According to McCracken's (1989) definition, a celebrity endorser is an individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf of a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement (marketing communication). Celebrity endorsement is expected to influence the feelings of the consumers and also influence the attitude consumers have towards the advertisement and attitude towards the brands, which can increase the purchase intentions and consequently increase sales. A celebrity endorser used in an advertisement can be interpreted as a reference group or an aspiration group. To become 'associated' with this group, consumers are willing to behave like members of the aspiration group. This means that consumers are trying to behave in the same manner, e.g. try to use the same symbolic meanings – of the aspiration group. This means that a celebrity endorser can be interpreted as the 'personality' of the reference group. The reference group 'rich and famous', which often correspond with the way the ‘celebrities’ live, is frequently indicated as an aspiration group of which consumers like to be part of.
With the opening up of the Indian economy in 1991, the country witnessed for the first time aggressive competition between new players and big established businesses. The various industry segments until then were identified by only one or two companies, primarily owing to the protectionist policy of the Government. This new open competition spilled over to the advertising arena, where the Indian advertising industry heard a new demand from its clientele: a requirement for a ‘known face’ to endorse the client’s product and generate new-found sales. Thus was born the celebrity brand endorsement saga that in India today is a multi-million dollar industry. Today, the celebrity endorsement industry is worth Rs.550 crore and is growing at high double digit growth rate ranging between 60- 80%. Experts predict the growth rate to touch even triple digits, soon. Today almost 60% of Indian brands use celebrities in some form or the other; a steep climb from 2001, when only 25% of brands needed such razzle-dazzle. A top-notch celebrity like Sachin Tendulkar could charge over Rs 5 crore for a single endorsement. If you were to collate all the commercials featuring ShahRukh Khan in a year on all channels, and play them on a television set, they would run non-stop for 49 days! The undisputed star endorses 39 brands across 25 categories (eight brands in 2003), and appears for 4.25 million seconds annually on the idiot box. It is a similar story for the others too. Amitabh Bachchan endorses 36 brands across 23 categories. He was seen in commercials for approximately 3.16 million seconds in 2007. Then, there are cricket superstars like Sachin Tendulkar (21 brands), MS Dhoni (24 brands).Other types of endorsers can be equally effective but cost much less.
1.2 TYPES OF ENDORSERS
An endorser is a person, character or organization that speaks or appears in an ad in support of the advertiser or its claim. The terms endorser includes the terms spokesperson or model. Endorsers can be grouped into three broad classes: 1. Experts.
3. Lay endorsers.
In January 1956, Procter and Gamble launched Crest toothpaste with the theme of cavity prevention. Despite heavy advertising over four and a half years, Crest achieved only a 12 per cent market share versus Colgate's 35 percent. Colgate had been the leading brand of toothpaste in the US market for many decades. Then in August 1960, crest won an endorsement by the American Dental Association as the only toothpaste that prevented dental cavities and one of only three means of fighting dental cavities. A massive advertising campaign announcing that endorsement catapulted crest into the leadership of the toothpaste market, a position it still retains....
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