CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT: CREATING COGNITIVE DISSONANCE AMONG CONSUMERS
This paper analyses the various effects of celebrity endorsements on consumer buying behavior through a descriptive study. With a sample size of 100, top of mind awareness of various brand endorsed by a celebrity was explored. It also analyses cognitive dissonance among consumers, various factors which influence consumer buying behavior and whether any downfall in the celebrity’s image also affects or brings down the brand’s image. The participants in the survey were indifferent to the negative controversies regarding their favourite celebrities. The experimental study revealed that product features have more impact on the consumer buying but still most people feel that celebrity endorsements are amusing. It also revealed that celebrity associated with brand for a long time becomes the face of the brand and people link the brand with celebrity and vice versa, even after celebrity changes the brand. It was also established that consumers are more likely to be loyal to the brand as compared to celebrity-brand combination. The study also analyses the importance of various parameters like Price, Quality, Brand Name, Brand Experience and Celebrity while choosing a particular product.
In today's dynamic and highly competitive business environment, customers are becoming more demanding. Their expectations are continuously rising, with marketers continuing their efforts to meet them. In order to influence the consumer’s brand choice behavior, Celebrity endorsements are widely prevalent in advertisements. A celebrity is a well-known personality who enjoys public recognition by a large share of a certain group of people (Schlecht, 2003). Celebrities (e.g. models, actors, television stars, artists and, sport athletes) are known to the public for their accomplishments in areas other than the product class endorsed (Friedman and Friedman, 1979). They usually enjoy high public recognition, and often have powerful influence upon endorsing products. They appear on television as spokespersons on behalf of the advertised brand, or ordinary users of such brand. Celebrity endorsers are being used in about 25 percent of all television advertisements in order to promote brands (Erdogan et al, 2001). Every year crores of rupees of are spent on endorsement contracts with high profile celebrities, since marketers believe that celebrities affect the process of selling of their brands or products. The celebrity endorsement market in India is pegged at Rs 850 crores. Celebrity endorsers are used by firms who want to support a product or service (Amos et al, 2008). Many people aspire to share values and lifestyles of celebrities as models of success. Often, they seek to imitate, emulate, and even impersonate celebrities' behavior to enhance their self-esteem, through identification with certain desirable images. Such behavior includes imitating the way celebrities speak, dress, communicate, and most importantly, the brands they choose. This process says more about what people hope to become than it does about what they already are. This simply reflects the power of celebrity endorsement, which is behind the main reason for employing celebrities to promote almost all kinds of products (Fraser and Brown, 2002).Using of celebrities in advertisements could have many benefits and advantages including: 1) facilitating brand identification 2) changing the negative attitude towards a brand 3) repositioning an existing brand 4) global marketing or positioning of a brand or product 5) affecting purchase intentions of consumers (Kaikati 1987). Celebrity endorsers enhance awareness of a company's advertising, create positive feelings towards brands and are perceived by consumers as more amusing (Solomon, 2002). In the survey, one of the observations was that consumer feels that so many celebrities endorsing various brands is entertaining and feels good to their eye....
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