Running head: USING/OR NOT USING A CELEBRITY TO PROMOTE THE
Using/or Not Using a Celebrity to Promote the Product
Ben Williams Jr.
It is a well-known fact that many companies spend huge amount of money to get their products endorsed by prominent public figures (celebrities). But why do companies use celebrities for endorsing their products? In today's world of fiercely competitive and highly fragmented market, every company tries to maximize the share of its target market segment to optimize its profit. To achieve this goal, companies try a combination (or mix) of various marketing tools and techniques as their marketing strategy. Advertising is one of ...view middle of the document...
Furthermore there are other researches as well which suggest that the approach of using a celebrity to endorse a product cannot be viewed as a general practice of using any celebrity for any product endorsement. In a study done by Chanthika Pornpitakpan, it was found that “all three credibility dimensions positively relate to purchase intention,” which means that when an endorser looks attractive, the audience feels like they can trust the endorser, or if the endorser claims to be an expert on the product the audience is much more likely to buy the product (Pornpitakapan 2004). The results of a study which suggests that "British advertising agency managers considered various criteria like celebrity- target audience match, celebrity-product match, overall image of the celebrity, cost of hiring the celebrity, celebrity trustworthiness, controversy risk, celebrity familiarity, celebrity prior endorsements, celebrity likeability, risk of celebrity overshadowing the brands, celebrity expertise, celebrity profession and celebrity physical attractiveness". A match between the target market and the endorser is important for effectively transmitting right message to target audience. For example, the advertisements which are produced by Pepsi are mostly targeted for youths and so the celebrity endorsers that they use in their advertisements are young personalities. The match up hypothesis goes true for the multiple celebrities advertising as well.
Take the Subway spokesman, Jared, who claims to have lost an enormous amount of weight from eating nothing but subway sandwiches. When Subway stopped airing Jared’s commercials in 2005, their profits fell dramatically, and subsequently put him back on all Subway commercials. The American society was telling Subway that if they don’t keep someone on their commercials that they can trust, they do not see the value in the food. These types of endorsements are good and bad for everyone. Good for corporation’s profits, but the corporation is not in control of who can endorse the product. Good for the consumer because she feels like she can relate to the celebrity if she buys the product, but is the consumer being tricked?
Grant McCracken, in his article, “Who is the Celebrity Endorser? Cultural Foundations of the Endorsement Process” states that “the received wisdom of the celebrity endorsement is modest and imperfect,” which is true if one considers that Paris Hilton’s dog has her own apparel line, and people buy the dog clothes simply because it is endorsed by Paris Hilton’s dog (McCracken 1989).
The only drawback in this kind of advertising occurs when the celebrity gets involved in negative publicity. Consumers tend to shy away from products that are endorsed by celebrities with negative image. The advertisers as a result pull out these commercials and immediately replace their endorsers by more trustworthy ones. The latest example of this is Tiger Woods. According to US Magazine (Kempin, 2009) two days...