Influence of celebrity brand endorsement on buying behavior of the indian soft drink consumers Acknowledgment

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2.2. Concept of Celebrity Endorsement

According to McCracken (1989), celebrity endorsement is a universal attribute of modern marketing. Companies invest considerable amounts of money to ally themselves along with their products to the big names of the celebrities. This step is taken with a belief that they will seek attention for the endorsed products/services and also transfer image values to these products/services by desirable quality of their profiles and delightful attributes (Erdogan1999; Ohanian, 1991; O’Mahony and Meenaghan, 1998). Furthermore, according to Newsom et al (2000), celebrities are capable of increasing recognition and their charisma more or less guarantees publicity. Findings of the study conducted by Mathuret et al. (1997) and Agrawal and Kamakura (1995) advocate the efficacy of use of celebrity endorsement strategy. Because of their recognition, stars help not only to create and maintain attention, but also attain high recall rates of advertisement messages (Atkin and Block, 1983; O’Mahony and Meenaghan, 1997; Friedman and Friedman, 1979; Kamen, et al. 1975; Erdogan, 1999; Kamins, et al. 1989; Ohanian, 1991). Moreover, Dyer (1988) opines that the use of a celebrity is the most successful way of securing attention of the consumer and getting him or her to surmise the right message with a limited space and time. Existing literature implies that, celebrity endorsement cost in millions for each year (Buck 1993; Erdogan 1999; Tripp et al. 1994; Walker et al. 1992). Shimp (2000) confers from his study that approximately 25% of all commercials in US, utilize celebrities whereas according to Kamins (1990), today advertising by celebrity endorsement approach emerges to be on the increase across all media types.

  Research shows while making a brand choice for buying product consumers, they are actually creating lifestyle statements because they are buying not only an image but also an emotional rapport (Urde 1999; Williams 2002). Chernatony (1993: 178) says, consumers have their own ‘brand wardrobes’ from where they make selections. This is to communicate, reflect or reinforce associations, statements and memberships. According to the Clarke (2000) recommendations, style and status indicators can present the same consumer reimbursement which the other highly branded lifestyle accessories such as cars, perfumes, watch and clothes. That is why, Schiffman and Kanuk (2004) advocate that strategic brand managers should try to distinguish their brand by stressing on the characteristics they claim will match the target consumer group’s needs more thoroughly than that offered by the other brands. Then they should create a product image matching with the apparent self-image of the targeted segment. It is important for any company to create a brand identity so that they can build up a relationship with the consumers creating an image of the brand (de’Chernatony 1992; Fill 2002; Kapferer 1997) on the contrary, Newsom et al. (2000) opine that celebrities may raise recognition, but a wrong celebrity, may actually lead to harm the image. Besides this, according to Erdogan (1999), if the image of a product has been spoiled, association of a popular celebrity is one prospective solution. Walker et al. (1992) say that, it is easier to set up a product image with an early celebrity endorsement than changing an existing product image which is backed by a celebrity or through some other means. In a alike layer Dickenson (1996) remarks that, celebrity endorsers attempt specifically, to pass on their own images to the product. Companies should hire the celebrity who has necessary traits to establish specific positioning for the products (Erdogan 1999).

Adding to this, Ratneshwar and Chaiken (1991) had put forward the argument that any plausible source can be particularly influential if the consumer has still not learned much about the product or shaped an attitude of it. Moreover, Tripp et al. (1994) belief is that it can create excessive consumer awareness of the true character of endorsement, which has least to do with the attributes of the brand/product, and more inclined towards the generous compensation for the celebrity, leading the consumers to explicit pessimism about their motives. Thus, when a brand not has a definite image it may have one fashioned for it through use of an endorser whose image reflects the image an advertiser wants for the brand. This is important because customers may perceive a brand as a representation of what the whole brand or destination stands for. However, the celebrity should not tie in with too many brands, because it will lessen his or hers credibility.

According to Kumar, S. R. (2000) Indian markets have been experiencing far-reaching changes in the precedent decade from low to high-involvement product categories. Shifting lifestyles, scrappy market segments and customer inclination, also intense competition since the multinational corporations (MNCs) brands have made branding strategies a precondition for success of marketing. Celebrity Endorsement strategy is one among these branding formulae. In India, about 17% of all ads had celebrities endorsing the brands. Crores of Rs. are spent yearly on celebrity endorsement agreements on the basis that this plays an important role in influential communications (Surina, 2006).

India is a country, where the celluloid world is admired a lot. There exists a big deal concerning Celebrity Endorsements in India. Here in the battle for mind and market share, Indian companies have gone out of the way and engaged celebrities for endorsing their brands. Procuring a celebrity for endorsement makes marvelous logic for a brand. In India around 130 TV channels are broadcasting more than 3 million TV commercials each year. As per the report of AdEx India, in the 1st quarter of the year 2008 60 percent of all advertising dollars were spent on advertisements carrying celebrities, which were 25% in the year. 49% growth was observed in celebrity endorsed advertising volumes on television for the period of the year 2007 as compared to the preceding year. Today, this industry is worth Rs.550 cr. and is rising at high double digit increase ranging between 60- 80% (Adex, 2009).

In India, there exists an exponential potential in favor of celebrity endorsement and its impact on motivating consumers purchase decisions. In India, celebrity endorsement is considered as a source of glamour and image. It’s a fact that the finest endorsements attain an eclectic equilibrium between the product and the celebrity (Blazey & Ganti, 2005). People tend to forget 80% of the information after 24 hours! A piece of research states that the target audience age group of 15-30 gets influenced first by cricketers, then Bollywood stars and only then music, festivals and food (Kulkarni and Gaulkar, 2005).

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