PRODUCT AND BRAND MANAGEMENT
SUBMITTED TO:SUBMITTED BY:-
Programme Coordinator, MBA (M&S)
Gurjot S. Khalsa-112C34
MBA GEN. 2012-14
“Beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of introduction”
Aristotle said, “Beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of introduction.” This
couldaptly summarize why innumerable products are endorsed by celebrities, with or without a
significant need or benefit from the same. Similarly every product has an image. The consumer
tries to consume a brand which has themaximum fit with his/her own personality/image. The
celebrity endorser fits in between thesetwo interactions, where he tries to bring the image of the
product closer to the expectation of theconsumer, by transferring some of the cultural meanings
residing in his image to the product.
Now, despite the potential benefits derived from celebrity endorsements, they increase
amarketer’s risk manifolds and should be treated with full attention and aptitude. A brand should
be cautious when employing celebrities to ensure promise believability and delivery of the
intended effect. The growing importance of mythical characters as celebrities and their sway
overthe target segments are ample proof of public demand for icons to look up to. As the
celebrities traverse from a mere commercial presence to public welfare message endorsements, a
whole newdimension is added to this process and helps in achieving a holistic view of the impact
whichcelebrities generate in every sphere and segment through their well-versed endorsements.
Everyday consumers are exposed to thousands of voices and images in magazines,
newspapers, and on billboards, websites, radio and television. Every brand attempts to steal at
least a fraction of a person’s time to inform him or her of the amazing and different attributes of
the product at hand. The challenge of the marketer is to find a hook that will hold the subject’s
In helping to achieve this, use of celebrity endorsers is a widely used marketing strategy.
In this modern age, people tend to ignore all commercials and advertisements while
flippingthrough the magazines and newspapers or viewing TV. But even then, the glamour of a
celebrityseldom goes unnoticed. Thus, celebrity endorsement in advertisement and its impact on
theoverall brand is of great significance. In this process, the companies hire celebrities from
aparticular field to feature in its advertisement campaigns.
The promotional features and images ofthe product are matched with the celebrity image,
which tends to persuade a consumer to fix uphis choice from a variety of brands. Although this
sounds pretty simple, but the design of suchcampaigns and the subsequent success in achieving
the desired result calls for an in-depthunderstanding of the product, the brand objective, choice of
a celebrity, associating the celebritywith the brand, and a framework for measuring the
Every product has an image. The consumer tries to consume a brand which has the
maximum fit with his/her own personality/image. The celebrity endorser fits in between these
two interactions, where he tries to bring the image of the product closer to the expectation of the
consumer, by transferring some of the cultural meanings residing in his image to the product.In
India advertisers pour croresof rupees every year into celebrity advertising. Think of Sachin
Tendulkar -he means Pepsi in soft drinks, Boost in malted beverages, Fiat Palio in cars, TVS
victor in two wheelers, Colgate Total in toothpaste, Britannia in Biscuits, Visa in credit cards,
Airtel in mobile services and many more brands.
Strategic Positioning and effective communication are the two most important “mantras”
guiding brand success in today’s competitive marketing environment. Corporate are ensuring all
possible efforts to promote their brands and to grab the customer’s mind share. The impetus is on
attracting the customer’s attention and developing positive associations not just to influence
recall but also to induce trial and eventually effect purchase decisions in a market where
advertising plays a vital role in coordinating consumer purchases, it becomes pertinent for
companies to induct all possible measures to influence, motivate and inculcate desire to
purchase, in the customer through an effective advertising campaign.
Who is a celebrity?
