Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsement for the Product Laptop A Critical Study

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Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsement for the Product
                Laptop: A Critical Study
                                    Contents
Abstract        ………………………………………………………………………5



Introduction        ………………………………………………………………….7

               Emergence of celebrity endorsement          ...………………………..7

               Two sided effect of celebrity endorsement      …………………...8



Main Text         …………………………………………………………………..11

               Celebrity Endorsement Strategy       ………………..…………….11

               Company        ………...……………………………………………11

               Choose & use of celebrities as endorsers      ………………...…..12

               Celebrity      ……..……………………………………………….13

                               Source Credibility         ………………………….13

                               Source Attractiveness        ……………………....14

                               Source Power         ……………………………….15

               Brand       ……………...………………………………………….16

                               Brand Equity         ………………………………..16

                               Meaning Transfer           ………………………..…17

                               Multiple Brand Endorsement        ……………….18

               Consumer        ……………………………………………………..18

                               Consumer and Negative Publicity     ………….19
              Companies and the Endorser      …………………………………20

                             Acer and the Hrithik factor      …………...……20

                             Sony Vaio and Size Zero factor     ………..…..20

                             Lenovo and Khan Siblings         ……………..….21

                             HP/Compaq and King Khan          ……………….21

Analysis        …………………………………………………………………….22

Conclusion        ………………………………………………………………….32

Limitations       ………………………………………………………………….33

References       ………………………………………………………………….33

Questionnaire       ……………………………………………………………….34
                                   ABSTRACT
 Brand personality is an attractive and interesting concept in today’s marketing and
it is one of the core dimensions of a brand building process. In the competitive
scenario, brand personalities enable the consumers to differentiate between brands.
Brand personality is defined as “the set of human characteristics associated with a
brand” (Aaker, 1997). Brand personality plays a very important role in the process
of decision making and influences the customers to buy the product. It gives a
competitive edge to the brand and enables the brand to establish an identity of its
own in the marketplace.

Consumers tend to assign a distinct personality to a brand depending on various
associations with the brand. These perceptions of personality, researchers argue,
influence the consumer decision-making process while purchasing. Hence, every
form of appearance of brand influences the customer to attribute to the brand
personality. Celebrity endorsements, presentation of advertisements, messages etc.,
encourage the customer’s awareness of the brand and help him in judging the value
of the brand personality. Researchers argue that competitors can match the price,
product features and functional aspects of a product but they cannot match its
brand personality. This is how the brand personality becomes the competitive
advantage for the marketer.

Today marketers spend a huge amount of money in creating brand personality in
order to build a strong brand. Since brand personality creation involves dynamic
communication, advertising is a very important tool in creating brand personalities.
Companies invest large sums of money to align their brands and themselves with
celebrity endorsers. Research has shown that because of the fame of celebrities,
they do not only create and maintain attention of the consumers but they also
achieve high message recall. However, companies have limited control over the
celebrity’s persona which can also result in high risk and “no gain” situations (e.g.
the scandals surrounding celebrities like Michael Jackson, Kate Moss, Britney
Spears, Paris Hilton). As a result, companies build characters (using people who
are not celebrities) which are congruent with their brands and target-audiences, and
ensure that these characters are endorsing only one product.
Moreover the rapid increase of clutter in TV advertising and newer forms of
communication such as print, radio, internet, shopping malls, in-movie placement
and direct marketing are challenging advertising to prove its effectiveness.
Moreover, one celebrity appears in more than a dozen advertisements at the same
time. This mess leads to the consumer not recognizing the brand. Experts argue
that the brand will be successful only when there is a match between the
personalities of the brands and those of the customers. Most brands fail mainly due
to mismatch between the consumer’s self-image and the brand-user image.
Research has shown that not only the classification of the product, source
credibility and source attractiveness can influence the effectiveness of the celebrity
endorser but also the match between the brand and/or product with the celebrity.
There should be a congruence between the celebrity and the product in terms of
characteristics such as image, expertise or attractiveness. Even though creating a
brand personality is an effective approach to build a strong brand, the marketers
are facing huge challenges and risks during the brand building process. The
customer’s personality changes frequently according to the market scenario. The
marketer should also change the brand personality to match the customer’s
personality. It is very difficult and risky, since brand personality that has occupied
the customer’s mind may not facilitate change easily and the marketer may lose
some segment of customers. For instance, young customers using a particular
brand in their youth, may not find it relevant when they grow old.
                            INTRODUCTION
The emergence of celebrity endorsement
The use of advertising has changed over the past 150 years, from the classical to
the modern school. In the modern advertising strategies various appeals are
included, such as sexual, chock, emotional, fear and humour. The main purpose of
these appeals is to deliver the information that the company seeks to send to gain
high brand awareness and brand recognition among a large audience. However,
when using any of these appeals there is always a person included, sometimes
someone unknown or in most cases a well known person in the public eye.
According to Mc Cracken(1989), a well known person tends to have a greater
effect on the consumer buying behavior. This is especially if people more easily
can identify themselves with this particular person. Mc Cracken(1989) also states
that celebrity endorsement advertising has been recognized as a ubiquitous feature
of modern marketing.

The concept itself, celebrity endorsement, is recognized by marketers because it
has an effect that influences the message (brand) the company is trying to send
from someone that the consumers feel a sense of similarity with. Consumers tend
to evaluate information from a communicator (celebrity), which they have similar
a goal, interest or lifestyle with greater than someone they do not. Furthermore,
celebrities have an ability to transfer their image to a specific product that is being
advertised. Companies have taken this opportunity into account and tries, through
using it as an advertising tool, to gain a high brand exposure, attention, interest,
desire and action.

