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Does celebrity endorsement actually work?

According to a recent survey by Experian Marketing Services, 43% of viewers are less likely to buy products that celebrities use.

A brand doesn’t require a celebrity to boost or increase consumer awareness. Rather, brands should be putting that money to engage a celebrity back into the company in order to improve brand quality.

Jack Trout, a marketing guru and owner of Trout & Partners, said that he’s no fan of celebrity advertising, “although it is an attention getting device.”

“When they are hot, they are great. But when celebrities go bad, like Lance Amstrong, you have a real problem. There is a dark side of celebrity advertising.”

In a research by MEC Global’s celebrity endorsement Sensor, celebrity endorsement sways younger consumers more than mature consumers. A whopping thirty per cent of respondents between the ages 18 to 34 were willing to try a product promoted by an idol they admired.

For example, Pepsi’s endorsements with Beyonce an Amitabh Bachchan that went totally wrong. Beyonce was called out for hypocrisy as she was part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move fitness campaign before signing the USD$50 million promotional deal. Bachchan starred in Pepsi’s campaigns for over eight years until a young school girl said the cola was poison.

“If you have to endorse a product, then you have to conduct your life in such a manner that it does not affect others’ lives,” said the actor upon ending his contract.

Celebrity tie-ups can be good, if the celebrity remains good.

Brands in the local market are lessening its investment on celebrity endorsements, rather opting for digital marketing campaigns. According to a local agency, “Celebrity endorsements have dropped but there are still some brands that have sustained good relationships with celebrities and maintained their contract with them.”

The endorsement contract usually continues because it has helped the brand generate in more revenues since.

 
Parminderjit Kaur
Journalist
Advertising+Marketing Magazine Malaysia

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