Although the concept of celebrity endorsement and Indian soft drink industry is heavily documented in the academic literature, but what makes out study different and interesting is its relevance to the consumer buying behavior. Its area of study makes it particular and more consistent as covers the Indian soft drink industry. Not much research has been laid down for this topic. Although the Indian soft drink industry has been the point of discussion for celebrity endorsement strategy among the marketers and the media.
Indian market scenario is going through a change phase because of the presence of high competition and spread of awareness among the Indian consumers. Think of the ads in 1990 or earlier, these were just informative but it’s not the scene with the today’s ads. These days ads are more innovative and consumer involvement has become a must trick of success. Consider washing powders market in India. Earlier completion was not that much stringent only a few players like Nirma, Ghadi etc were there. Presence of MNC’s like P&G, Uniliver etc has changed the game. Consumer attitude is changing with a rapid pace, making them much aware of the products. Research has been carried out for studying the impact of celebrity endorsement on the buying behavior of the Indian soft drink consumer and their response to the celebrity endorsement ads. For example, people feel much motivated for buying a Nakshatra brand diamond endorsed by Ashwarya Ray rather than buying a traditional gold jewelry.
Majority of soft drink ads in India are targeted towards the youngsters. This makes the importance of young celebrities to be included in the ads. For an billion dollar industry, finding out the role and importance of celebrity endorsement, particularly for the context of Indian soft drink industry, has its own significance. Here in this study, our point of discussion will be on Indian soft drink industry and celebrity endorsement, its impact on the consumer buying behavior. Coca-cola India, as its marketing strategies and inclusion of endorsement strategy in the marketing plan, is spending enormous amount on endorsement contracts. In the past few years in India, as the demand for the top celebrities shot through the top, their charges too looked skywards. On an average top stars charge anywhere between Rs 1–1 .5Cr. a day and according to the industry executives even during the economic slowdown, the rates didn't come down but kept growing even though at a slower speed (Economic Times, 2010).
The research will be carried out answering the following questions:
How does the celebrity endorsement influence the Indian soft drink consumers’ buying behavior?
How much important is the celebrity endorsement in Indian soft drink industry?
How much an endorsement cost to the firm?
1.4 Research Objectives
This research is structured for attaining three research objectives. First objective is to measure the impact of celebrity endorsement on the consumer buying behavior for Indian markets. The second objective is to mould the impact study of celebrity endorsement for Coca-Cola India. Last but certainly not the least objective is to have an idea of the costing side of the endorsement strategy. Objective statement is as follows:
To establish relationship between celebrity endorsements in advertisement and buying behavior of Indian consumers.
To evaluate the effectiveness and impact of celebrity endorsed advertisements for Coca-Cola.
To analyze the spending trends of company on celebrity endorsement.
1.5 Research Methodology
This is a qualitative research. Here for the fulfillment of the research objectives two types of research methods are used for analyzing both primary data and the secondary data. Primary data are collected through questionnaires. The population for the study is India. 100 responses are collected through these questionnaires and further these responses are analyzed using quantitative research tools, i.e. charts, graphs, tables, excel formulae etc. this sample of 100 respondents are a random sample. Questionnaire is filled through an encounter method. Under this the first 100 persons encountering at a key place are asked to fill the questionnaire. This key place can be a mall, restaurant, college, etc. where the soft drink consumers can be approached with least efforts.
The secondary data are availed from the company sources. An exploratory study method is applied for analyzing these secondary data. From the secondary data a spending trend are drawn against the monetary or nonmonetary benefits derived. After collection of data, data analysis techniques are used as per the requirements of the data. On the basis of data analysis results are derived or authenticated.
Finally, results of both the methods are combined to test the hypothesis and derive answers to the research questions.
1.6 Contribution of the Study
First and foremost, this research aims to analyze the buying behaviors of the Indian soft drink Consumers and next, the Study attempts to incorporate facts of Indian consumer attitudes with regard to the celebrity endorsed advertisements of Coca Cola. It tries to investigate appreciation of celebrities among the consumer and their attempt to emulate them. Further the study tend to analyze the spending trend of soft drink leader coca-cola. This cost aspect will also be analyzed and evaluated on the ground of benefits derived. Earlier, many scholars have done research on this front but, in this study, the area of analysis is conical as we are taking into consideration only Coca-cola India. This makes the view much clear and concise.
The undertaken research on the celebrity endorsement and its impact on consumer buying behavior is of much use from the academic as well as professional perspective. As it analyzes the behavior of consumers, it will provide theoretical base for scholars and practical directives to the managers and professionals.