Celebrities are people who enjoy public recognition by a large share of a certain
group of people and they have distinctive characteristics, such as attractiveness and
trustworthiness. Many companies have realized the importance of celebrity
endorsement as a marketing communication tool, a company will in the short run
generate a high awareness among a larger audience as well as an increased market
share. Since this advertising tool has gained such attention from various
companies, the price level is extremely high. As billions of dollars are spent per
year on celebrity endorsement contracts, which indicates that celebrities play an
enormous and important role for the advertising industry. Shahrukh Khan is
reported to charge around Rs. 3-5 crore per annum for brand endorsement, while
Saif Ali Khan charges Rs. 1-1.5 crore. The PC majors have been spending mega
bucks to make full use of celebrity endorsers with aggressive 360 degree marketing
campaigns.

This shows that celebrity endorsement is a very popular advertising tool, due to the
prices companies are ready to pay and the effect it has on consumers buying
behavior. Therefore, a dispute arises upon which attributes and personal
characteristics of a celebrity a company base their choice. Furthermore, Silvera &
Austad (2004) state that celebrities are effective endorsers because they are viewed
as highly believable, likable, pursuable, and trustworthy. However, celebrity
endorsement might vary when it comes to the fit between the celebrity and the
advertised product, as well as the level of effectiveness on the purchasing behavior.
This entails that the use of celebrity endorsement might have a risk when there is a
lack of fit or when the celebrity gets associated with negative publicity. Negative
publicity occurs when negative information is spread and associated with the
celebrity. Hence, negative information can be direct, indirect and/or perceived
subjectively.

The two-sided effect of celebrity endorsement
There are not many researchers who have embarked on the concept of negative
information, which celebrities’ causes for consumers’ evaluation of endorsed
brands (Till & Shimp, 1998), but still there are many different aspects on how
negative information can be viewed. Furthermore, Soderlund (2003) argues that
celebrities can be perceived as less trustworthy when they are advertising too many
brands (multiple brand endorsement) since the consumers get diverse information.
On one hand, a celebrity who is linked with positive information has a greater
opportunity to reach out to the targeted audience. On the other hand, negative
information brings an association that decreases the trustworthiness of a celebrity
and the fit with the brand, which is also the authors’ definition of negative
information.

One example where the fit between the celebrity and the brand has been very
successful is Michael Jordan and Nike. The reason that the authors assume the
perfect fit with the brand is based on the fact that Nike captured their endorser to a
higher level where they developed a new brand within Nike called Air Jordan. One
can assume that Michael Jordan has not shown any indications of being
revolutionary in the media. Basically, one can say that Michael Jordan has been a
very good endorser for this brand, in the sense of his high expertise and him being
trustworthy, where a large audience feels a sense of similarity with. Now twenty
years later, they still use him in their advertising, which strengthens the assumption
of the good fit between Michael and Nike (Belch & Belch, 2001).

Having this information in mind the authors decided to create a model to facilitate
the understanding of how the use of a celebrity affects the company. The figure
below shows, when the information the celebrity sends out is optimal, and there are




                    Figure: The Optimal use of celebrity endorsement

no obstacles between the celebrity, brand, consumers and company. As one can
see, when looking at the model, the company, celebrity, brand and consumers are
interconnected as a continuous network. In this optimal model, there are no
particular obstacles that harm the celebrity endorsement process. This implies that
the fit between the celebrity and brand are integrated. Soderlund (2003) argues that
celebrities are not profitable to be used in a long run perspective, if they in any
matters are not maintaining relevance with the consumers.

This is an issue for companies, because consumers are easily adapting to another
celebrity, sometimes because one cannot fully predict the life span of a celebrity.
This can affect the brand image and also the level of loyalty a consumer has
towards a brand. Furthermore, Soderlund (2003) discusses that demographical
changes of a celebrity cannot be seen as anything negative towards the brand.

However, everyone cannot be as perfect as Michael Jordan. There are always some
celebrities that get negative publicity, sometimes what media creates (Ritesh
Deshmukh) and sometimes their own personal actions (Sanjay Dutt, Salman
Khan). This indicates that companies have to be more careful when selecting a
celebrity who will endorse one of their brands. Below is a figure that tends to
demonstrate how negative publicity of a celebrity affects the company, brand and
consumer. This figure tells us, that when a celebrity is associated with negative
publicity, the celebrity is only affecting each part separately and that there is no
connection between the company, brand and consumer. Furthermore, there is no




                         Figure: Effect of negative information

flow in the network of connections which also affects the lack of fit between the
celebrity and brand.
                                 MAIN TEXT
Celebrity endorsement strategy
Marketers usually use individuals who have achieved some form of celebrity status
to serve as spokespersons for their companies. Most of the celebrities that are hired
by a company to pitch their products or services are popular people, movie stars,
entertainers, athletics or pop stars, although occasionally a politician or some other
well known public figure may be used. Furthermore, when a company decides
upon using an endorsement strategy as their marketing communication tool, the
main focus lies in exposing their brand. In an endorsement strategy a new sort of
product is given a new brand name that is unique for that product. Besides the
unique brand name, they also get provided with the name of an endorser. In this
case, the endorser is a celebrity and functions as endorsement which means an
approval or support that can be seen as a guarantee of recommendations for
consumers. According to Riezebos (2003) it is only advisable to use endorsers for
brands if there is a high level of brand added value. This means that the name of
the endorser should be clearly visible to the name of the branded article.

Companies have jointly been using their brands and themselves, through the use of
celebrity endorsers, in hope that celebrities may boost effectiveness of their
marketing attempts in the long term. Basically, a company is trying to send various
types of information to their target audience. To be able to develop an effective
advertising and promotional campaign, a company has to select their endorser
appropriate to different channels and media. Thus, the brand can be seen as the
message the company is trying to send to their audience. Moreover, the source
which is intended to send this message in an endorsement strategy is in this case,
the celebrity. Furthermore, the receiver in the communication process is the
consumer.

