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

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2.5 Selecting of celebrity endorsers

Literature reveals that there are number of models and criterion for selection of an appropriate celebrity endorser (Johansson & Sparredal, 2002; Ericsson & Hakansson, 2005; Ohanian, 1991; Shimp, 2007; Bergstrom & Skarfstad, 2004; Osorio, 2002; etc.). For celebrity selection, some of the authors describe only selection criteria, whereas others suggest use of models consisting of number of criterion.

  • The Source credibility model is based on the supposition that consumers are more expected to accept any message if they find it credible. This model is based on two main criteria, one is source expertise and another is trustworthiness.

  • In the Source attractiveness model criteria such as similarity, familiarity and liking are used.

  • To select a celebrity endorser, companies also rely on “Q” Ratings which are calculated as the ratio of the popularity percentage and the familiarity percentage. The “Q” Rating is measure of appealing ability of the celebrity.

  • The TEARS model (Shimp, 2000) emphasise on attributes such as trustworthiness, respect, expertise, similarity and attractiveness.

  • While the No TEARS approach engages both the attributes for celebrity and risk evaluation for selecting the endorser. Celebrity credibility, celebrity and audience match up, celebrity and brand match up, celebrity attractiveness, cost considerations, working ease or difficulty, saturation factor and trouble factor, all are involved in the No TEARS approach.

  • FREDD is an acronym for familiarity, relevance, esteem, differentiation and deportment (Ericsson & Hakansson, 2005).

2.6 Brand Celebrity Endorsement

Brand by definition of American Marketing Association Dictionary, is name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's goods or services as different from those of the other sellers. Brand is considered as the most valuable asset of any company. Corporates often borrow celebrities name to use for advertisement of its brand. Corporates relate the celebrity name with their product so that they could encash the endorsement cost. This sort of promotional stunt is endorsement (Erdogan, 2010). Using name or presence of any celebrity for advertisement is brand endorsement. Through Endorsement, if Celebrity has personally used any product or service and is in a position to confirm its quality, then he or she may give a testimonial noticing its benefits. For instance Bipasha Basu, endorses sugar free delight by certifying the quality of the product, as it is a part of her consumption basket. Endorsements basically lend weights to the product credibility (Kapferer, 2012).

Product endorsements are basically testimonial from some personalities that indicate their preference for a product. Branding gives identity to a product of any company. Brand personification by celebrity endorsement is an efficient option especially for Indian marketers, because of the diversity of the Indian consumer based on religion, ethnicity, value system and most importantly economic status. For coping with the diversity, Corporate need an icon far away from any sort of disparity. Usually, brand endorsements are solicited from socially prominent people, allowing corporate to advertise their products just by sticking alluring lines stating such as- “Used by ……” or “Recommended by ……”

The product endorsement concept is quite primeval. In western countries, for example, many companies marketing their products just by an association with the British royal family. Some have been marketing themselves using the tag line by appointment to the Queen. Consumers get seduced by such advertisements (Byrne, Whitehead and Breen, 2003). Contemporary product endorsements are done by using the celebrities, which costs more to the corporate. A prominent celebrity endorsed product does not imply that the product is of good quality, but it just mean that the producer has managed to associate the big name with is product. Thus, some endorsements may be misleading and faulty, just driven by monetary benefits of both corporate and the celebrities.

According to Celcom (M) Bhd CEO, Datuk Seri Shazalli Ramly, using a celebrity as an endorser or spokesperson is very useful but its efficiency totally depends on the target audience. In the views of Shazalli teenagers and those who are in their 20s, found to be most receptive towards such celebrity endorsements as they are more tempted towards the trends and happening things.

Few years ago, FMCG major Cadbury noticed itself in the middle of a storm. News of worms in its dairy milk bars leads the chocolate major into intense mess just after the Diwali season. It then lined in the Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan to guarantee consumers for the quality of its products. Similarly Shah rukh Khan (SRK) stepped in to restore confidence of the customers for the largest private sector bank in the country i.e. ICICI bank.

Celebrities struggling with controversies may spoil the brand image. In that case endorsement will prove to be a curse for the firm. However to cope with such situations, brands can drop the celebrity once they are found to be involved in negative controversies e.g. Michael Phelps was dropped by Kelloggs after emergence of his pictures of smoking (The Star online, 2009). President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Tony Bradley defines brand celebrity endorsement as the HALO Effect as the aim is to rub off the celebrity’s glamour to the brand or product. This glamour can be its beauty, strength or life style. According to Rose Bentley we are living in a celebrity led culture. Here we want everything just like our celebrities irrespective of suitable to our personality (The Independent, 2006).

Often we found ourselves paying more attention commercials on electronic media or paper media when we notice appearance of someone famous. Also trying a product endorsed by our stars, considering it worthy of their endorsement. According to the marketers the formula for capturing a lion’s share in the market is to simply hook a product to a star. Many a times brands chose a celebrity just because of its name, pretty face or celebrity status, rather they should consider the suitability of brand image with the image of the endorser celebrity. Building a campaign around the celebrity may harm the brand image. Celebrities appear with their own image. That image should be the point of choice. There's no doubt that celebrities prove to be effective in promoting the existing brands and creating recognitions for the new arrivals in the market (Daniel, 2002).

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