Arada Jirakarnjanakorn (Noon) Class: King Word count: 1557

Critically Evaluate the Effect of Celebrity Endorsement on Brand Affinity Celebrity endorsement appears to be an effective marketing communication tool for today‟s marketers. Generally, the tool is not a new phenomenon as it has appeared in advertising message execution since the late nineteenth century in the utilization of Queen Victoria in Cadbury‟s Cocoa (Shennan, 1985 cited in Erdogan, 1999, p.292), yet it still seems to be a powerful tool in this intense commercial era. Celebrity endorsement is the use of celebrity as a spokesperson which could incur large investment for the firm in exchange of transferring endorsers‟ qualities- credibility and attractiveness- to the brand that would result in generating desirable outcomes. The consequences refer to the influence on consumers brand choices, thus creating consumers‟ attentions, and purchase intentions to the brand (Erdogan, 1999, p.291). Although celebrity endorsement has been controversial as a double-edged sword because of the inconsistent images of celebrities, it could incrementally provoke consumers‟ affections for the brand with celebrities‟ qualities. To begin with, this essay discusses the positive effects of celebrity endorsement on brand affinity in terms of reassuring consumers of the product qualities and differentiating a brand from its competitors, using Nike-Golf and Canon case studies. Then, the essay discusses hazardous effects towards brand affinity when using celebrity endorsement with reference to the Tiger Woods‟ infidelity and David Beckham multiple images case studies. These effects include celebrities‟ images changing and loss of public recognition, and public controversy. Finally, there is a discussion and an emphasis on the celebrity endorsement‟s rewards that lead to the higher level of brand affinity. In this essay, the term celebrity is defined as „people who enjoy public recognition and who often have distinctive attributes such as attractiveness and trustworthiness‟ (McCracken, 1989; Silvera and Austad, 2004 cited in Kumar, 2010, p.5). As Schlecht (2003, p.3) states „…Celebrities generally differ from the social norm and enjoy a high degree of public awareness‟. There could be eight classical forms of celebrity which include actors (e.g. Pierce Brosnan, Angelina Jolie Pritt), models (e.g. Naomi Campbell, Gisele Buendchen), sports athletes (e.g. Tiger Woods, Maria

Source: www.g. Commonly. The meaning movement from celebrities‟ qualities towards the endorsed products could be illustrated in figure1. Steve Jobs). Bill Gates. DeGabrielle (2011) suggests that „…[Consumers] perceive the brand as representing their values – or believe being associated with these brands makes them more “cool”…‟.g. the brands have the distinct images and personalities that attract the consumers. sophistication and style – timeless values with global appeal.Arada Jirakarnjanakorn (Noon) Class: King Word count: 1557 Sharapova. 2011). singers (e. Barak Obama). Black Eyed Peas). 2003.g. The intense favorable emotional connection between consumers and the brands is taken to mean „brand affinity‟ in this essay. politicians (e.clothingbrands24. Jenifer Lopez. Donald Trump. Britney Spears. p. It encourages consumers to view a brand as the representative of a personal aspect of their persona (DeGabrielle. The brand affinity is not usually logical. the utilization of David and Victoria Beckham. Consumers tend to buy Armani because they would like to be part of that shared identity.g. Lady Gaga. but it is powerful. Victoria Beckham) (Schlecht.g. entertainers (e. For Armani. businesspeople (e. It has been believed that celebrity endorsement could be a marketing communication tool that helps strengthen brand affinity to the brands.3-4). Oprah Winfrey). and high-society people ( 2 . To illustrate.who are suggested to have a glamorous lifestyle. David Beckham). Prince William. ACNielsen (2006) states that Armani is a brand that stands for well-understood attributes as high Emporio Armani underwear could be an example of endorsing the brand stylish and sophisticated images affect consumers by celebrities.

equipments. For example. 2000. 2009). Consumers are usually reluctant to believe in quality of product unless they have consumed it. seeing celebrity reputation attached to the brands could mitigate some uncertainty and make it easier for the product to become the consumers‟ brand choice (Elberse.Arada Jirakarnjanakorn (Noon) Class: King Word count: 1557 Figure 1: Meaning Movement and Endorsement Process (Source: McCracken. et al. p. Nike decided to utilize its area of expertise to build the equity in golf arena by collaborating with the athlete stars similar to the successful platform made with Michael Jordan. Furthermore.Tiger Woods who appeared to be the symbol of fast success and endurance-and became an emerging successful brand in golf apparels. the returns seemed to be instantaneous and lucrative. The statistic in COMPUSTAT (cited in Farrell. it was generally considered to be less likely to be successful in entering the golf category because it had limited experience in an elite category. before 1996. 25) The first positive effect of celebrity endorsement on brand affinity is that celebrities could reassure product quality in consumers‟ minds. p.2) explains that after Nike signed a five-year contract worth approximately forty to sixty million dollars with Tiger Woods in 1996. 1997. Nike associated with world rising golf star at that time. although Nike appeared to be well-respected as a successful brand in mainstream sports apparel especially in footwear.. the sales of the entire company in the 3 . However. 2010. The golf apparel and footwear sales of Nike was double the contract fee to approximately one-hundred twenty million dollars on the fiscal year ended on May 31. For this reason. 1989 cited in Kumar. and accessories without actual proved qualities.