Company
There are several reasons why companies choose to use celebrity endorsement to a
large extent. Managers seek to refresh the brand image, awareness and attention
getting and also to add new dimensions to the brand image. According to Pringle
(2004), the best identified celebrity that is seen as the best for promoting a brand, is
one of the more important decisions considering how consumers will perceive the
brand. There are less important decisions for a brand compared to the choice of
celebrity such as what is named, places where it is seen and sold and what kind of
advertising campaign it runs. These considerations are taken into account and this
is also the reason why many companies are ready to invest a huge amount of
money in choosing and using a certain celebrity, whose identity fits well with their
brand. However, it is not only the involvement between the celebrity and the
brand, the consumers, are also integrated.




                           Figure: A Triangular Relationship

These three factors are important for a company to take into account in order to
avoid any obstacles when it comes to the triangular relationship. Hence, another
important area is that the company only can regulate these three to a certain extent,
for the process of celebrity endorsement to be successful.

Unfortunately, when looking at previous experiences from the use of celebrity
endorsement, there are many examples that celebrities might change their
behavior, views and their perceived personality rather drastically. Certainly,
consumers might change their perception of the celebrities since the latter
mentioned have changed. However, the worst outcome is that a celebrity is
certainly no longer the individual that the company chose to promote their brand in
the first place. This leads to a decrease in the connection between the celebrity and
brand.

Choose and use celebrities as endorsers
Celebrities can be chosen by companies to increase their competitive advantage for
three main reasons: launch, reinforcement and repositioning.

    The first opportunity is when launching the brand for the first time and the
     use of celebrity can be very powerful in this situation. This can be
     particularly strong when establishing a new category and the consumers
     need reassurance and an appropriate star will provide them this.
    Celebrity endorsement can be very effective when maintaining and
     reinforcing a brand’s competitive position in the market. The use of
     celebrities in this situation can be especially effective if other brands have
     entered the marketplace and thereby changed its dynamics.
    When the consumers’ needs create greater potential in a different sector in
     the market than one which the brand is currently positioned, repositioning
     with the help of a celebrity will be in order. The appropriate celebrity can be
     used as the focus of the brand communication and this shows consumers that
     its positioning is changing in order to suit an emerging target audience.

Celebrity
A celebrity can be considered as the source of the message a company seeks to
send to their target audience. According to Belch & Belch (2001), the term source,
when talking about the involvement in communicating a marketing message, can
occur either directly or indirectly. Directly can be the celebrity who functions as a
spokesperson and who sends out the information that the company wants to deliver
to their target audience. Indirectly is when a celebrity does not send the message,
but instead draw attention to and/or enhances the appearance of the ad. However,
as mentioned in phrase one, a company have to carefully select a celebrity that has
a good fit with the brand, which is intended to be exposed.

When a company decides on the use of a celebrity in their endorsement strategy,
there are three very important source factors: source credibility, source
attractiveness and source power.

Source credibility

Credibility is the extent to which the receiver sees the source as having relevant
knowledge, skills, experience and trust to give unbiased and objective information.
Source credibility is used to imply a communicator’s positive characteristics that
will affect the receiver’s acceptance of a message. Basically, one can say that a
communicator, celebrity, can be seen as knowledgeable and a person with
expertise. Furthermore, the source needs to be trustworthy, in the sense of honesty,
ethics and believability.
    Expertise: The spokesperson are often chosen due to their knowledge,
     experience and expertise in a particular product or service. Furthermore, the
     perceived expertise of celebrity endorsers is more important in explaining
     purchase intentions rather than their attractiveness and trustworthiness. On
     the whole, source expertise in persuasive communication, indicates
     generally that the source’s perceived expertise has a positive impact on
     attitude change.
    Trustworthiness: In comparison to expertise, a celebrity needs to be
     trustworthy when endorsing a product or a service. This is logically based on
     how honest the celebrity is about what he/she says concerning the brand.
     Moreover, when a celebrity is perceived more trustworthy, the message will
     be more effective and the receiver will be more integrated. Hence,
     trustworthiness is the degree of confidence in the communicator’s intention
     to communicate the assertions he/she considers being the most valid.

Belch & Belch (2001) argues that when the information from a credible source
influences the beliefs, opinions and attitudes of the receiver, the latter mentioned
adopts the opinion of the credible communicator. This is based on the assumption
that the information from the source is accurate. If the celebrity achieves to
integrate the receiver with the information that he/she meant to send, the company
will, in the long run, gain a loyal consumer in the sense that the consumer is more
integrated with the brand and not to a high scope with the celebrity.

Source attractiveness: source attractiveness is more related to physical attributes,
such as similarity, familiarity and likeability. These are important in the
individual’s initial judgement between the source and the receiver of the message,
while familiarity refers to the knowledge of the source through exposure.
Likeability is affection for the source as a result of physical appearance, behavior
or other personal traits. Source attractiveness affects the receiver in the sense that
they are identifying themselves with the celebrity. This does also motivate the
receiver to seek some type of relationship with the source and thus adopts similar
beliefs, attitudes, preferences or behavior. Furthermore, if a celebrity changes
position, the receiver might follow and adapt to these changes. If this happens, the
celebrity has fulfilled its function. However, not many celebrities achieve this, but
as mentioned before, the main purpose with source attractiveness is to make a
consumer feel a part of the celebrity as well as the company and brand.

The three attributes are elaborated below:

    Similarity: The consumers are more easily influenced by a message coming
     from someone with whom they feel a sense of similarity with. Furthermore,
     similarity can be measured if the communicator and receiver have similar
     needs, goals, interest and lifestyle.
    Familiarity: Familiarity can be considered as the level knowledge a celebrity
     possess of a brand. When a company considers choosing a celebrity for their
     advertising campaign, they need to analyze the previous knowledge a
     celebrity has or how he/she will utilize their knowledge in the exposure
     phase.
    Likeability: Marketers have an important function when choosing which
     celebrity to use in their advertising campaign. Basically, these celebrities
     need to be admired or at least well known in the public eye. Furthermore,
     celebrities have to be popular on the market and have certain characteristics
     that are extravagant. Moreover the company has to find a balance to make
     sure that the celebrity does not overshadow the brand itself. This can be a
     problem for the company when a celebrity might be associated with negative
     information.

