This chapter discusses the various findings of the current study. The discussion is segregated in five primary sections in accordance with the data analysis section. Findings from each section are discussed separately. Finally, all the findings will be clubbed and its implications to the case will be given. The 50-bn-rupee soft drink industry in India is growing at the annual rate of 6 to 7%. Around 95% market share is being occupied by Coke and Pepsi combined through franchisees or by self presence. Campa Cola is having 1% share, and the rest is divided among the local players. In India, about 110 soft drink producing units (60% being owned by Indian bottlers) are running, providing employment to about 125,000 people. This market further segregated in two distinct segments such as cola and non-cola drinks. 62% share is claimed by the cola segment, while the non-cola segment includes drinks with orange and mango flavors, cloudy lime, clear lime, and soda. Celebrity endorsements have started a long time ago. The very fact is that their use has been continued for so long which proves immense advantages attached to the strategy, but they too have disadvantages. Considering this, the discussion is segregated in five primary sections in accordance with the data analysis section. Findings from each section are discussed separately. Finally, all the findings will be clubbed and its implications to the case will be given.
Coke is found to be the most popular soft drink brand among the Indian soft drink consumers. It reveals the popularity of the brand. Coke shares the highest market share in the soft drink portfolio of the Coca-Cola India. But at the same time frequency of consumption of soft drinks by Indians is not much. Coca Cola Companies should plan for enhancing consumption in the country. This can be achieved through developing alternative need satisfying features of soft drinks besides the traditional consumption needs. Most of the Indian consumers go for a soft drink once in a week. The need to satisfy the quench or thirst and maintenance of status symbol are the two basic utilities of soft drinks in India. These consumers’ spending is very much dissimilar. This disparity may be due to the demographic differences. Like a young would tend to spend more while a businessman would spend less and would prefer other alternatives. For example an old person would prefer lemon juice or class of water rather than a soft drink like coca-cola. Thus Coca cola is not famous among senior citizens and therefore a plan should be made to target those consumers also by endorsing celebrities like Amithabh bachan, Hema Malini etc.
This section aims to clarify the opinions of the Indian soft drink consumers about the celebrity endorsement strategy used by the advertisers. The most appealing factor for consumer’s purchasing a soft drink is the taste, the brand name and its price. Indian consumers are not much concerned about Celebrity endorsement. In reality Price is the main factor which has an effect on consumer’s buying decision, as India is a developing country and a huge percentage of people are under poverty line. In views of Indian consumers sometimes celebrity endorsement does not guarantee the quality of a product. So there is no sufficient credibility transfer from the celebrity associating to a product. This is also because Indian consumers do not think that the celebrities themselves use the product, which they endorse and celebrity endorse various products and the rival products are endorsed by another celebrity thus giving Indian customers lot of choices. Besides that celebrity endorsement proves to be a cost adding factor in the consumer’s opinion.
Indian soft drink consumers and their response to the celebrity endorsement are quite biased and complicated. Spending on celebrity endorsement, results in higher revenues according to the consumer’s point of view. So the motive behind contracts with big celebrities as a strategy results in generating huge revenues for the company. Majority of the Indian soft drink consumers in India are encouraged to purchase by watching their favorite celebrities endorsing the product. Cricketers and bollywood film stars are the most appreciated celebrities for influencing the purchasing decision of the consumers. Hence almost all soft drink companies endorse mostly Indian cricketers and bollywood film stars Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor etc.
The conception of celebrity endorsement has turned into a fury in India as well, every company trying to line in a brand ambassador for their brands, and there is big tuff competition among companies to grasp big celebrities for their brands. Our study reveals that the importance of celebrity endorsement for the advertiser in consumer’s opinion is apparent. This strategy is helpful in brand promotion and generating huge revenues. And that is the reason that company is ready to pay huge amount to the celebrities for endorsement. The most persuasive means of advertisement for the soft drink company is Television commercials; the other means of advertisements are ads in newspaper, magazines, internet, radio Fm etc. Increased sales and profits plus creating brand image are the two main motives of the marketers behind celebrity endorsement. Celebrities transfer traits of their personalities to the product by endorsement. There must be reflective impact of the celeb towards the framed brand image.
Although Coke is the most liked brand among the Indian soft drink consumers yet the consumer’s preference varies when the time comes for comparison in between different available brands. This section attempts to measure the consumer’s attitude for different brand endorsers and different products of Coca-Cola. Aishwariya Rai, Hritik Roshan and Asin are the most loved endorsers by the consumer group, whereas Imran Kan is the least appreciated endorser of Coca-Cola even though he was signed by the Coca Cola so that he could represent the Indian youth. Sachin Tendulkar is the favorite endorser among the sports stars in India, as he is been treated as God of cricket by Indian fans. Minute maid Nimbu Fresh has gain the most popularity in a short span of time as it is the most preferred brand by Indian consumers. Coca-Cola is the oldest and the most loved brand. Mazza Milky Delite is the least appreciated brand and is not famous in Indian market, this may be due to no big celebrity was endorsed in it.
Celebrity endorsement has been proved to be a goldmine or a minefield for any company’s brand construction process. Celebrity endorsement has fared well in some specific consumer segments while it has failed in others. Some celebrities have been much flourishing than those with more or less equivalent fame. Thus the job of celebrity endorsement in the ad space is ambiguous and can’t be seen as a guaranteed strategic instrument for better profits, revenues, market share, etc. For example, Imran Khan as a Coca-Cola endorser was not much successful while he fared good for Signature’s re-establishment.
Indians feel affection for their favorite celebrities and blindly pursue their suit. This love for the celebs has proved like a boon for the advertisers and celebrity endorsement is presently getting improved by the day. It has at present become an unavoidable part of a marketing communication strategy. Spending trend on the celebrity endorsement strategy is going up year by year in Coca-Cola. It is a win –win game for both the brands and the celebs. However, the consumers are the ones who get least benefitted as they have to pay more for the products and services. Besides that, many a time’s consumers get cheated by misrepresentation or miss leading endorsements. Consumers are losing faith in brand endorsers. Company needs to be rational for the spending on such strategies.