The crescendo of celebrities endorsing brands has been steadily increasing over the past 20 years or so. Marketers overtly acknowledge the power of celebrity in influencing buyer's purchase decision. They have firm believe that likeability or a favorable attitude towards a brand is created by the use of a celebrity. The crore of rupees spent per year on celebrity endorsement contracts show that celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Sharukh khan and Sachin Tendulkar play an important role for the advertising industry. It is an established fact that celebrity endorsement can bestow unique features or special attributes upon a product that it may have lacked otherwise.
In India from late 1970's and early 80's the new trend in advertising started. Brands started being endorsed by celebrities. Hindi film and TV stars as well as sportspersons were roped in to endorse prominent brands. Advertisements featuring stars like Late Jalal Agha (Pan Parag), Tabassum (Prestige cookers), Sunil Gavaskar for Dinesh Suiting, Ravi Shastri and Vivian Richards (Vimal), Persis Khambhata and Kapil Dev (Palmolive Shaving cream) became common.
Though marketers should remember that celebrities are mere living beings like us and if they can highlight the benefits or advantages of a brand they can also have some uncanny negative impact. Theory and practice suggests that the use of stars and their unleashing power in advertising generate a lot of publicity and attention from the public but the underline questions are, do these stars really help a brand by increasing its sales? On the other hand, can they really have an Impact on the person's consumption pattern, thereby changing his brand preference? How an advertisement featuring a celebrity can influence consumers buying decision and can create an association between a brand and a common man.
To answer these questions, the article will examine the... [continues]
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