Summarizing the effect of source attractiveness, one can say that it is used to create
effective messages, where the attribute attractiveness refers to the endorser’s
physical appearance, personality, likeability and similarity.

Source power: When mentioning the power of the celebrity has in advertising, one
mainly refers to how well they can persuade the consumer to a purchase. This is
very beneficial in personal selling, where personal communication can be an
efficient way to convince or lead a consumer into a purchase. However, power as
source characteristics is very difficult to apply in a non-personal influence situation
such as advertising. The reason is that a celebrity in an ad generally cannot apply
any sanctions to the receiver or determine any compliance that will actually occur.
However, the source can be beneficial in an endorsement strategy when using an
individual with an authoritative personality as a spokesperson.
Brand
A brand, is a name, term, sign, symbol or even a combination of them in order to
identify the goods and services that are being advertised. The consumers will be
able to more easily differentiate one brand from their competitors due to the
different attributes associated with the brand. Advertising has a great impact on
how consumers will perceive a brand. Branding is about creating differences and
providing products/services with the power of brand equity.

Brand equity

Even though brand equity differs among companies it should be defined within the
area of marketing effects that is distinctive to a brand. The concept of brand equity
arises when consumers react to more preferable products and the way it is
marketed when the brand gets identified. One has to be aware that brand equity
will be less valuable for the manufacturers and retailers if it does not have any
meaning to the consumers. The brand knowledge is composed of awareness (recall
and recognition) whereas brand image is more about favourability, strength and
uniqueness of a brand association.

Advertisers spend great sums of money to have celebrities promoting their
products/services with the expectation that consumers will react positively to the
celebrity’s association with a certain brand. Consumers might say to themselves “If
she uses it, it must be good” and “If I use it, I will be like her”. In the long term,
this way of thinking may lead to an increase in the sales and thereafter the brand
equity. Brand equity indicates the intrinsic value in a well known brand perception
of the brand domination and through social esteem that is provided when using it
as well as the companies trust and identification with the brand. The most valuable
assets in many companies are their brand names such as Sony, Dell, HP which are
also referred to as mega brands.

Brand equity can be influenced by advertising in several ways. Awareness of the
brand can be created and increase the brand associations get stored in the
consumers accessible memory, it can later lead to behavioural actions. The usage
experience can be influenced through the use of advertising and it can also affect
the perceived quality of a brand. A celebrity spokesperson is used in order to
promote a company’s product/brand and for these in turn to be associated with the
celebrity. This relates to the image/meaning transfer model.

Meaning transfer

Mc Cracken’s transfer model is based on meanings and he suggests that the
effectiveness of the endorser depends on the meaning the celebrity is bringing into
the endorsement process and the brand. Hence, he created the meaning transfer
model in order to explain the celebrity endorsement process. Celebrities are full of
different meanings e.g. demography (age, gender), personality and lifestyle types.
This makes it obvious that a celebrity represents not only one meaning but rather a
variety of several ones. These celebrity spokesperson are very useful in marketing
brands since they provide the consumers with quite a few characteristics when
evaluating the brands in question. Celebrities add value to the image because they
are offering meanings of deepness and power from their personality and lifestyles,
in comparison to non-famous endorsers.
        Meaning Acquisition                    Endorsement                 Consumption



           Role 1

        Role 2                    Celebrity                  Product           Consumer

           Role 3       Stage 1                       Stage 2                      Stage 3




                     Figure: Meaning transfer in the endorsement process

The model illustrates a three-stage process of meaning transfer. This involves the
creation of the celebrity image, transfer of meaning from the celebrity to the brand
and the third stage is how the brand transfers image onto the consumers.

When the brand’s representative features should be determined, the consumers’
needs should be considered. Then the advertising company has to decide on what
celebrity to choose and who possess the most appropriate characteristics in relation
to the brand. Simply, there has to be a congruence or fit between the celebrity and
the product/brand.
Multiple brand endorsement

Nowadays, it is not unlikely that celebrity spokespersons can and are endorsing
several or a specific brand. This situation is called multiple brand endorsement or
even multiple celebrity endorsement. Advertising firms might share certain
spokespersons and thus the celebrity will end up promoting more than one brand.
An example of this is Saif Ali Khan who promotes both Lenovo and Lays. Also,
Hrithik Roshan endorses Hero Honda, Acer, Sony Ericson, Reliance etc. the
marketers have to question if this kind of celebrity endorsement does affect
consumer brand attitudes. However, consumers are becoming more knowledgeable
within the field of marketing and they might think that the celebrity rather prefers
to get paid instead of transferring any meaning to the product, which in turn will
affect the consumer buying behavior.

An endorsement of four different brands or products does indeed influence the
celebrity’s credibility, trustworthiness, expertise and likeability. The reason for this
is that a famous person, who endorses several products instead of only focusing
and representing one specific brand, will eventually attain a lack of distinctiveness.
However, one has to be aware that the use of multiple brand endorsement does not
have to imply that it is useless. Researches have actually shown some potential
positive effects like transfer of positive brand images. Also, the shape of
consumers response gets affected positively when more than four products are
being endorsed.

It can also be beneficial to endorse a product with multiple celebrities. Celebrity
spokespersons represent a different mix of types, like gender and age. Using
multiple celebrities in collaboration they can more effectively endorse a specific
brand.

Consumer
The continuously increasing competitiveness has triggered many advertisers to
realize that they need to detect the consumers’ actual needs in order to satisfy
them. By identifying the consumer buying behavior, it is more likely that the
marketers will target products and services directly towards the consumers’ needs.
Marketing is about satisfying needs and therefore it is crucial for marketers to
understand the relevance of human needs to buyer behavior. Consumers tend to
search for purchase, use, evaluate and dispose products/services that they expect
will satisfy their needs.