letsgodigital.theblemish. Source: 4 . Nike has appeared to be an admirable brand in sports apparel. Consumers seem to be more selective and would prefer the brands with the outstanding images that help express their styles. The clear images of Sharapova lead to the distinct images of Canon to consumers.. celebrity endorsement could convey distinctive attributes that differentiates the brand from its competitors. as Elberse (2009) explains that „Canon's reason for turning to Maria Sharapova was her reputation as someone who plays aggressively but with Source: www.Arada Jirakarnjanakorn (Noon) Class: King Word count: 1557 following quarter rose by fifty-five percent as a result of Tiger Woods‟ endorsement (Farrell. For that reason. Canon appears to have higher number of referrals among consumers and is on the top rank for compact digital camera category. and who has a sense of style . et al. Another reward of celebrity endorsement on brand affinity is the perceived brand differentiation by consumers.2). despite their actual qualities.ranked number one for the industry (Fortune on CNN Money. 2000. Source: www.exactly the kinds of attributes it hoped to emphasize in marketing its line of PowerShot cameras‟. Consumers preempt those attributes and feel proud to use Canon PowerShot cameras as they see the difference of stylish Canon to static Nikon or the unclear image of Panasonic.coloribus. For instance. p. In this twenty-first century. 2011). there are thousands of brands worldwide.

Nike: Kobe Bryant when charged with rape. p. since his movement from Manchester United to Real Madrid. p. As Chung. Prince tennis racket: Jennifer Capriati when charged with marijuana possession. The preventive tactics for marketers are to study celebrities‟ personal and professional life cycles and research on their possibilities to maintain or positively transfer the brand images.177). it is important to address that the negative effects are more likely to 5 . and football player. 2009. David Beckham appears to convey multiple images such as Posh‟s husband.8) who study the negative impact of Tiger Woods‟ infidelity scandal states that „…By looking at the stock prices of the firms that Tiger Woods endorses. p. For example.‟ However. However. [and Nike: Tiger Woods‟ infidelity in November 2009. One study shows evidence that the negative publicity hitting a celebrity who endorses the brand leads to the decline in company‟s stock price (Louie. Knittel and Stango (2009 cited in Chung. Consumers still appear to be attracted to Beckham‟s endorsed brand as Adidas and Armani. 2001 cited in Alsmadi. and Johnson. 2011. and scandals caused by celebrities‟ behaviors could be sources of negative brand images. father of four children. Rumors.Arada Jirakarnjanakorn (Noon) Class: King Word count: 1557 Despite the fact that celebrity endorsement leads to stronger brand affinity. he has gradually declined in his top form as the professional football player. thus they may ruin consumers‟ affections for the brand.73). Take David Beckham as an example. after the event in November 2009. they estimate that.. Another potential damage to brand affinity results from celebrities‟ public controversies. et al. AC Milan. p. his life expectancy as brand endorser could be favorably extended (Vincent. 2006. He could lose public recognition if he merely maintains a sole image because he is not anymore a representative of the successful athlete with high performance. et al. Hertz: OJ Simpson and his first degree murder charge. therefore.. shareholders of Tiger Woods‟ sponsors lost $5-12 billion relative to those firms that Woods did not endorse. Pepsi: Mike Tyson when charged with beating his wife.4) states that „To name a few. fashion icon. (2011. Kulik.]‟. and LA Galaxy. it conveys the potential hazard to consumers‟ affection for brand as the celebrities‟ images could change and lose public recognition. The lapse in professional performances may lead to lose in celebrities‟ popularity. et al.

Arada Jirakarnjanakorn (Noon) Class: King Word count: 1557 affect the brand in the short-term than damaging entire consumers‟ brand choices. Derdenger T. p. However. S. Reference list: ACNielsen (2006) „Giorgio Armani and Gucci – the “world‟s most coveted” fashion brands‟ Breaking News. This is because the credibility and attractiveness embedded in celebrities are easy to access and approachable. Alsmadi. 6 .. celebrities‟ roles as the endorsers in the commercials could create favorable emotional connection between the consumers and the brands. Chung K.. (2011) „Economic Value of Celebrity Endorsement: Tiger Woods‟ Impact on Sales of Nike Golf Balls‟. All in all.. and Srinivasan K. 69-84. as it could examine the true value of celebrity endorsement programs given to the brands and companies‟ investments. (2006) „The Power of Celebrity Endorsement in Brand Choice Behaviour : An Empirical Study of Consumer Attitudes in Jordan‟ Journal of Accounting-Business & Management.‟ There is also an evidence to support that sales of Nike product were negative up to March before becoming positive in April 2010 since his public scandal revealed in November 2009 (Chung. it doesn‟t impact the way they feel about the brand or brands they endorse. 2011. According to the Harris Poll (2010).24). Although there are potential hazard effects due to celebrities‟ images changing and public controversies. 13. celebrity endorsement could strengthen the consumers‟ affections for brands as it helps reassure product quality and well-portrayed distinct brand images to consumers. further cognitive research on the relationship between brand affinity and celebrity endorsement is worth undertaking. In conclusion. they can be prevented and merely lead to the short-term affect on branding. „Three-quarters of Americans (74%) say when a celebrity endorser gets involved in a scandal. et al.

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