Strategic Positioning and effective communication are the two most important “mantras” guiding brand success in today’s competitive marketing environment. Corporate are ensuring all possible efforts to promote their brands and to grab the customer’s mind share. The impetus is on attracting the customer’s attention and developing positive associations not just to influence recall but also to induce trial and eventually effect purchase decisions. In a market where advertising plays a vital role in coordinating consumer purchases, it becomes pertinent for companies to induct all possible measures to influence motivate and inculcate desire to purchase, in the customer through an effective advertising campaign. Theory and practice proves that the use of superstars in advertising generates lot of publicity and attention. Globally, ‘celebrity endorsement’ is a very powerful marketing tool, employed by firms to build their brand equity. In India advertisers pour crores of rupees every year into celebrity advertising, the Lux soap is known to have been endorsed way back in 1941 by the then famous film actress Leela chitnis. The introduction of celebrity endorsement in Indian TV advertising is marked by the commercials of 80’s featuring Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Tabassum endorsing various consumer products. Think of Sachin Tendulkar he means PEPSI in soft drinks, Boost in malted beverages, Fiat Palio in cars, TVS victor in two wheelers, Colgate Total in toothpaste, Britannia in Biscuits, Visa in credit cards, Airtel in mobile services and many more brands. So, the potential of this concept has been well acknowledged, and tried and tested on the Indian soil for over 70 years now.
share of Celebrity Endorsements on TV by Profession|
The compelling reasons for companies to yield a strategic position to celebrity endorsement in their marketing schemes vary. Very frequently celebrities are roped in during new brand introductions.
The basic idea remains to cash on the popularity, credibility and mass appeal of the celebrities which is expected to help raise awareness of the brand, generate positive associations for it, and build purchase intention among its prospective customers. Sometimes, it’s merely a reactionary step meant to nullify the impact of celebrity endorsement exercised by a competitor. The last decade also witnessed a novel application of celebrity endorsements for crisis management, manifested brilliantly in the Cadbury case to weather the ‘worm’ storm.
Who is a celebrity?
Celebrities are people who enjoy public recognition by a large share of a certain group of people whereas attributes like attractiveness, extraordinary lifestyle are just examples and specific common characteristics cannot be observed though it can be said that within a corresponding social group celebrities generally differ from the social norm and enjoy a high degree of public awareness (Schlecht, 2003). (Anonymous,Business Standard, Dec,2003)This is true for classic forms of celebrities like actors (ex Sharukh khan, Amitabh Bachhan), models (John Abraham, Malaika Arora, Diya Mirza) Sports athletes (ex. Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza) entertainers (Barkha Dutt, Shekhar Suman) And Pop Stars (Mika, Dailer Mehndi) but also for less obvious groups like businessmen (ex Dirubhai Ambani) or politicians (Laloo Prasad Yadav) Besides these there are fictional celebrities like Ronald McDonald, Fido dido, gattu, Amul Girl, Pillsbury doughboy and the like. Celebrities appear in public in different ways. First, they appear in public when fulfilling their profession ex Sachin Tendulkar is loved by millions for his wonderful performance in the cricket fields. Further more, celebrities appear in public by attending special celebrity events ex. filmfare star awards, Videocon screen awards etc. In addition they are present in News, Fashion magazines and tabloids, which provide second source of information on events and...