthropology and economics. It attempts to understand the buyer decision-making process, both individually and in groups. It studies characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics, psychographics, and behavioral variables in an attempt to understand people's wants. It also tries to assess influences on the consumer from groups such as family, friends, reference groups, and society in general. The study and knowledge of consumer behavior helps firms and organizations to improve their marketing strategies and product offerings. Following are the important issues that have significant influence on

consumer's psyche and their ability to take decisions: y y y y y y y

The psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason, and select between different alternatives (e.g., brands, products); The psychology of how the consumer is influenced by his or her environment (e.g., culture, family, signs, media); The behavior of consumers while shopping or making other marketing decisions; Limitations in consumer knowledge or information processing abilities influence decisions and marketing outcome; How consumer motivation and decision strategies differ between products that differ in their level of importance or interest that they entail for the consumer; and How marketers can adapt and improve their marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to more effectively reach the consumer. Their Age, Religion, Culture, Income, informal group and Referent Group.

Understanding these issues helps us adapt our strategies by taking the consumer into consideration. Consumer Decision-making process

The given process is very complicated though on first sight it does not look so. Process starts with problem recognition or with an unsatisfied need. Something that a consumer would like to have or purchase in orde to attain satisfaction. This need can be Psychological, attitudinal or Physiological but yes it should have the capacity to be fulfilled by consuming a particular product or service. To satisfy the given need what all are the components that should be taken into consideration and how we can maximize the satisfaction is the next stage. In this stage, we will cover ability to purchase, level of involvement, people whose opinion will count and other relevant details that will help us in optimizing satisfaction. Based upon information search we will generate various alternatives i.e. which brand or product is affordable for me, where will it be available comfortably and above all in comparison to other brands or products how better or economical it is. Evaluation stage will look like cost benefit analysis and based upon maximum value or utility per rupee spend, we will decide or shortlist the product or brand. This is the decision and confirmation stage where the consumers prepares himself for the purchase of a particular brand and give preference to one and only

one over and above the others. Next comes the purchase when the consumer will finally go to the market and look for the brand or the product, physically verifies it and purchases it. Last is the post purchase Evaluation in which the customer wants to justify his consumption or purchase decision. He tries to find out whether his purchase decision was right or not. Companies make lot of effort to tackle this situation successfully and they want the customer to be satisfied with their product.

This stage may result into three situations, first is satisfaction where customer is satisfied and he got expected results but this does not necessitates the repeat purchase by the consumer. Second is dissonance where the consumer is not satisfied as he got less utility or less than expected result from the consumption or product performance. Third is Delight, here the consumer gets more than expected satisfaction and utility and this will assure the repeat purchase and creation of brand loyalty.

Traditional Factors affecting consumer decision making

There are several factors that affect consumer's decision to purchase a brand and a product. 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. The table below shows some of these factors.

Impact of a Brand on consumer purchase decision

Research studies have proven that known products and names are sold more than unknown ones. Therefore, 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. Recognition of brand and its significance along with the traditional factors plays a very significant role in consumer decision-making process. More or less every consumer has a brand preference and given the affordability and societal norms, each buyer would like to buy and consume one of the highly acceptable, recognizable, and reputed brands.

The above given model explains the important role that a brand plays in three different stages of consumer's purchase decision making. 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.

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. Celebrity and a brand

Surveys suggest that compared to any other types of endorsers, famous people achieve a higher degree of attention and recall. They increase awareness of a company's advertising as well as help in retention of message in the psyche of the audience. They can also help the company in reducing their expenditure on Media and other forms of publicity. An example will bring more clarity, When S Kumars, a known textile brand entered into readymade garments business they used Hrithik Roshan, then the hottest advertising icon for their launch advertising for TAMARIND, now one of the premium readymade brands. They reckoned that they have spent 40-50 percent less on media due to sheer impact of using hottest star like Hrithik. The Ad recall was as high as 70 percent and the campaign can be termed as a great success. Celebrities also create positive feelings towards brands, connect user to brand and are perceived by consumers as more entertaining.

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 purchase intentions. T ensure positive results, however, it is critical for advertisers to have a clear understanding of consumer's reactions and reinforcement of celebrity endorsement. The impact of celebrity endorsement on any brand as well as on consumer's purchase decision is very critical. Source Credibility Central goal of advertising is the convincing of consumers and persuasion to purchase, the ultimate objective, though not openly spoken, is to some how attract consumers to the market offering of the company, generating positive attitude, reinforce positive association and ultimately to generate sales, may

be a trial purchase. At later stages, the sponsor may work towards creating a brand loyalty but generating initial sales or increasing the existing sales is the primary objective. In this respect, 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. Pursuing a celebrity endorsement strategy enables advertisers to project a credible image in terms of expertise, persuasiveness, trustworthiness, and objectiveness.