The uses of endorsers as credible sources are nowadays being frequently used by
advertisers in order to influence consumers’ attitudes and purchase intentions.
Credibility means, in this context, the extent which the source is perceived as
possessing expertise relevant to the communication topic and can be trusted to give
an objective opinion related to the subject. Trustworthiness refers to the honesty
and believability of the source whereas expertise are dimensions that are important
to theorize credibility and it has been shown that they are very influencial when
influencing attitudes and persuading consumers.

Consumer behavior and negative publicity

Publicity tends to be more credible and have more power than general marketing
communications exerted by a company. Especially, negative publicity seems to
have the tendency to damage the company’s image. This is mainly due to the fact
that high credibility as well aas the negativity effect has a tendency to be more
reflected upon than positive information in the consumer’s evaluations. It is more
likely that companies will receive bad exposure since the media prefers to present
bad news. The companies have to be aware of the possibility of attaining negative
publicity when using celebrities as endorsers, since this may effect the consumers’
perception of the brand.

Moreover, if negative publicity leads to brand damage, the media can be seen both
as the source/spreader of publicity simultaneously as challenges. In the case of
source/spreader the media functions as a gate-keeper whereby it concentrates on
those incidents that bring about newsworthiness. Other incidents with a high
newsworthiness are relevant with a particular brand in crisis. This is mainly true
because the other events can act as deflections and push away the negative
publicity of the brand. The media can therefore also play an essential role in the
challenge of negative publicity. In this case, one can think of the incident as
possible but on the other hand the attention during this news should be spent on the
rebuilding of a brand in order to retain the consumers and maintain the brand
recognition.
When a company has a potential relationship with a celebrity, the consumers will
not focus on the company but rather on the circumstances surrounding the
celebrity. Consumer’s reaction may not be unpleasant when firm reject high blame
potential endorsers since these could be harmful to the company’s image and the
consumer buying behavior. However, due to the reason of consumers being
defensive, they are supposed to not react heavily complex than existing endorsers.

Companies and the Endorser

Acer and the Hrithik factor

Acer is the leading notebook vendor in Europe & ASEAN Bloc and one of the
world’s top PC brands. On endorsement by Hrithik, Mr.W.S. Mukund, Managing
Director said, “The tie-up with Hrithik is a natural fit with the personality of the
brand, which stands for youthful, trendy, friendly, adorable and aggressive. Brand
association with Hrithik, the leading filmstar with a string of successes such as
Krishh & Dhoom-2, will give us a better mindshare among the young and first time
users.”

The popular Bollywood star, better known for his smooth dance moves and suave
on-screen performance had built a strong connect for brand Acer. The endorsement
of Hrithik Roshan as brand ambassador for India aims to create a platform where
the brand is able to convey its brand attributes to a mass audience; attributes which
it believes are a perfect match with those of the Bollywood icon’s persona.

Sony Vaio and Size Zero factor

Sony India plans to capture 20% of the consumer notebook market with the
combination of excellent product design, channel expansion and exciting
communication strategy.

To deliver the ultimate punch of dynamism and energy Sony has signed on
Bollywood superstar Kareena Kapoor as its new brand ambassador for VAIO X
(Size Zero Laptops). at 655 gms and just about a haf-inch thin, VAIO X is setting a
new benchmark in notebook technology as the world’s lightest notebook.

The actress, who was responsible for making ‘Size Zero’ a household term a
couple of years ago, thus becomes the first Indian brand ambassador of Sony Vaio.
Says a source associated with the brand, “When Sony Vaio thought of launching
the ‘Size Zero’ range of laptops, the only person who embodied what the brand
stood for was Kareena Kapoor. She is the industry’s No. 1 actress and the new
range of Sony Vaio’s laptops is compact, classy, chic and sophisticated, just like
Kareena.”

Lenovo and Khan siblings

Lenovo has also roped in Bollywood brother-sister duo of Saif Ali Khan and Soha
Ali Khan to endorse its products. Commenting on the association with the
Bollywood stars, Neeraj Sharma, Managing Director, Lenovo South Asia, said,
“We’ve chosen them carefully to reflect our values of innovation, excellence and
passion. They are, we believe, on the path to mega stardom, fan following and
commercial success. They appeal to young and old alike as we believe our PCs and
notebooks will too.”

“We wanted a celebrity that was best suited to project the three key attributes of
the new Lenovo brand- innovation, excitement and vibrant. Saif is vinrant and
brings excitement. Taking Saif and Soha was an innovation. We did it first and
now you see more people doing it,” says Rahul Aggarwal GM, Marketing, Lenovo
India.

HP/Compaq and the King Khan

 When HP/Compaq roped in Bollywood’s King Khan in February 2006 to promote
Compaq it was because of Shahrukh’s smart-is-successful appeal that went across
national boundaries. The subsequent universal success of the Compaq Presario
range was proof indeed that the company was right in its choice of brand
ambassador like Shahrukh Khan.

“Considering Shahrukh’s movies move the world, we knew he was just the guy to
take our brand’s popularity still further. The number one personal computer brand
in India, Presario scaled undreamed of heights with Shahrukh in the promo-lead
right across India,” informed Shubhodip Pal, Head Marketing-Personal Systems
Group, HP India.
                                   Analysis
Primary data is collected directly from respondents using data collection methods.
Here in this study the data collection method used is questionnaires. A
questionnaire had been developed which helped to identify customer perception
towards celebrity endorsement. The questionnaire included open and closed ended
questions, also likert attitude scale of measurement was used to measure the
customer preference towards various factors.

A sample size of 80 individuals (simple random sample) was taken for carrying out
the research study. The findings are shown as hereunder in sequential order.

