Impact of Celebrity Endorsements on Brand Image Introduction Celebrities are people who enjoy public recognition by a large share of a certain group of people. Whereas attributes like attractiveness, extraordinary lifestyle or special skills are just examples and specific common characteristics that are observed and celebrities generally differ from the social norm and enjoy a high degree of public awareness. The term Celebrity refers to an individual who is known to the public actors e. g. (Nana Ama Mac Brown sports figure e. . Michael Essien, entertainer e. g. Sarkodie e. g. ) for his or her achievements in areas other than that of the product class endorsed (Friedman and Friedman,1979). or having wider influence in public life and societal domain. Attributes like charisma, extraordinary life style or special skills, larger than life image and demigod status can be associated with them. It is safe to infer that within a corresponding social group celebrities generally differ from the social norm and enjoy high degree of public awareness.
While Endorsement, is a channel of brand communication in which a celebrity acts as the brand’s spokesperson and certifies the brand’s claim and position by extending his/her personality, popularity, stature in the society or expertise in the field to the brand. In a market with a very high proliferation of local, regional and international brands, celebrity endorsement was thought to provide a distinct differentiation (Martin Roll, 2006).
McCracken (1989) defined a celebrity endorser as, “any individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf of a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement (marketing communications), is useful, because when celebrities are depicted in, marketing communications they bring their own culturally related meanings, irrespective of the required promotional role.
McCracken’s (1989) view also suggests that a symbolic “match” should exist between the celebrity image and the brand image in order for the celebrity endorsement to be effective. ” Consumers with strong self-enhancement goals tend to form self-brand connections to brands used by aspiration groups, that is, groups for which the consumer wishes to become a member (Escalas and Bettman 2003). On the other hand, self-enhancers will be more likely to reject brand associations created by a celebrity endorsement where the celebrity associations are rejected (i. . , a non-aspirational celebrity), compared to consumers who do not have active selfenhancement goals. Ohanian (1991) supports this definition but further stresses that for endorsement to be truly effective, celebrities chosen as endorsers should be Knowledgeable, experienced and qualified in order to be perceived as an expert in the category. Two models were originally identified to explain the process of celebrity endorsement.
As an endorser, one has to fulfill all the FRED objectives (Rajesh Lalwani, 2006), namely, Familiarity (target market is aware of him, finds him friendly, likeable and trustworthy); Relevance (which says that there should be a link between the endorser and the product as well between the endorser and the audience); Esteem (credibility to the mass); Differentiation (in all his projections, he is seen to be one among the masses, and yet he towers above them. He is different).
The use of celebrity endorsement advertising has become an ever-present feature in modern advertising. These days, it’s nearly impracticable to surf the Internet, open a newspaper or magazine, or watch television without seeing a celebrity selling something, whether it’s cars, phones, medications, cosmetics, jewellery, clothing or even mutual funds and sports apparel. However, the use of celebrity in advertising is not a new phenomenon in Ghana in relation to advertisement; it has been around for several years.
Certain persons in the past recognized celebrity endorsement and understood the importance of linking celebrities to brands, even before this was recognized as an important marketing communications tool e. g. To promote his fashion clothing house La Maison Worth, he sought a high society lady and an influencer of the court fashions, Princess Von Metternich, wife of the then Austria’s ambassador to France and close friend of Napoleon’s wife Empress Eugenie.
This celebrity’s patronage and connection with La Maison Worth, contributed immensely to the success and status of this couture house, as the most influential in the world at its time. Since then, there has been an intricate relationship to people’s identity in such a way in that celebrities are often viewed as a useful endorsement in transferring and communicating the meanings and symbols of a brand image to the general public. Nowadays Companies invest large sums of money to align their brands and themselves with endorsers.
Such endorsers are seen as dynamic with both attractive and likeable qualities (Atkin and Block, 1983), and company’s plan that these qualities are transferred to products via marcom activities (Langmeyer & Walker, 1991a, McCracken, 1989). Furthermore, because of their fame, celebrities serve not only to create and maintain attention but also to achieve high recall rates for marcom messages in today’s highly cluttered environments (Croft et al, 1996, Friedman and Friedman, 1979). Some brands can reject celebrity endorsement outright and emerge in a better off position than their rivals.
The celebrity’s role is the most explicit and profound in incarnating user associations among the above mentioned points. To understand this, it can be analyze by the multiplier effect formula for a successful brand: S=P * D * AV Where S is a Successful Brand P is an Effective Product D is Distinctive Identity AV is Added Values Celebrity endorsements cannot replace the comprehensive brand building processes. As Branding evolves as a discipline companies must be extra cautious to utilize every possible channel of communication rather than just a celebrity endorsement.
This therefore could be said that when all other steps in the branding process is followed and implemented, then channels such as celebrity endorsements can provide the cutting edge as it did for Nike and Accenture endorsement romance with Tiger woods until the resent scandal when Accenture redrew its endorsement. What Nike and Accenture did was to use celebrity endorsement as one of the main channels of communicating their brands to a highly focused set of customers. So, Accenture and Nike’s association with Tiger Woods was one of the parts of an ntire branding process that they have been practicing consistently. There are several thousands of examples of celebrity endorsements, majority of these were mostly very expensive e. g. Italian luxury brand Versace has used music icon Madonna and Hollywood stars Demi Moore and Halle Berry in its print adverts between 2005 and 2006. Also West Africa’s communication giant Glo telecommunication uses most musical sensations such as Samini, Sarkodie, and Asem and other movie stars such as Nadia Buari etc. as the celebrities to endorse their services.
Businesses organizations have long sought to distract and attract the attention of potential customers that live in a world of ever-increasing commercial bombardment. Everyday consumers are exposed to thousands of voices and images in magazines, newspapers, and on billboards, websites, radio and television. It has been estimated that about 20% of U. S. ads feature celebrities (Solomon 2009), and the percent of advertisement using celebrities in other countries, such as Japan, is thought to be even higher. Specific Objectives of the research
Objective of this study is to reveal and re-establish the positive impact of celebrity endorsement on brand image and find out the most prominent factors this play in the key role in the success of an endorsement. To explore the link between brands and the consumer psyche and to identify how a model which can help any brand to identify the critical key areas to concentrate on while going for any celebrity endorsement. Furthermore, the objective of the research is to understand the impact of these celebrity endorsed advertisements, on the evaluation of product after purchase