Celebrity Endorsement – Definition, Meaning, Determinants, Advantages and Disadvantages
“A form of brand or advertising campaign that involves a well known person using their fame to help promote a product or service.”
” Endorsements are a form of advertising that uses famous personalities or celebrities who command a high degree of recognition, trust, respect or awareness amongst the people.”
Celebrity branding or celebrity endorsement is a form of advertising campaign or marketing strategy used by brands, companies, or a non-profit organization which involves celebrities or a well-known person using their social status or their fame to help promote a product, service or even raise awareness on environmental or social matters.Marketers use celebrity endorsers in hopes that the positive images of the celebrity endorser of the brand will also be passed on to the products or the brand image associated with the celebrities
Determinants of celebrity endorsement
Credibility is “the extent to which the recipient sees the source as having relevant knowledge, skills, or experience and trusts the source to give unbiased, objective information” . The two most important aspects of credibility are expertise and trust. Celebrities are seen as credible sources of information and the credibility of a celebrity is described as the total amount of positive features that create and increase the acceptation of the message.
Expertise of celebrity endorsement is being defined as “the extent to which an endorser is perceived to be a source of valid assertions”. With regard to expertise, it isn’t important that the celebrity is really an expert in the field. It is important that consumers think and believe a celebrity has expertise. The level of celebrity expertise will determine its effectiveness . The more expertise a celebrity has, the more effective it will be. The expertise of a celebrity will not be changed by negative publicity, but the believability and credibility will be negatively influenced.
Trustworthiness refers to “the honesty, integrity and believability of an endorser” . Companies try to find endorsers who are widely seen as trustful and who are seen as honest, believable and dependable . Trustworthiness is the most important factor with regard to the source credibility and influences credibility Moreover, likeability is mentioned as the most important attribute of trust . Advertisers can create the highest effect by taking these two factors, liking and trustworthiness, into account. Because it is stated when consumers like a celebrity, they will automatically trust a celebrity.
The concept of attractiveness does not only entail the physical attractiveness. Attractiveness also entails concepts such as intellectual skills, personality properties, way of living, athletic performances and skills of endorsers . Celebrities can be attractive because they established for example great sport performances and people have great respect for their achievement and therefore are attracted to them. Physical attractiveness suggests that a celebrity determines the effectiveness of persuasion as a result of that consumers wanting to be like the endorser and wanting to identify themselves with that endorser.
Similarity is described as “a supposed resemblance between the source and the receiver of the message” . In other words: if a consumer can identify him/herself with the endorser. People can be influenced more easily by an endorser who is similar to them. If the celebrity and the consumer have common factors like common interests or lifestyles, a better cohesiveness is created . That is why celebrities are selected upon their characteristics that match well with consumers. Companies also try to create empathy using celebrities . Using empathy, companies try to create a bond between the celebrity and the consumer. Also the level of persuasiveness is increased by using similarity. Companies might choose to pick a regular-looking person who is not a celebrity, because consumers can identify themselves more easily.
Likeability is the “affection for the source as a result of the source’s physical appearance and behaviour” . In addition, states that when people like the celebrity they will also like the accompanying brand and therefore celebrities are used in commercials and advertisements. Celebrity endorsement will influence the consumer behaviour and attitude and advertisers believe that a celebrity can influence the consumer’s vision of the company’s image.
Familiarity is the supposed resemblance as knowledge that a celebrity endorser possesses through exposure . When companies choose a celebrity, it is important to what extent consumers are familiar with the celebrity. The more familiar the consumer is with the celebrity, the more positive the effect will be. It is also well known that consumers, who are more familiar with a celebrity and are more exposed to a celebrity, will automatically like a celebrity more; this is called the mere exposure effect . The effect of familiarity on attitude increases when there are brief exposures of the celebrity and when there are longer delays between the exposures. The effect decreases when there are long exposures of the celebrity and when there are shorter delays between the exposures.
Advantages of Celebrity endorsement
1. Influence Consumer Purchases
The affinity consumers have for certain celebrities can greatly influence their purchases. People may have the attitude, “If the product is good enough for her, it’s good enough for me.” This philosophy is often the impetus behind advertisements for makeup, skin creams, hair products and attire. Consumers want the wavy hair of a local celebrity, for example. Hence, they purchase the brand that the celebrity uses to achieve her hair’s fullness and bounce. Local consumers may also desire the same soft drink as their team’s best baseball player. Essentially, the testimonial of the local celebrity adds instant credibility to a small company’s product.
2. Build Awareness
Celebrities in advertising build brand awareness, according to “Supermarket News,” a publication covering the food distribution industry. And they build it much more quickly than traditional types of advertising. Brand awareness measures the percentage of people who are familiar with a particular brand. Small businesses spend lots of money and time for exposure to incrementally increase brand awareness among consumers. The use of a local celebrity can do much to enhance consumers’ awareness and understanding of what a small business offers.
3. Position a Brand
Some small companies use celebrities in advertising to position their brands. Product positioning is placing a company’s products in the best possible light in the minds of a target group, according to Inc.com. For example, a small investment firm may use a well-respected and retired local disc jockey to market a retirement plan for people ages 50 and over. The fact that the disc jockey falls in the consumers’ age group and has a good reputation in the community makes the company’s product and message more believable.
4. Attract New Users
One challenge small companies face is finding new users for their products. When a well-known face endorses your brand, it automatically attracts new target audience – the die hard fans of the celebrity. People who would have not much cared about your brand will now get open to try it at least once because their favourite sport-star, actor, politician or model is endorsing it. The bigger the celebrity, the larger audience base you get to invite in.
5. Breathe Life Into Failing Brand
The use of a celebrity in an advertisement may also help to breathe life into a failing brand. For example, a small soap manufacturer might think about dropping a brand or product, especially if production and overhead costs are leaving little or no profit. However, the use of a celebrity to tout the benefits of the brand could help create new interest and excitement in consumers.
6. Builds Trust and Credibility for your Brand
People are emotionally and morally connected with their idols. Celebrities are no less than any idols for them. In this highly populated world, every celebrity that you’ll come across will have over a million fans, and thus getting the thumbs up from them should bring a lot of success for your business. Now when these millions of people will join your brand, your brand’s market value and reputation will automatically improve in the shortest period of time.
Cons of Celebrity Marketing
1. Images change
Celebrities make mistakes. And when they do, they can affect the brands they endorse. In 2009, Tiger Woods’ public image crumbled after his infidelity with a number of women, hit the news. General Motors, Gillette, Accenture, dropped Tiger to avoid negative perception. Nike stuck around and lost customers.
2. Celebrities May Eclipse Your Brand
Some celebrities are really huge and their popularity can instantly overshadow the brand. If this happens, spending millions of dollars on such endorsements starts to make no sense at all. Some advertisements even focus on celebrities too much, that there’s absolutely no brand recall. Also, if the media is focusing more on the next movie of the celebrity on your brand’s press meet, then this is a sign that you’ve made a wrong choice.
3. Celebrity Endorsements are Expensive
Now this is a very obvious point. So unless you are ready to shed millions and billions of dollars from your company’s revenue, don’t think about going down this road. Celebrity marketing is a huge investment and then there’ll be no turning back.