October 26, 2012
Considering George Foreman has no expertise on grills or fat-free cooking, one has to wonder why consumers were so influenced to buy the George Foreman Grill, in which he endorsed. Is consumer behavior really affected by celebrity endorsements? When asked in surveys, consumers claim that celebrity endorsements do not influence their buying decisions. Marketing strategist, Mark Babej, argues that responses to these surveys are unreliable “because advertisements appeal to the subconscious as well as the conscious mind” (Hubbard & O’Brien, 2012). There is some truth to this, for instance, I personally do not like George Foreman, and never gave purchasing this grill a second thought. On the other hand, I do like Jennifer Lopez, and would be willing to try anything that she endorses, such as hair color, makeup, and clothing, no matter the price. I am completely turned off by Charlie Sheen, and would not purchase anything that he was to endorse. Therefore, celebrity endorsements do influence my buying decisions. It comes down to utility, which is the satisfaction, or happiness the consumer gets when using or consuming a good or service in which they purchased. When a celebrity endorses a product that is successful, it raises the consumer’s utility which also raises the demand and shifts the demand curve to the right. These celebrity endorsements can sometimes fail or “backfire” if the celebrity falls into a scandal (Hubbard & O’Brien, 2012). This would lower demand, shifting the demand curve to the left. For the grill in particular, substitution does not really play a role, as there really are not any other indoor grills like this one (to my knowledge that is). Usually there are substitutes, and budget and income definitely come into play. I don’t care who is endorsing a product, if my income does not allow the purchase, then it does not get bought. At times these choices...
References: Hubbard, R. G., & O’Brien, A. P. (2012), Microeconomics, Fourth Edition. New Jersey: Prentice
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