   1. Do you have a celebrity icon whose style you try to imitate?



                  Percentage of respondents who have
                  a Celebrity Icon whose style they try
                                to imitate

                                           32.50%

                                                                     Yes
                          67.50%
                                                                     No




According to the study, most of the people did not have a celebrity icon whose
style they tried to imitate i.e. 67.5%. also there was a considerable number of
respondents who had a celebrity icon whose style they tried to imitate. When asked
who they were? Some replied Aamir khan, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan etc.,
some told the names of eminent professionals/businessman such as Tatas and
Birlas, some named politicians, some eminent scholars.
   2. Attention to advertisements using celebrity icons

                     Attention to advertisement using
                              Celebrity Icons
                            2.50%

                          10%   5%
                                                           Strongly Agree
                                            35%
                                                           Agree
                                                           Neutral
                 47.50%
                                                           Disagree
                                                           Strongly Disagree




Most of the respondents were neutral (47.5%) regarding the above statement. 35%
of the respondents agreed while 5% strongly agreed. The response in this case was
more on the agreed side than on the disagreed side which accounted for 12.5% of
the respondents.

   3. Laptops currently owned



                      No. of Laptops currently ownned
            45.00%
            40.00%
            35.00%
            30.00%
            25.00%
            20.00%
                                                      No. of Laptops currently
            15.00%
                                                      ownned
            10.00%
             5.00%
             0.00%
   4. Factors affecting their buying behavior toward this purchase



              70%
              60%
                                                        Price/Quality
              50%
              40%
                                                        Features{configuration,de
              30%                                       sign,battery life etc.}
              20%                                       Brand Name
              10%
               0%                                       Celebrity Endorser


                                                        Location of the
                                                        Showroom




The most important factor which affected the buying behavior towards the
purchase of their respective laptops was the features of the laptops which includes
design, configuration, battery life etc, which was rated as most preferred by 65% of
the respondents. The second most important factor is the price, which was rated as
most preferred by 50% of the respondents and moderately preferred by 30% of
respondents. Most of the respondents were neutral regarding the brand name.
However, the respondents paid less heed to the celebrity endorser and the location
of the showroom, both rated as least preferred by 27.5% of the respondents and as
less preferred by 40% and 25% of the respondents respectively.

As we can see in the pie chart of Price/Quality 50% of the respondents preferred it
mostly, 30% preferred it moderately and 20% were neutral regarding their choice.
The pie chart of features which includes configuration, battery life, design etc.,
clearly shows that 65% of the respondents preferred features mostly while making
their decision to purchase their laptop, 25% preferred it moderately while 5% were
neutral regarding their choice.
          Price/Quality                                    Features{configuratio
                          Most Preferred                    n,design,battery life
0         0               Moderately
                                                                   etc.} Most
                          Preferred                                        2.50%         Preferred
    20%                                                        2.50%
                                                      5%                                 Moderately
                    50%   Neutral                                                        Preferred
30%
                                                           25%                           Neutral
                          Less Preferred                                    65%
                                                                                         Less Preferred

                          Least Preferred                                                Least
                                                                                         Preferred




          Brand Name                                            Celebrity Endorser
                                                                                          Most Preferred
            2.50%          Most
      0                    Preferred                                   0     10%          Moderately
                           Moderately                                              22.50% Preferred
27.50%        35%
                           Preferred                           27.50%
                                                                                          Neutral
      35%                  Neutral                                40%
                                                                                          Less Preferred
                           Less
                           Preferred
                                                                                          Least Preferred
                           Least
                           Preferred




                                        Location of the
                                          Showroom
                                                                 Most Preferred
                                              7.50%
                                                      12.50%
                                                                 Moderately
                                     27.50%                      Preferred
                                              27.50%             Neutral
                                       25%

                                                                 Less Preferred

                                                                 Least Preferred
35% of the respondents mostly/moderately preferred the brand name. However,
27.5% of the respondents were neutral regarding their choice, while there was a
very small percentage of respondents who responded brand name as less/least
preferred.

The celebrity endorser was given less preference by the respondents while buying
their brand of laptops and accounted for 40% of their negative response.27.5% of
the respondents least preferred the celebrities while making a purchase decision
regarding laptops while 22.55 of the respondents were neutral regarding this
choice.

The location, however, was given least preference by 27.5% of the respondents
while the same percentage of respondents were neutral regarding the location of
the showroom. 25% of the respondents less preferred the location while making the
purchase decision. However, there was a small percentage of respondents that
considered location while making the purchase decision (12.5% and 7.5%).


   5. Celebrity persona as rated by respondents



              50.00%
              45.00%
              40.00%
              35.00%
              30.00%
              25.00%
                                                            Actors/Actresses
              20.00%
              15.00%                                        Sport Stars
              10.00%
               5.00%                                        Business Tycoons
               0.00%                                        Non Celebrities




The most preferred celebrity persona by the respondents for the endorsement of
their laptop brand were the business tycoons, approx. 20% preferred them the
most. The second in case of most preferred were the sport stars (17.5%), while
actors/actresses and non celebrities, both ranked third.

The moderately preferred celebrity persona were the actors/actresses which gained
32.5% response. The second in this cadre were sport stars (25%), followed by
business tycoons (15%) and non celebrities (10%).

The respondents were neutral regarding the endorsement by non celebrities.
However, the sport stars and non celebrities were less preferred, both accounting
for 25% of the respondents.

However, in the least preferred cadre were the actors/actresses (20%) and non
celebrities (20%) which were on the top followed by business tycoons (12.5%) and
sport star (10%) respectively.