To create effective messages, celebrity advertisers also have to consider the attractiveness of the spokesperson. Source attractiveness refers to the endorser's Physical appearance, Personality, Likeability and Similarity to the receiver, thus to the perceived social value of the source. This behavior mainly goes back to halo effect, whereby persons who perform well on one dimension example: physical attractiveness or top professional performance, social status are assumed to excel on other levels as well i.e. happiness and coolness. This is evident from the use of Fardeen Khan, modern, dynamic, outgoing and smart personality for Provogue; he translates the modernism of the brand well. 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. Both Fardeen and Aamir carry the message well and enhance the credibility of the brand they endorse. Establishing a Perfect Match

Research proves that a spokesperson especially for a service product or organization (ICICI- First Amitabh Bachchan, now Shahrukh Khan) interacts with the type of brand being advertised. These stars communicat the value of the product and transform an ordinary service into a miracle solution for all problems of an ordinary customer.

According to Friedman and Friedman (1979), a famous relative to a 'normal' spokesperson is more effective for products high in psychological or social risk, involving such elements as good taste, self-image, and opinion of others. Several research studies have examined the congruency between celebrity endorsers and brands to explain the effectiveness of using famous persons to promote brands. In India, a brand called Reid & Taylor presented its perfect example when they first launched their advertising campaign featuring James Bond fame of the time Mr. 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.

After the debacle of the first campaign, 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. Even this commercial did not work and it was taken off the air. As a last resort, company introduced Mr. Amitabh Bachchan as Reid & Taylor man, a man propagating the brand for special occasion and for very special people in life. 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.

For the masses, there was a perfect match of an ideal Indian family man, a star and a good quality but bit highly priced brand reserved especially for special occasions and for very special people.

Second example that can be quoted is of Vishwanathan Anand, who endorsed NIIT. NIIT adopted a very smart strategy by roping in Vishwanathan Anand an international chess wizard for their advertising campaign. As chess is considered to be a game full of strategies and a game for smart people and when on 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. There was complete congruency and compatibility between the celebrity endorser, the product and the message.

Contrary to only favorable outcomes, there are several examples where the product, 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. Keeping the focus only on success, where the product and the celebrity were a perfect match, following are few examples:
Celebrity Endorser Amitabh Bachchan * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Company / Product Dabur Cadbury Reid and Taylor Parker Santro Videocon Sunfeast Pepsi Kurkure Taj mahal tea Titan Coke Toyota Innova Nakshatra Lux Fanta Nestle Munch Whirlpool Tata Indicom

Shahrukh Khan Juhi Chawala Ustad Zakir Hussain Aamir Khan Aishwarya Rai Rani Mukherjee Kajol and Ajay Devgan

The campaigns are not only basking with the glory of success stories, but there is considerable number of failures as well. Assuming that a person just have to be famous to represent a successful brand, however, 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. Very well accepted and attractive super stars like Abhishek Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan failed in turning their endorsements into success i.e. Maruti Versa similarly Virendra Sehwag also failed to deliver Reliance Telecommunication with the master stroke of his cricketing genius. Among the possible reasons identified by several authors, including overexposure and identification, the 'match-up hypothesis' specifically suggests that the effectiveness depends on the existence of a 'fit' between the celebrity spokesperson and endorsed brand.

Empirical work on the congruency of brand with the celebrity often has concentrated on the physical attractiveness of the endorser. Results show that an attractive spokespersons are more effective in terms o attitude change when prompting brands that enhance one's attractiveness i.e. cosmetics; health drinks or fashion wear. Primary data states, for celebrity spokespersons to be truly effective, they should be knowledgeable, experienced, mature, and a bench mark in their respective field and qualified to talk about the product. 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. To understand this phenomenon Mc Cracken (1989) suggested a comprehensive model known as Meaning Transfer Model. This three-stage model suggests how the meaning associated with the famous person moves from the endorser to the product or the brand. Thus, meanings attributed to the celebrity become associated with the brand in the consumer's mind. Finally, in the consumption process, the customer acquires the brand's meaning. The third stage of the model explicitly shows the importance of the consumer's role in the process of endorsing

brands with famous persons.

In contrast to anonymous endorsers, celebrities add value to the image transfer process by offering meanings of extra depth and power, what is complemented by their life style and personalities. Therefore, to 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, the appropriate set of characteristics and the public should be able to visualize and comprehend the same. The company should consider the consumer's needs while developing their communication strategy and selecting an appropriate celebrity to transmit the same, i.e. 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.