Celebrities are people who enjoy public recognition by a large share of a certain group of
people whereas attributes like attractiveness, extraordinary lifestyle are just examples and
specific common characteristics cannot be observed though it can be said that within a
corresponding social group celebrities generally differ from the social normand enjoy a high
degree of public awareness (Schlecht, 2003).This is true for classic forms of celebrities like
actors (ex Sharukh khan, Amitabh Bachhan), models (John Abraham,MalaikaArora, DiyaMirza)
Sports athletes (ex. Sachin Tendulkar, SaniaMirza) entertainers (BarkhaDutt, ShekharSuman)
and Pop Stars (Mika, DailerMehndi) but also for less obvious groups like businessmen (ex
DirubhaiAmbani) or politicians (Laloo Prasad Yadav) Besides these there are fictional celebrities
like Ronald McDonald, Fido dido, Gattu, AmulGirl, Pillsbury doughboy and the like. Celebrities
appear in public in different ways. A firm that decides to employ a celebrity to promote its
products or services has a choice of using the celebrity as :
Testimonial: If the celebrity has personally used a product or service and is in a position
to attest its quality,then he or she may give a testimonial citing its benefits. For instance
AishwaryaRai endorses Lux by testifying the quality of the product as it forms a part of her
Endorsement: celebrities often lend their names to ads for product or services for which
they may or may not be the experts For instance SachinTendulkar has been endorsing the Palio
brand of Fiat.
Actor: A Celebrity may be asked to present a product or service as a part of character
enactment rather than personal testimonial or endorsement. For instance SwetaTiwari of “Prerna
fame” (KasuatiZindagiki) enacts as a housewife for Nirma’s ad campaign. It has nothing to do
with her on screen or off-screen image In fact she just enacts the characterand expectations of a
normal housewife from a detergent bar.
Spokesperson: A celebrity who represents a brand or company over extended periods of
time often in print and TV ads as well as in personal appearances is usually called a company’s
spokesperson. (Schiffman and Kanuk, 1997)The reason for using celebrities a spokesperson goes
back to their huge potential influences. Compared to other endorsers, types,famous people
achieve a higher degree of attention and recall. Using a celebrity in advertising is therefore likely
to positively affect consumer’s brand attitude and purchase intentions.
Celebrity Endorsements act as a credible means of “money burning”.This is because this
is a world of products for which the value a consumerobtains from purchasing any given variety.
This could be for reasons of social standing-People want to wear the “right” clothes, drink the
“right” beverages and use the “right” fragrances. Specifically a consumer thatobserves messages
for two different firm’s products, one product’s message containing a celebrity endorsed and the
other not, believes the celebrityendorsed product will have more purchases and so be of
highervalue.(Clark &Horstman, 2003)
Celebrity endorsement is more likely to be observed for those productshaving a high
price-production cost margin and on a large customer base.In short, celebrity endorsements are
more typical for nationally marketedproducts then for local or niche market products and for
products such asrunning shoes, soft drinks and the like for which the price cost marginsare
Promoters of certain products require co-ordination over multiplecustomer groups different age, income, education groups or groups in different location. Example, Credit Card.
With a product of this sort acommon set of advertising messages communicated to all custom is
a moreeffective and coordinates mechanism than messages targeted at separatecustomer groups
with common messages. A customer in one groupreceiving a message knows that customer in
other groups are also receivingthe message. The challenge with common message is of
significant audiencereach in the various customer groups at low cost. Because the celebrity
isrecognizable globally, it is a low cost way to achieve cross group coordination(Clark
Selecting the best endorser
Any promotional campaign needs several issues to be addressed to, therebyempowering
promotional planners to know how decisions about thedifferent controlled or independent
variables of the communication processthat influence the stages of the response hierarchy in
persuading thereceiver. Several models have been developed that give insight toindependent
variable effecting celebrity endorsement and hence itsefficacy. Two important ones are:
(A) Source creditability and attractiveness:
The effectiveness of a message depends on the perceived expertiseand trustworthiness of
an endorser. The central goal of advertising is thepersuasion of customers i.e., the active attempt
to change a modifyconsumers attitude towards the brands (Soloman, 2002). Hence in orderto
convince the target audience of the attractiveness of the company’sbrand. The creditability of the
advertisement is immense. Pursuing acelebrity-endorsed strategy enables advertisers to project a
credible imagein terms of expertise, persuasiveness, trustworthiness and objectiveness.(Till and
Shimp, 1998).Source attractiveness refers to the endorsers physical approachpersonality,
likeability, and similarity to the receiver, thus to the perceivedsocial values of the source
(Soloman, 2002) Trustworthiness refers to thehonesty and integrity of the spokesperson. The
model basically focuses on the belief that persons who perform well on one dimension are
assumedto excel on others as well. However, as proved by Ohanian (1991) in herstudy each
source has different effects on consumer’s brand perceptionthereby making it necessary to
pursue a systematic strategy of celebrityspokesperson selection.
