Why do we want it more because George Clooney drinks it or because Giselle Bundchen wears it? Celebrity endorsements have always been a powerful tool in the marketing world. It’s a clever strategy that has an affective impact on consumers buying behavior.
This type of branding or marketing has increasingly become more popular, especially as more and more reality shows are being created thus creating a new breed of celebrities for us to get attached to. Celebrity endorsements aren’t just mainly revolving around Hollywood and America. In fact the US has the lowest amount of celebrities in television advertising at 20-25%, whereas Japan has a huge 85% of celebrity involvement in television ads. The endorsements have always been based upon the main aspects of attractiveness, likeability, reputation and trustworthiness. All of these factors greatly influence a consumer and their decision when purchasing a product.
Most recently we have seen the significant impact of a celebrity influence in the US Presidential campaign. With movie greats such as Clint Eastwood to musicians like Lady Gaga backing Barak Obama and identifying the importance to your vote. After recognizing the amount of influence and power celebrity endorsing had on a nation and that was heavily involved within this election, it has taken celebrity endorsement to a whole new level.
Not all positive outcomes do come from a celebrity endorsement. Hiring a celebrity and to be the ambassador of your brand can be difficult. The commitment from the celebrity to maintain a clean reputation and be well liked within the social world may be difficult to manage. Especially if the celebrity somehow slips up and creates a negative light on their own self, it will ultimately cause a negative association with their products. Take Tiger Woods for example, when all of his infidelities and private life became exposed, all the brands and companies that were in a sponsorship agreement immediately retracted their affiliation to him.
Many corporations that use a celebrity to endorse their product are hoping that a transfer affect will occur. This “transfer theory” is thought to shift the celebrity’s perceived qualities to the actual product and therefore if you use this you will gain these qualities.
When companies are looking to hire a celebrity it is important to acknowledge the “fit” to the product and brand. The celebrity chosen needs to connect and be known to the target market, so the product can develop a high awareness and become a competitive strategy within the market. The transferring of entities to companies’ products is a tactful task, if the “fit” is not suitable it will not expand the anticipated brand and it may damage the reputation of the branded product and furthermore create a wrongful association.