Celebrities promoting brands

Nowadays brands are more and more using celebrities to promote their brand, this is also known as celebrity branding. Celebrity branding refers to a form of brand or advertising campaign that involves a celebrity using his or her fame to help a company promote its product. The clip below is a well known example of celebrity branding; George Clooney promoting Nespresso.

When a brand decides to hire a celebrity to promote its products, there are a few important decisions the brand should make. The most important decision is of course which celebrity the brand would like to hire. An aspect that should be taken into consideration here is that the image of the celebrity has to match the image the brand wants to be related to. For example when a celebrity has been involved in scandals in his or her past, the brand will be less likely to hire this celebrity because the brand does not want to be associated to scandals. Another important aspect is whether the celebrity has a connection to its targeted customers. If the companies’ customers are not interested in or do not know the celebrity, it does not make sense for the brand to hire the celebrity since the goal of celebrity branding is to increase sales by attracting customers through the celebrity. The third aspect the brand should pay attention to is whether the celebrity has an affinity with the product the brand sells.

Celebrity branding has several advantages. According to Hovland, Janis and Kelley one of the advantages of celebrity branding is increasing source credibility. They believe that celebrities are seen as credible spokespersons or opinion experts in the brands they endorse and therefore they provide consumers with a degree of confidence in the advertising message and thus the brand. This in return raises the level of acceptance and exerts positive impact on attitude change and behavioural compliance. Another advantage of celebrity branding is that it increases the attractiveness of the brand. McGuire states that the attractiveness of a brand may increase when it uses a celebrity to promote it. Consumers may then associate the endorsed brand with positive evaluations based on their positive opinions of the celebrity. For example Serena Williams, a successful tennis player, promoted Nike. The products Serena Williams promoted for Nike may become more attractive for Nike’s customers since they believe those products have contributed to her successful career. The third advantage is that the audience will be able to easily remember the advertisement. The celebrity is already familiar to the audience since they have seen him or her before and that is why they will be more likely to remember the advertisement.

However, there are also some risks attached to celebrity branding. One risk is that when a brand chooses a very popular celebrity this celebrity may already promote more brands. It may then happen that customers lose trust in the brand and think the celebrity only promotes the brand to earn money, not because he or she is really in favor of the brand. Another risk is that the celebrity may outshine the brand. Customers are then only focused on the celebrity and lose track of the product he or she is actually promoting.

Although celebrity branding is very popular and used by a lot of companies nowadays, there are also some groups who question this way of branding. In my opinion celebrity branding is a very useful tool for companies as long as they select the right celebrity to promote their products in the right way.

Source: Why celebrity sells: A dual entertainment path model of brand endorsement

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11 Responses to Celebrities promoting brands

  1. Olivia Chudik says:

    Great topic to discuss.
    As you explained, it can be useful to a company as customers directly relate the celebrity to the brand, which can express the spread of the brand popularity. However, I think this is a very risky choice. Many celebrities are trying to hide some of their privacy, and they are right, but when bad things come public, which actually often happens, then the brand is directly associated to this person. It is likely to happen that then the brand image will not be the same. And bad publicity is way harder to fix.

    • clementrigaudeau says:

      I agree that it’s a great topic to discuss and i also agree on the fact that it’s dangerous for companies to make the choice that a VIP will represent the brand. In some cases, people are doing a nice job but in other cases it can hurts the brand image. And I wanted also to say, at what price? Maybe you know that to put on Zlatan Ibrahimovic football shoes, Nike will have to pay him 10 Millions a year. I think Nike can do it, but who else?

      • alexandredoret says:

        In my opinion it depend of the brand aswell. As mentioned Clement, who can pay something like 10M. per year for a person who will represent a brand? Except the pillar of Marketing, such as Nike, Nespresso or Pepsi (With David Beckham) etc… But the point I agree with Olivia, is that you need to choose the right person for the right advert, or in case it could give a negative image.

  2. hikarihamada says:

    It is interesting topic to think about the way promoting brand.
    It is true that there are some risks using celebrities to advertise, however still there are more benefits.

  3. You’re right, today at the TV, we always associate celebrities with brand. How could we think about Espresso without George Clooney? Or the N°5 without Nicole Kidman? It could be very efficient, because customers associate a person to the brand and customers can identify themselves. Celebrities inspire people, they make people dream and then push customers to buy it, like” if you want to be cool like me, you have to possess the product”. But it’s dangerous as well. For example, Tony Parker, the most famous Basketball player in France has many contacts with brands like Kinder, Quick, SFR, Tissot, BetClick, Toupargel, La Halle … To me, it’s way to much, the power of the advertising become less effective. It’s true that a brand has to think and weight the pros and cons before hiring a celebrity because it’s really expensive.

  4. saskiaschlegel says:

    Great post! I agree on the others’ opinions.

    Celebrity branding can be really effective, as long as you choose the right celebrity for your brand. But that’s probably pretty tricky. I mean, you never know what happens in the future. Suddenly a celebrity, who always had a clean slate, is arrested for the murder of his ex-wife and her new boyfriend. (Remember O.J. Simpson…) That could definitely damage your brand image.

    I found a good example for bad celebrity branding: Yardley cosmetics ended its relationship with actress Helena Bonham Carter shortly after the British actress announced that she never wore makeup and, thus, had no idea why the brand had chosen her.

    I guess their celebrity choice was probably not the very best!

  5. kallemuuramo says:

    Nowadays using celebrities to promote brands is popular and widely used. However, it is important to be sure that using a celebrity doesn’t have negative effects on the brand. For instance Yardley cosmetics used an actress as their brands face and people found out that she never even wore make up. I admit, celebrity branding is effective but only when done correctly.

  6. rabina2015 says:

    In my opinion celebrity branding comes useful when attached to bigger campaign. It may possibly affect bigger audience. Although have to decide first what is the right audience. It becomes cricital when choosing ” The Right Face ” . The major part of the succes is because of the Face.

  7. myriameliott says:

    Thank you for your blogpost! I always think how hard it is for a brand to choose wisely an opinion leader to support their product and how destructive it can be. Someone can be a great celebrity one day, and have a bad reputation the next one. Unfortunatly, this is one of the best way to step out for a brand.

  8. Really nice topic and really interesting discussion right here. Choosing celebrities to represent a brand is certainly risky but even more brilliant for a company which choose the right person to do that. I just think that companies which are using this kind of VIP image should change of celebrities currently, like in fashion company, perfume, car industry, and also energy drinks as Red Bull. Indeed, the society is always changing, young people grow and adults age over time. It is therefore important that the image of the company, do not age according to the person it chooses to be represented. Like George Clooney for Nespresso, very famous actor, charming, classy, ok but Nespresso has to stay elegant and middle age so it was a really nice idea to ad Jean Dujardin, famous french actor to share the new campaigns.
    I like the fact that celebrities are using the same products as the average people, but sometime it can be more difficult because of the celebrity to identify ourself to the brand. Companies have to find celebrities not to far from the average people to succeed.

  9. henriin says:

    I liked your topic! It’s so true what you are saying. More and more there are people who buy things because celebrities have “used” thous products evan if the people wouldn’t like it. Just because their idol uses it they must have it. Same goes with tv. if you know the tv show “teen mom” on MTV it made young teens to get pregnant and hoping to get to that “teen mom” show. So celebrities have power and its good if they use it right.

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