(B) The Match-up Hypothesis:
Several Research studies have examined the congruency betweencelebrity endorsers and
brands to explain the effectiveness of using famouspersons to promote the brands (Till and
Buster, 1998), (Till and Shimp, 1998)Results show that a number of celebrity endorsements
proved verysuccessful, whereas other completely failed.The match-up hypothesis specifically
suggests that the effectivenessdepends on the existence of a “fit” between the celebrity
spokespersonand endorsed brand (Till and Buster, 1998). Though Oharian (1991)acknowledges a
popular person’s ability to create awareness and initialinterest for an advertisement she
concludes that this may not necessarilychange consumer’s attitude towards the brands. The
model emphasizes that the physical attractiveness of a celebrity endorser will enhanceevaluations
of the products characteristics only if the characteristics ofthe product “match-up” with the
image conveyed by the celebrity. Hencean extension beyond attractiveness and creditability
towards aconsideration has to be done in terms of making the entire image of thecelebrity with
the endorsed brand.
Brand Endorsement is a way to get thebrand noticed amidst the clutter that is there in the
market place. Synergyis therefore required between brand and celebrity. The celebrity
actuallyhelps in accelerating the brand image formulation process. At the sametime
advertisement argue that celebrities come with loads of liabilities thatare hard to ignore.
The decision of selecting the best endorser is thus a pertinent issuefixed by marketers &
adventures for their brand promotion. Advertiserspoint out to the 3Cs that enjoy mass adulation
in Indian sub continental,Cricket, Cinema and Curry. In fact Mr. JaydeepDasgupta,
Associatebranch Director-Mumbai, Mudra feels that branding plays a key role in creating a
celebrity aura. Today Cricketer and Film stars are groomed tobe brand themselves and hence are
marketed well. In other words, thecelebrity himself/herself should be a strong brand and the
attributes ofthe celebrity brand should match the attribute of the product brand beinghighlighted.
To help select a celebrity endorser, many companies and theiradvertising agencies rely on
Q ratings that are commercially availablefrom a New York based firm known as marketing,
evaluates Inc.(Belch &Belch). This firm annually determines a familiarity and likeability
ratingof top male & female personalities (and cartoon characters) based on amail questioners
survey of the television viewer. The basic rating called aQ rating, is obtained by dividing the
number who rated as “one of myfavorites” by those who indicated that they were “totally
familiar” withthe personality. The survey is widely used by marketers and agencies toselect
celebrity endorsers and is used by T.V. Network and Hollywoodproducers to cast their shows &
All efforts to select an ideal celebrity as a brand endorseris able toinfuse and bring about a
change in the fortunes of a brand. Besides this itis important to judge the compatibility of the
endorser with the productand acceptance of the individual buy the target audience before
selectingthe stage endorsers.
Endorsement: Risk vs. Returns
The basic assumption underlying celebrity endorsement is that thevalue associated with
the celebrity is transferred to the brand and thereforehelp create an image that can be easily
referred by consumers.Consequently by association the brand can very quickly establish
thecreditability get immediate recognition and improve sales. However, thereare many risks
associated with such endorsers. The brand could slide downjust as quickly as it moved up the
consumers mind. There are many casesof brands failing in the market place despite famous
a) Celebrity overshadows the brand: In certain cases where the celebrityvalues category
benefit and brand values are not closely linked. Thereare chances that the celebrity is
remembered more than a brand.Cyber media research study reveals that 80% of the
respondentsapproached for research remembered the celebrity but could notrecall the brand
b) Necessary Evil: Marketing have felt that once the brand rides theback of celebrity it
becomes difficult to promote it without the star asit becomes difficult to separate the role of
message and the role ofthe celebrity in selling the brand. The celebrity activity becomes
anaddiction and the task to find substitute becomes more and moredifficult.