Compatibility of the celebrity's persona with the overall brand image is very important, as a celebrity imparts credibility and inspirational value to a brand and his or her image should perfectly match the brand's image. A good brand campaign idea and an intrinsic link between the celebrity and the message ar must for a successful campaign.

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. * Celebrity associated values and celebrity-product match. * Costs of acquiring the celebrity and his or her popularity along with controversy risks associated with the celebrity. * Credibility, availability and physical attractiveness of celebrity.

The above points can be put to perspective by using two examples, first Kapil Dev's 'Palmolive da jawaab nahin' and second Nakshatra's brand recall due to its endorser, the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Both brands have edged out and carved out their niche in consumer's mind due to image and credibility of their endorsers. These were the cases of perfect match between the brand image and the image or persona of the celebrity endorser.

Celebrity Endorsements Raise Company Profiles
IN 1994, a company called InterHealth Nutraceuticals brought supermodel Kim Alexis on board to endorse its new diet ingredient CitriMax. The launch was a huge success and the product can still be found in many formulas in the dietary supplement industry. Using a famous celebrity, whether a model, sports figure, actor or political activist, can raise the profile of a company in several ways. It can help with consumer awareness of a brand, endorse the effects of a particular product or ingredient, or drive sales of a long-standing product that needs a boost. More companies in the natural products industry are hitching their brands to stars, and seeing increased consumer awareness. However, the majority of these endorsements are for brand awareness, vs. specific product sales. What does it take to line up working with a celebrity, and how does it benefit retail sales?
Working With a Star

Once a company makes the decision to seek out a celebrity to endorse its brand or a specific product, it's time to figure out who fills the need. "Selecting a celebrity spokesperson is a subjective and sometimes lengthy process," said Sheldon Baker, principal with Baker-Dillon Public Relations. Everyone has their own opinions--perhaps the president wants a celebrity with blonde hair because it reminds him of his daughter, or an executive wants a figure skater for the endorsement because he enjoys ice skating. However, of paramount importance is whether the celebrity speaks to the demographic market the company is trying to reach.

Eric Anderson, director of marketing for Missoula, Mont.-based Technical Sourcing International (TSI), said his company specifically chose to work with Linda Evans because she filled several of its needs. "I support using a celebrity if that person speaks to your target market, believes in the product and has an established reputation with consumers," he said. In Evans' case, she had been speaking for the past few years to audiences about women's health issues. TSI originally hired Evans to speak at a seminar at last year's NNFA trade show; the positive response by consumers and manufacturers prompted the company to move forward on an endorsement deal for its Ostivone product. In other cases, a middle man or the celebrity himself approaches a company about an endorsement. Nature's Way started working with mountaineer Ed Viesturs in 1998 after a third party learned that Viesturs was interested in working with a dietary supplement company. According to Craig Sanders, senior vice president of marketing for Springville, Utah-based Nature's Way, the endorsement has been more a validation of what the company says elsewhere rather than a commercial venture. "It's a fit because in his line of work, everything he does is very meticulous and the choices he makes are calculated to attain the best result," Sanders said. "It's an implicit endorsement that he chooses reliable equipment and that's enough for us." Similarly, EAS, the Golden, Colo.-based sports nutrition company, was originally approached by Denver Bronco Bill Romanowski when he was traded to the team in 1997. "Basically, Bill came to us and said he used our products and wanted to work with us," said Jim Nagle, EAS marketing director. Romanowski's teammate Shannon Sharpe later ran into EAS president Bill Phillips at a Denver mall and started talking about the products and working together. More players signed on as they saw results with the products, and in 1998, EAS became the official sports supplement provider to the team.
Cost/Benefit Analysis

Regardless of how the relationship begins, there is always an element of give and take. Depending on the profile of the endorser, the amount of publicity desired and how the relationship started, cost to a company varies widely. To line up most major celebrities, companies work with talent agents to scout availability. According to public relations companies that have helped put together deals, the cost usually runs $300,000 to $400,000 for a one-year contract. The cost varies depending on what a company wants. If it's just public relations, it might be lower, while including the celebrity in advertising would be higher. There are aggregate costs as well. "The sponsor company also picks up all travel expenses, including first class air travel, top-of-the-line hotels, and more," Baker said. New photography, advertising placement costs, developing a media tour, etc., are all additional costs on top of the baseline. And naturally, products are included in hopes that the celebrity will use them. Nature's Way said it does provide Viesturs with a retainer, but it is more to support his climbing than to do marketing or advertising. The company also provides Viesturs and his family with whatever Nature's Way products they desire. Similarly, Green Foods in Oxnard, Calif., has been working with marathon runner Jerry Dunn; the company supplies Dunn with products and also compensates him for time or major exposure events.

