Negative impacts of Celebrity Endorsement on the brand -
October 15th, 2010
More often talked about is the extreme usage of a celebrity called 'lazy advertising', that is inadequate content masked by usage of a celebrity15 . A good example is the use of Boris Becker by Siyaram and Steve Waugh by ANP Sanmar. Also as said earlier, associating with a star, in itself does not guarantee sales. There is also the fear of Brand-celebrity disconnect which points out that if the celebrity used represents values that conflict with the brand values, the advertising would create conflict in the minds of the target audience.
Clutter in brand endorsements is very prominent these days and such kind of over-exposure can be bad for the brand as the recall value drops by a huge margin. A popular drawback of celebrity endorsement is the 'Vampire Effect' or the celebrity overshadowing the brand16. Some viewers forget the brand that a celebrity is approving. Others are so spellbound by the personality of the celebrity that they completely fail to notice the brand being advertised. Two new drawbacks can be seen these days what marketers call Celebrity Trap and Celebrity Credibility17.
Celebrity trap is when the celebrity becomes an addiction for the marketing team and the task to find substitutes becomes more and more difficult, leading to surfeit of celebrities. Celebrity credibility refers to skepticism by the consumers regarding the celebrities, especially when there is anything negative regarding the celebrity associated with the brand in the news, then brand is bound to be affected. For example, Air Jordan's generated revenue sales of $130 million in the first year. The sales dropped miserably in the second year when Jordan missed 62 games due to a broken foot18. Another main worry of the advertisers is that their celebrity endorser would get caught in a scandal or an embarrassing situation.
Multiple product endorsement also has a negative impact on customers' purchasing intentions. Tripp et al.19 investigated the effects of multiple product endorsement by celebrities on customers' attitudes and intentions. They found that the number of products a celebrity endorses negatively influences consumer perception of the endorser and the advertising itself. It was suggested that when as many as four products are endorsed, celebrity credibility and likeability, as well as attitude towards the ad, may attenuate.
Superstar Amitabh Bachchan endorses multiple brands like Pepsi, Mirinda, ICICI, BPL, Parker pens, Nerolac, Dabur, Reid & Taylor, Maruti Versa, Hajmola, Tide, Cadbury and a few social messages. It has worked in some cases, while in some cases it has not. D. K. Jain, Chairman and President, Luxor Writing Instruments Pvt. Ltd, the marketer of the Parker brand said, "Using Amitabh Bachchan as our brand ambassador has helped in strengthening our brand image and recall within the target audience". Tarun Joshi, Communications Custodian, Reid & Taylor said, "Amitabh Bachchan is an icon with universal appeal and has helped us to reach out to the real 'Bharat.' In fact, agents and retailers have told us that already customers have started asking about the 'Amitabh wali suiting.'" Incase of Nerolac Paints, which was endorsed by Amitabh Bachchan, around 80% of the respondents when asked to associate Bachchan with any paint, did so with Asian Paints, which is the biggest competitor of Nerolac20.
The budget or cost is an important factor for celebrity endorsement21. Depending on the status of the celebrity, remuneration could run into millions of rupees for several years or may also include a profit sharing plan. For example when S. Kumar's used Hrithik Roshan for their launch advertising for Tamarind, they reckoned they spent 40 - 50 per cent less on media due to the sheer impact of using Hrithik. Sachin's endorsements got him $18 million over five years. When Aamir first endorsed Pepsi in 1995, he received Rs 17 lakh for it; his Coke commercials in 1999 got him Rs 2 crore. Hrithik Roshan in his highflying days reportedly made over Rs. 20 crore in endorsements and events by 200122.
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