c) Celebrity creditability a question mark for the competent customer: Today’smarketing
endorsement has to deal with a competitive and knowledgeable customer who has begun to voice
his opinion abouttheir perception about endorsing a brand. Celebrity is said to befool the public
as he is paid to sell and communicate good things aboutthe brand. Hence the question of
creditability of the celebrity beingchosen to protect the brand is becoming pertinent.
d) Conflicting Image: A mix match between the image of the credibilityand the product
can damage both. Unless there is a synergy between celebrity’s own image and that of product
category the strategy ofendorsement is rendered futile.
e) Multiple Endorsements: The poly endorsement has led to a celebrityclutter. A
Celebrity endorsing multiple products and multi brands in acategory have left the customer
confused and have led to dilution in the celebrity’s value.
f) Influence of Celebrity scandals and moral violation on brands: A numberof
entertainers and athletes have been involved in activities that couldembarrass the companies
whose products the endorsed. When the endorser’s image is finished,it actually leads to a greater
fall in imagefor the brand. For instance Azharuddin was charge with bettingand match fixing,
which created negative feeling and repulsivethoughts among people for the products he was
a) Build Awareness: A new brand can benefit greatly if a celebrityendorses it. It can
attract the customer’s attention and inquisitivenessto see what product is being endorsed.
Research has shownconsumers have a higher level of message recall for products thatare
endorsed by celebrities.
b) Connects Emotionally: Some celebrities like Shahrukh Khan, AmitabhBachchan
command great adoration among people. Such celebritiescan positively influence their fans etc. a
great extents and henceend to even connect with the brand emotionally because of theirstar
c) Quick Connect: The communication process tends to hasten up dueto the more
presence of a celebrity. This is because the star carryingthe message tends to click with the
customer more. Because oflikeability, recall attractiveness and creditability thereby helping
thecompany to clearly and quickly pass on the message to the targetcustomers.
d) Means of Brand different ion: Using a celebrity is a source of branddifferentiation. In a
category where a brands is suing a celebrity thefirst that picks one up could use it differently
itself in the market thesame was done by Boost in the malted beverage category.
e) Source of Imitation and hence inducing increased product usage: Celebritiesactually
tend to become models or idols for the target audience whotend to start using the product just
because the celebrity name isattached with it. For instance, Lux has been used by many as it is
abeauty soap recommended by the beauty queen, AishwaryaRai.
f) Better Brand Image: the use of celebrities could also bring in positiveimage among the
masses for brand. The credibility and authenticityattached with Amitabh Bachchan has
inculcated trust for ICICI, NerolacPaints and many others.
An assessment of current market situation indicated that celebrityendorsement and
advertising strategies if correctly blended in terms ofmarrying the strengths of the brands with
the celebrity’s quality indeedjustify the high cost associated with this form of advertising.
However,advertising needs to be aware of the complex processing underlyingcelebrity
processing endorsement by gaining clarity on described conceptsof celebrity source creditability
and attractiveness, match-up hypothesis,multiple product endorsement etc. Marketer has to
decide how far the benefits outweigh the risks associated. Advertisers agree that
celebrityendorsement does not itself guarantee sales. It can create a buzz and makea consumer
feel better about the product, which in turn has to come toexpectation of customers as a real star
by delivering the promise. Therehave been instances where the endorsement or real consumers
have startedworking better than celebrity endorsers. In fact much research needs tobe done on
customer testimonials, which tend to induce better creditabilityand helps in carving the
competent, rational, knowledgeable customer oftoday who is said to be the real hero.
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