Product Endorsements And Celebrity Influence

Posted on June 17, 2011 in Media and Culture

By Pavithra S:

We are quite familiar with the humungous number of brands that are using celebrities to attract the masses and up their sales. It is their idea of propagation. There is a gradual increase in the celebrity endorsements over the past few years and it is now debatable whether it’s the brand name or celebrity fame that is the reason for success of any product. It has now become a common knowledge that any product with a popular personality supporting it is sure to be a hit with the people. But with so many celebrities making their way into the field, and few going for multiple endorsements, people are dubious about product selection. Few even worry that the products will soon lose their natural values and all that would matter will be the celebrity vouching for it.

Nike is one of the most iconic brands and a highly favored one. It is also known for its continuous association with top celebrities to take their brand to every person. It has been a leading brand for shoes, t-shirts and many sports accessories. Until lately, it was a stranger to the world of golf. Being a very elite game in itself, many speculated that Nike would not last long with its introduction of golf-related apparels, accessories and equipments. But to everyone’s amazement, the use of Tiger Woods to endorse this range of products not only popularized the brand but it became a leading retailer in this as well. This is a tactic now closely followed by many companies.

In short, celebrity endorsement is a kind of propagation tool in which a popular icon is used as a spokesperson and testifies the product’s claims and creates a positive impression in the minds of people by virtue of his fame. The use of any celebrity hikes the sales of a product. A commercial needs to be framed with extra care to attract as well as impress the public, but when a celebrity is used to promote a product a product, his mere presence does the trick.

One of the main reasons for the use of celebrities is the trust and faith the people have in them. They believe the star’s recommendations to be the best and ideal. Another reason perhaps maybe that people always look up to those they consider superior to them. Using those products which their role models claim to use gives them a sense of belonging as well as boosts their morale.

But there are bound to be few shortcomings to this type of promotional activity. It is quite arguable if the popularity of a celebrity overshadows a brand, and also the association of celebrities with a particular product must be reasonable and logical. Not all products endorsed by celebrities have clicked. Also, when a brand associates itself with a particular person, their activities affect the product sales as much as the product quality influences the celeb’s fame. The association of a celebrity to any product must be reasonable and must be framed such that the significance of the product is not lost due to the overpowering presence of the celeb. The industry has witnessed cases in which products endorsements have merely been the source of additional income for the celebs in spite of the obvious failure of the product.

From a consumer’s point of view, when my favorite actor/sportsperson vouches for a product, I try to switch to that product, but when the same person promotes more than two items I become incertitude towards his claims. In yet another case, when my favorite celeb has been replaced by another celeb, I tend to stop using that product, since, according to me, it is not something my favorite personality uses anymore. So the opinion of the public wavers with each ad and with each commercial.

Though celebrity endorsements have helped marketers sell their products, they have their own limitations. It is wise for customers to consider both the brand name as well as the celebrity promoting it as this has now become a fully commercialized field. There is no questioning the advantages of using celebs but the credibility of the issue remains doubtful.

What are your views? Do share them in the section below.

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