   6. Attraction for buying a laptop endorsed by a celebrity



                    Percentage of respondents who get
                    attracted to buy a Laptop endorsed
                               by a celebrity
                                   2.50%

                              12.50%       20%              Strongly Agree
                                                            Agree
                     32.50%
                                                            Neutral
                                            32.50%
                                                            Disagree
                                                            Strongly Disagree




Most of the respondents either disagreed (32.5%) or were neutral (32.5%)
regarding the attraction to buy a laptop endorsed by a celebrity. However, 20% of
the respondents agreed to the above statement while there was a very small
percentage of respondents i.e. 2.5% who strongly agreed.
   7. Reasons for the attraction as mentioned in point no. 6



        60.00%

        50.00%

        40.00%
                                                         He enhances credibility of the
                                                         laptop
        30.00%
                                                         His personality is similar to
        20.00%                                           mine
                                                         Recalling the brand becomes
        10.00%                                           easy
                                                         He himself uses the product
         0.00%




Some of the respondents actually got attracted to buy a laptop endorsed by a
celebrity. The reason being that the respondents are able to recall the brand
because of the celebrity endorsement, which has been marked as moderately
likeable by 55.55% of the respondents. The other reason for the attraction is that
the respondents somehow feel that the celebrity brings credibility to the advertising
message, which has been rated as most and moderately likely by 33.33%
respectively by the respondents. The respondents also feel that there is some
similarity between the personality of theirs and the celebrity endorser which has
been rated as moderately likeable by 44.44% of the respondents, 33.34% were
neutral regarding this choice. Most of the respondents were neutral regarding the
statement that the celebrity themselves use the product they endorse which
accounted for 44.45% of their response. 22.22% of the respondents also felt that it
is less likely that the celebrity uses the product they endorse. However, 11.11% of
the respondents felt that it is moderately likeable that the celebrity uses the product
they endorse.
   8. Celebrity followed while purchasing a new laptop



                Respective percentage of respondents
                   who follow their celebrity while
                      purchasing a new laptop
                                     0
                                5%       12.50%
                                                  10%           Everytime
                                                                Occassionally
                                                                Rarely
                      72.50%                                    Never
                                                                Can't Say




Here, following the celebrity means actually following the celebrity i.e. if the
celebrity switches the endorsement from one brand to another, the respective
person would follow the footsteps of his/her celebrity, for e.g., suppose my favorite
celebrity is Aamir Khan and suppose he endorses Acer brand of laptop. Now, if
Aamir Khan starts endorsing Lenovo brand of laptop, so I would switch from Acer
to Lenovo, thereby following the footsteps of my celebrity.

So, here most of the respondents i.e. 72.5% were of the view that they never
followed the celebrity endorser, while 12.5% were of the view that they do follow
their celebrity occasionally, 10% did followed their celebrity rarely. However, 5%
could not say anything regarding the above statement.
   9. Respondents response towards other factors



     50%

     45%                                                      Celebrity endorsement is the
                                                              most appealing advertising
     40%                                                      method
     35%                                                      Celebrities bring credibility to
                                                              advertising message
     30%

     25%                                                      I think celebrity endorsement is
                                                              ineffective for laptops
     20%

     15%                                                      Celebrity endorsement affect the
                                                              sale of the laptop
     10%

      5%                                                      Will you stop buying a brand if
                                                              the celebrity endorsing it gets
      0%                                                      involved in a scandal
           Strongly   Agree   Neutral   Disagree   Strongly
            Agree                                  Disagree


Taking the first factor into account i.e. celebrity endorsement is the most appealing
advertising method, 10% of the respondents strongly agreed, 30% agreed.
However, 17.5% disagreed and 12.5% respondents strongly disagreed with the
above statement. There were 30% respondents who were neutral regarding the
above statement.

Regarding the second factor i.e., celebrities bring credibility to the advertising
message, 15% respondents strongly agreed, 45% agreed while 25% disagreed and
5% strongly disagreed. However, 25% respondents were neutral.

Taking the third factor i.e., I think celebrity endorsement is ineffective for laptops,
25%/17.5% of the respondents strongly agreed/agreed while 17.5%/2.5%
disagreed/strongly disagreed with the statement. There was also a group of
respondents which was neutral and accounted for 37.5% of the total group.

Taking the fourth factor into consideration i.e., celebrity endorsement affect the
sale of the laptop, the response was quite varied.12.5%/35% of the respondents
strongly agreed/agreed whereas 15%/10% of the respondents disagreed/strongly
disagreed with the statement. 27.5% respondents were neutral regarding the above
statement.

Regarding the fifth factor i.e., will you stop buying a brand if the celebrity
associated with it gets involved in a scandal, most respondents disagreed (42.5%)
with the statement. However 20% of the respondents were neutral regarding the
statement. There was a very small percentage of respondents who agreed to the
above statement.

The last factor i.e., I intentionally purchase the laptop because of their association
with the celebrity, also showed negative response. 50% of the respondents
disagreed while 27.5% of the respondents strongly disagreed with the statement.
However, 10% of the respondents also agreed with it. 12.5% respondents were
neutral.
                                     Conclusion
Regarding the previous purchase of the brand of laptops by the respondents, the
first priority was given to the features of the laptop which included battery life,
composition of hardware, configuration, design etc. The second preference was
given to the price of the brand of laptops. This is further supported by the fact that
most of the respondents had HP as their brand of laptop and this was so because of
its low price and after sales service. The celebrity endorser was paid the least heed
when it came to purchasing the brand of laptop.
Most of the respondents actually preferred business tycoons such as CEOs of
eminent companies to endorse their brand of laptops. The second preference was
given to the sport stars. In this case too, celebrity endorsement could not secure
well deserved position in the eyes of the respondents.
The respondents who paid attention to the advertisement using celebrity icons do
so as they believed that recalling the brand becomes much easier. Indeed, very
true.. Moreover, the respondents felt that the celebrities brought credibility to the
advertising message. Endorsement of products by some eminent personalities
make the product more convincing to be used by the general public. The
respondents also felt that the personality of the celebrity endorser matches their
personality and that is why they paid more attention to the advertisement using
celebrity icons.
No doubt the celebrity endorsement is the most appealing advertising method,
celebrities bring credibility to the advertising message, affect the sale of the
product but as far as the laptop category is concerned, celebrity endorsement
proves to be ineffective in this segment. When it comes to purchasing a laptop
there comes a variety of factors which seem to be more important than the
celebrity endorsement. These factors may include hardware configuration, design,
price, after sales service, brand etc. Mostly the people do a lot of search when it
comes to purchasing laptops and thereby celebrities are left far behind. This is
further supported by the fact that HP, despite using Shahrukh Khan in its
advertisements saw a dip in its sales. Moreover, HP India’s director, Rajiv Grover
also said that the company has not decided to renew the contract with Shahrukh
Khan. Similarly, Lenovo has not renewed the contract with Saif Ali Khan.
Limitations of the study: The limitations of the study are:
     a. Time constraints: This study is totally about meeting people, which
        involves moving within the city, which certainly requires time.
     b. Errors: There are always some chances of some errors creeping in such as
        non response errors, biased response, errors etc. some errors might also
        creep in during interpretation.
     c. Geographical constraints: Gathering information from a city which is not
        native proves to be a hindrance in the study.



