Celebrity Endorsements of High Involvement Brands Evoke Cognitive Evaluations That Can Erode Brand Equity and Affect Celebrity Credibility

Topics: Brand, Amitabh Bachchan, Uttar Pradesh Pages: 10 (3342 words) Published: December 9, 2007
"Celebrity endorsements of high involvement brands evoke cognitive evaluations that can erode brand equity and affect celebrity credibility"


Celebrity endorsement is one of the most commonly used channels of brand communication which a celebrity acts as the brand's spokesperson and endorses the brand's claim and position by extending his/her personality, popularity, stature in the society or expertise in the field related to the brand that he/she is associated with. Celebrity endorsements have long been seen as one of the most preferred tools to build a firm's brand equity by advertisers. This strategy has largely been successful. In fact every possible brand that enjoys high equity amongst its target populace has used celebrities at least once to endorse their products or services. However, when it comes to studying the effects of celebrity endorsement, very little work has been done to understand whether celebrity endorsements can lead to brand erosion, especially in high involvement products/services. This work primarily focuses on this issue. The overall picture that emerges reveals a positive relationship between celebrity endorsements and brand equity built through positive brand associations of the brand and the celebrity. This study furthers research in this domain by focusing primarily on the celebrity endorsement – brand equity relationship as applicable to high involvement product brands. The study explores the dynamics of brand equity within the purview of consumer attitudes as dictated by cognitive / rational evaluations of products. This research paper is limited to the study of a very well known Indian celebrity, Amitabh Bachchan, who enjoys high Q scores (a measure of popularity) and his association with a high involvement brand and consumer reactions to this association in terms of its effects on the value of the brand. The paper also explores ‘reverse effects' in terms of the association and its effects on the Q score of the celebrity. The study Suggests the possibility of both brand equity erosion through celebrity associations together with the decline of Q scores of the celebrity. This research thereby seeks to explore the possibility that brand endorsements can lead to brand erosion. It can also lead to the erosion of credibility that a celebrity enjoys within a public domain thus adversely affecting chances of endorsements in the future.


In today's competitive environment, it's not just enough to have a product of good quality, it is important that the product is better than your competitor's product and above everything else comes a relation; a relation between the company and its customers. Building such a relationship is a challenge faced by most modern day marketers.

Over the years, marketers have explored various avenues to build a lasting relationship with its customers. One of the most successful ideas to come across has been to "build a brand". A brand, as Philip Kotler and Gary Armstrong, leading authorities on marketing, define is, "A name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of these intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from the competitors".

A former board member of Coco Cola once famously talked about the value of a brand. He said if every asset they owned, every building, and every piece of equipment were destroyed in a terrible natural disaster, they would be able to borrow all the money to replace it very quickly because the value of their brand. He rightly said, than the totality of all the assets they owned, more valuable than anything else is the brand.

Building a brand is an exercise that needs to be meticulously planned and executed with precision. Marketers have over the years used various modes to execute this and one of the most favored media has been advertising. Advertising has enabled marketers to create a brand identity and in many cases they...
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