WARS: The Battle of the Brands
we switch on our television channels we see the stars/celebrities
not in movies or serials but in advertisement of particular
brands to promote them. As it has been observed that the presence
of a celebrity helps in selling there products and firms invest
huge amounts for hiring the right celebrity. Firms invest
lots of money in associating their brands with qualities such
as attractiveness, likeability and trustworthiness.
The important issue
is to match the values or characteristics of the celebrity with
values of the brand. Consumers use these products or purchase them
because they have been endorsed by a celebrity or well-known personality.
On the other hand too much popularity of the celebrity sometimes
over shadows the brand. If the celebrity is involved in more advertisement
it tends to create confusion amongst the consumers and hence it
may create a negative effect in the perception of advertisement
and the brand.
involved in advertising since the late 19th century one of the first
sports endorsements in India was of cricketer turned model Farokh
for Brycleen. Then there was a spurt of advertisements with
celebrities like Tabassum (prestige cooker), Jalal Agha
(Pan Parag), et al. From television to film personalities using
cricketers to endorse products was a natural progression. Celebrity
endorsements give a brand a touch of glamour and the hope that
the famous face will provide the added appeal and attract the crowds.
It also depends upon the type of product being advertised like if
it is a functional brand than product itself is a hero e.g. Mobiles
and in case of image brands like soaps, soft drinks it is difficult
to distinguish between the brands at an emotional level.
One of the
companies having maximum number of celebrities endorsing their
brands is Pepsi Soft Drinks Company. Pepsi has a vast
number of celebrities from Amitabh Bachchan to Shah Rukh
Khan. There have been cases where sales figures change
dramatically after celebrity endorsements for e.g. According
to Rahul Malhotra associate Director Marketing P&G India,
“Certainly it has helped us promote our brand ‘Head and
we were ranked no. 2 and this year we are market leaders in
the segment with over 45 percent market share.” Advertisements
of the soap imply that the stars owe their stunning looks
to the brand.
At times celebrity
endorsements ensures the attention of a target group and make
the brand more noticeable. Even consumers think that if a
celebrity is using or getting benefits from that particular
brand so they will also get the same. But all this varies
from person to person according to age, sex, socio-economic
status and other classifications. Certain socio-economic class
may not be attracted by personalities or celebrities who are
not so famous or well known or who do not have universal appeal.
Like every coin
have two sides same way the celebrities can even have negative impact
on consumers. If the celebrity represents the values that conflicts
with values of brand the advertising would create conflict in the
minds of target audience. Even when there is anything negative regarding
the celebrity in the news, then the brand is bound to be affected.
endorsement also has a negative impact on customers
for eg. Amitabh Bachchan
endorses multiple brands like Pepsi, ICICI, Nerolac, etc.
It has not worked some cases while in some it has not D. K. Jain
chairman and president, Luxour writing instruments pvt ltd. The
marketer of the parker brand said, “Using Amitabh Bachchan as our
brand ambassador had helped in strengthening our brand image and
recall with target audience. In case of Nerolac Paints around 80
percent of the respondents when asked to associate Bachchan with
any paint, did so with Asian Paints, which is biggest competitors
The debate about celebrity endorsement will go on as long as the
companies’ pay them heavy bills and consumers continue to be attracted
by the star! The party is likely to go on!!!
Contributing Author: Viki
Shah Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism
A large number of
promotional products are adorned with catchy slogans, words and
content that portrays the brand or the Company it is designed for.