References:
     a. http://www.businessperspectives.org/journals_free/im/im_2006_03_Tem
          perley
     b.   http://dspace.library.drexel.edu/bitstream/1860/23/1/busler_thesis
     c.   http://www.satishserial.com/issn0972-9348/finaljournal03
     d.   http://profile.iiita.ac.in/aksahani_mba04/Documents/Project%20Report
     e.   http://www.greatlakes.edu.in/pdf/Gravity_Dec2007
     f.   http://www.planmanconsulting.com/gsic/doc/Brochure
     g.   Business Standard
     h.   http://www.iift.edu/iift/MasterPs/Masterps_V http://www.escp-
          eap.net/conferences/marketing/2008_cp/Materiali/Paper/Fr/Roozen
     i.   www.google.com
     j.   Business Research Methods, Schindler Cooper
                                            QUESTIONNAIRE
Dear Sir/Madam,

I, FAIZ USMAN, student of MBA, am conducting a survey on “Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsement
for laptops”. For this purpose I need your co-operation in filling this questionnaire. It is also made sure
that the information obtained is for general purpose only.

NAME:                                                             AGE:

GENDER:                                                          CONTACT NUMBER:

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION:

PLEASE TICK THE BOX OF YOUR CHOICE

Occupation:
Student                             (   )                             Salaried person                (   )
Businessman                         (   )                             Professional                   (   )
Retired                             (   )

Others {please specify}             (   )……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Do you have a celebrity icon whose style you try to imitate?
Yes                 (   )                                       No                 (        )



Do you pay more attention to the advertisement using celebrity icons?
Strongly Agree            (     )                               Agree              (        )

Neutral                   (     )                               Disagree           (        )

Strongly Disagree           (   )

Which Laptop do you currently own?
COMPAQ/ HP                  (   )                               SONY VIAO               (       )

DELL                      (     )                               LENOVO                  (       )

ACER                      (     )                               HCL                     (       )

Others                    (     )
What factor affected your buying behavior toward this purchase? (encircle)
          Factors              Most         Moderately    Neutral         Less             Least
                               Preferred    Preferred                     Preferred        Preferred
Price/Quality                      1             2               3             4                5
Features{configuration,            1             2               3             4                5
design, battery life etc.}
Brand Name                            1            2             3                4               5
Celebrity Endorser                    1            2             3                4               5
Location of the showroom              1            2             3                4               5



Rate the following celebrity persona whom you would like to endorse your
brand of laptop?
          Factors            Most          Moderately    Neutral         Less          Least
                             Preferred     Preferred                     Preferred     Preferred
Actors/Actresses                 1              2            3                4              5
Sport Stars                       1            2             3                4                   5
Business Tycoons                  1            2             3                4                   5
Non Celebrities                   1            2             3                4                   5



Do you get attracted to buy a laptop endorsed by a celebrity?
Strongly Agree           (    )                                  Agree                 (      )

Neutral                  (    )                                  Disagree              (      )

Strongly Disagree        (    )

If “AGREEING” why?
          Factors            Most          Moderately    Neutral         Less Likely   Least Likely
                             Likely        Likeable
He enhances credibility           1             2            3                4                   5
of the product(laptop)
His personality is similar        1            2             3                4                   5
to mine
Recalling the brand               1            2             3                4                   5
becomes easy
He himself uses the               1            2             3                4                   5
product
Do you follow your celebrity while purchasing a new laptop?
Everytime                (    )                            Occassionally       (     )

Rarely                   (    )                            Never                (    )

Can’t Say                (      )

You are required to tick (√)the appropriate option:
                                               Strongly    Agree     Neutral   Disagree        Strongly
                                                Agree                                          Disagree

Celebrity endorsement is the most
appealing advertising method
Celebrities bring credibility to advertising
message
I think celebrity endorsement is
ineffective for laptops
Celebrity endorsement affect the sale of
the product(laptop)
Will you stop buying a brand of laptop if
the celebrity endorsing it gets involved in
a scandal
I intentionally purchase the laptop
because of their association with the
celebrity


Please tick the celebrity who is endorsing the following brands of laptop
                Saif Ali Khan       Sharukh Khan   Kareena Kapoor   Hrithik Roshan       Non celebrities
Compaq/ HP
Sony Viao
Dell
enovo
Acer
HCL

				
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Description: The use of advertising has changed over the past 150 years, from the classical to the modern school. In the modern advertising strategies various appeals are included, such as sexual, chock, emotional, fear and humour. The main purpose of these appeals is to deliver the information that the company seeks to send to gain high brand awareness and brand recognition among a large audience. However, when using any of these appeals there is always a person included, sometimes someone unknown or in most cases a well known person in the public eye. According to Mc Cracken(1989), a well known person tends to have a greater effect on the consumer buying behavior. This is especially if people more easily can identify themselves with this particular person. Mc Cracken(1989) also states that celebrity endorsement advertising has been recognized as a ubiquitous feature of modern marketing.