Celebrity Endorsed Advertising

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In today's world of fiercely competitive and highly fragmented market, every company tries to maximise the share of its target market segment to optimise 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 the important components of the communication mix through which companies convey their offerings to present and potential customers and general public as well. This essay will discuss the various aspects of celebrity endorsement as a prevailing advertising technique along with critical evaluation of the phenomenon of multiple celebrity endorsement as a marketing tool and the and will conclude with taking on overview of possible impacts of this technique on today's marketing world. 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? According to Charbonneau and Garland (2005) "celebrity endorsers break through media clutter and hold viewers attention".This approach becomes quite significant regarding the positioning of a product aiming the target market keeping in mind that now a days people are bombarded by hundreds of advertisements on every form of media that they come across. Viewers ignore most of advertisements because it is not possible to pay attention on any body and every body in the crowd unless there is someone different from others. Charbonneau and Garland (2005) further cite Kamins (1989) and Ohanian (1990) to state that "celebrities contribute to brand name recognition,create positive associations transferring qualities such as physical appeal and likability, and assist in the development of distinct and credible brand personalities". Thus the main goal of using a celebrity to endorse a product seems to increase the sales by capturing the target market's attention and increasing brand loyalty by transferring the positive attributes of the celebrity to the product. An example of successful celebrity endorsement is the campaign by J. Sainsbury using celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.The company reported an increase of 2.8 percent in its sales in the succeeding quarter of the year after it started using Jamie for its campaign (Woodward 2006). Similarly, there are examples of companies like Marks and Spencer using multiple celebrities like Zoe Ball, Julian Clary and Steve Redgrave in 2001 Christmas and reporting a sales increase of 8.3 percent (Woodward 2006).

Cronley et al (1999) in their research on correspondence bias of consumers behaviour try to explain that the sale of a product endorsed by a celebrity does not entirely depend on the true behaviour or consumer. According to them even if the consumers know that the celebrity has been paid highly for endorsing a product, they purchase it. According to them ' findings suggest that people can do make some correspondence inferences when evaluating advertising claims'.With regard to celebrity advertisement they suggest that ' consumers may makecorrespondent inferences about the celebrity's attitudes and preferences'. This finding leads to conclusion that the consumers, even if knowing that the celebrity has been paid heavily, sometimes buy the products because they attribute the appearance of celebrity in the advertisement to that of his personal preference of the product. They further state that this phenomenon of correspondence bias is more effective when it seems to the consumers that the celebrity is endorsing a product for free. In the light of this finding we can attribute a part of the incremental sales increase of a product to the correspondence bias behaviour of the consumers. But as the technology advances and media becomes more probing into the lives of the celebrities, the effect of correspondence bias may not be quite influencing in pursuing the consumers to buy a product...
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