According to Dennis Harris, vice president of public relations and advertising with Green Foods, the money question is a difficult one. "Does the fact that you offer substantial financial rewards to someone, even if they use the product, in some way taint the relationship?" he asked. Instead, working with celebrities who use the product and believe in it, even if they weren't signed on to endorse it, can prove more of a benefit. In the case of EAS and the Broncos, Nagle said the company provides the team with all the sports supplements they need, plus any company clothing that players are interested in (you may have seen a Bronco in EAS gear during playoff season). EAS did an ad recently with Terrell Davis and the product MyoPlex, which Nagle said is the first time the company has really marketed the association through advertising.
Retailer Reaction

What can a retailer do to bring this consumer recognition into the store and turn it into sales? Some companies make available to retailers a variety of POP materials, such as shelf talkers and brochures, that include the celebrity's photo, information about the product and an endorsement. "These types of materials carry the message that this person believes in the product and you [the consumer] can be comfortable believing in the product," Anderson said. "With so many products available in the dietary supplement industry, a celebrity can help act as a carrier for a product's message to consumers."
Linda Evans

Whatever happened to Krystal Carrington? Her portrayer, Linda Evans, is still active, particularly in the area of women's health and fitness. She has been speaking around the country for a few years, including a trip to the NNFA show in San Antonio in 1998 to speak at a seminar sponsored by Technical Sourcing International (TSI), producer of the branded ingredient Ostivone. Evans said after the seminar that she started taking the product and loved the results. So when she was contacted at the end of 1998 about coming on board as a spokesperson, she didn't hesitate. "I had tried it and loved what it did for me," she said. Evans has been taking Ostivone for better than six months now and no longer has to take the prescription she was taking for potassium deficiency. "I was looking for this product," she said. "It fills a need I knew I had and one I didn't know I had." The product inhibits bone loss and also creates more bone density. A celebrity as well known as Evans is certainly a catch for any company, and she said she is very selective about the endorsements she chooses to do. "I would never sell myself out for money," she said. "And because of Dynasty, I don't have to. I have not endorsed a lot of things, because I really have to love a product to do an endorsement. I have to be honest and love myself, and if I lie to others, I can't love myself."
Jerry Dunn

Jerry Dunn has been known as the Marathon Man since he established a world record in 1993 for running 104 marathons in one year. That was also the year he began his long association with Green Foods Corp. and using its product Green Magma. He said when he began using the product, he was able to stop taking 3,200 mg of Ibuprofen daily to keep down the inflammation from running and was soon the only supplement he was taking. "I've used Green Magma daily since February of 1993 and believe in the product," he said. In fact, Dunn has not been consistently working with the company in an endorsement capacity for the full six years, but has recently come back to doing endorsement work with Green Foods. He was set to appear at the Natural Products Expo in March, and has been wearing Green Magma apparel while being interviewed on various television appearances. In the past, Dunn did an infomercial for the product and was interviewed on the Today show, which mentioned his taking Green Magma. However, Dunn emphasized that his endorsement is secondary to his personal belief in the product. "The products I endorse I actually use," he said. "I get press and the temptation could be to endorse anything, but I don't." Currently, in addition to his work with Green Foods, he also has endorsement deals with Power Bar and Breathe Right nasal strips.
Ed Viesturs

Everest was a stunningly beautiful IMAX film. It also featured a man on a quest--Ed Viesturs. He's aiming to climb the 14 highest peaks in the world without supplemental oxygen; so far he's topped 10 and is heading off to Nepal this spring to attempt two more. To help in his quest, Viesturs takes dietary supplements. In particular, he's been working with Nature's Way since 1998. "I only endorse things that I use and believe in," he said. "If I can't use it and don't believe in it, then it's really not worth it for me." Viesturs uses Nature's Way's Daily Multivitamin, Ginkgo, Echinacea and Antioxidants. He said his wife also takes supplements, particularly to keep healthy while chasing after their new daughter. Nature's Way also offers sponsorship money to support his climbs. "I can't buy a plane ticket with a box of vitamins," he laughed. In return, Viesturs has done speaking engagements at trade shows and conferences, focusing primarily on his adventures more than the company or products. His explanation for choosing to use dietary supplements is a familiar one: preventive care. "It's not like you take a supplement and see the result the next day. It's a long-term health benefit. For me, when I'm on an expedition and abusing my body and climbing hard, supplements help me perform better and stay healthier."

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