Impact of Celebrity Endorsements on Overall Brand

 | June 17,2010 01:25 pm IST


The modern world of marketing communication has become colorful and inundated with advertisements, and it is hard to get noticed. It is an uphill task for the designer of an advertising campaign to differentiate itself from others and attract viewers' attention.


In this jet age, people tend to ignore all commercials and advertisements while flipping through the magazines and newspapers or viewing TV. But even then, the glamour of a celebrity seldom goes unnoticed. Thus, celebrity endorsement in advertisement and its impact on the overall brand is of great significance. In this process, the companies hire celebrities from a particular field to feature in its advertisement campaigns. The promotional features and images of the product are matched with the celebrity image, which tends to persuade a consumer to fix up his choice from a plethora of brands. Although this sounds pretty simple, but the design of such campaigns and the subsequent success in achieving the desired result calls for an in-depth understanding of the product, the brand objective, choice of a celebrity, associating the celebrity with the brand, and a framework for measuring the effectiveness.


Definition of Celebrities

Celebrities are people who enjoy specific public recognition by a large number of certain groups of people. They have some characteristic attributes like attractiveness, extraordinary lifestyle or special skills that are not commonly observed. Thus, it can be said that within a society, celebrities generally differ from the common people and enjoy a high degree of public awareness. Among the classic forms of celebrities, actors (e.g., Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachhan, etc.), models (e.g., Malaika Arora, Bipasha Basu, etc.), sports-persons (e.g., Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza, etc.) are significant.

According to Friedman and Friedman, a "celebrity endorser is an individual who is known by the public (...) for his or her achievements in areas other than that of the product class endorsed". Compared to other endorser types, famous people always attach a greater degree of attention, recall and loyalty.

According to Melissa St. James, a doctoral fellow and marketing instructor at The George Washington University, "Studies show that using celebrities can increase consumers' awareness of the ad, capture [their] attention and make ads more memorable."


In this age of intense competition, where capturing a position in the consumers' mind space is extremely tough, celebrity endorsements give an extra edge to the companies for holding the viewers' attention. Celebrities can catalyze brand acceptance and provide the enormous momentum that brands require by endorsing the intrinsic value to the brand.


Important Celebrity Attributes

While selecting a celebrity as endorser, the company has to decide the promotional objective of the brand and how far the celebrity image matches with it. The selection is in fact a collaboration, from which both the company and the celebrity gains.


The most important attribute for a celebrity endorser is the trustworthiness. The target audience must trust that a celebrity carries a particular image and it must match with the product.


The second attribute in order of importance is likeability. The celebrity also must be accepted as a popular icon by a large cross section of the audience.


Companies use celebrity endorser because they are considered to have stopping power, i.e., a celebrity can be a very useful tool to draw attention to advertising messages in a cluttered media environment. The overall popular image coupled with exact product-image match enhances the consumer attention resulting in greater brand recall.