impact of celebrity endorsement

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INTRODUCTION TO THE SUBJECT: There is large no. of brands available in the market. Some are very familiar and rest are somewhat. What are the things that distinguish those from rest? It may be brand name, advertisement, royal heritage and may be celebrity endorser who endorses them. E.g. Raid and Taylor has the rich heritage of roping in various cascades of James Bond 007 as their brand endorser and it has helped them strongly to build their brand. Businesses have long sought to distract and attract the attention of potential customers that live in a world of ever-increasing commercial bombardment. Everyday consumers are exposed to thousands of voices and images in magazines, newspapers, and on billboards, websites, radio and television. Every brand attempts to steal at least a fraction of an unsuspecting person's time to inform him or her of the amazing and different attributes of the product at hand. Because of the constant media saturation that most people experience daily, they eventually become numb to the standard marketing techniques. The challenge of the marketer is to find a hook that will hold the subject's attention. Also from a marketing communications (marcoms) perspective, it is vital that firms design strategies that help to underpin competitive differential advantage for the firm's product or services. Accordingly, marcom activities back-up other elements in the marketing mix such as designing, branding, packaging, pricing, and place. The term Celebrity refers to an individual who is known to the public (actor, sports figure,

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INTRODUCTION TO THE SUBJECT: There is large no. of brands available in the market. Some are very familiar and rest are somewhat. What are the things that distinguish those from rest? It may be brand name, advertisement, royal heritage and may be celebrity endorser who endorses them. E.g. Raid and Taylor has the rich heritage of roping in various cascades of James Bond 007 as their brand endorser and it has helped them strongly to build their brand. Businesses have long sought to distract and attract the attention of potential customers that live in a world of ever-increasing commercial bombardment. Everyday consumers are exposed to thousands of voices and images in magazines, newspapers, and on billboards, websites, radio and television. Every brand attempts to steal at least a fraction of an unsuspecting person's time to inform him or her of the amazing and different attributes of the product at hand. Because of the constant media saturation that most people experience daily, they eventually become numb to the standard marketing techniques. The challenge of the marketer is to find a hook that will hold the subject's attention. Also from a marketing communications (marcoms) perspective, it is vital that firms design strategies that help to underpin competitive differential advantage for the firm's product or services. Accordingly, marcom activities back-up other elements in the marketing mix such as designing, branding, packaging, pricing, and place. The term Celebrity refers to an individual who is known to the public (actor, sports figure, entertainer, etc.) for his or her achievements in areas other than that of the product class endorsed (Friedman and Friedman, 1979). This is true for classic forms of celebrities, like actors (e.g., Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee Aamir Khan and Pierce Brosnan), models (e.g., Mallaika Arora, Lisa Ray, Aishwarya Rai, Naomi Campbell, Gisele Buendchen, etc), sports figures (e.g., Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Sourav Ganguly, Anna Kournikova, Michael Schumacher, Steve Waugh, etc), entertainers (e.g., Cyrus Broacha, Oprah Winfrey, Conan

O'Brien), and pop-stars (e.g., Madonna, David Bowie) - but also for less obvious groups like businessmen (e.g., Donald Trump, Bill Gates) or politicians. Celebrities appear in public in different ways. First, they appear in public when fulfilling their profession, e.g., Vishwanathan Anand, who plays chess in front of an audience. Furthermore, celebrities appear in public by attending special celebrity events, e.g., award ceremonies, inaugurations or world premieres of movies. In addition, they are present in news, fashion magazines, and tabloids, which provide second source information on events and the 'private life' of celebrities through mass-media channels (e.g., Smriti Irani being regularly featured in various publications). Last but not least, celebrities act as spokespeople in advertising to promote products and services, which is referred to celebrity endorsement.

IMPORTANT CELEBRITY ATTRIBUTES While selecting a celebrity as endorser, the company has to decide the promotional objective of the brand and how far the celebrity image matches with it. The selection is in fact a collaboration, from which both the company and the celebrity gains. The most important attribute for a celebrity endorser is the trustworthiness. The target audience must trust that a celebrity carries a particular image and it must match with the product. The second attribute in order of importance is likeability. The celebrity also must be accepted as a popular icon by a large cross section of the audience. Companies use celebrity endorser because they are considered to have stopping power, i.e., a celebrity can be a very useful tool to draw attention to advertising messages in

a cluttered media environment. The overall popular image coupled with exact product-image match enhances the consumer attention resulting in greater brand recall. Similarity between the target audience and the celebrity is the third important attribute. A person well-known in a society can have greater impact than a celebrity of a different world. If the endorser and receiver have similar needs, goals, interests and lifestyles, the position advocated by the brand communication is better understood and received. Similarity is also used to create a situation where the consumer feels empathy for the person shown in the commercial. The bond of similarity between the endorser and the receiver increases the level of persuasiveness.

BRANDING & CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT Indian firms have been juxtaposing their brands with celebrity endorsers in the hope that celebrities may boost effectiveness of their marketing and/or corporate communication attempts. Today, use of celebrities as part of marketing communication strategy is fairly common practice for major firms in supporting corporate or brand imagery.

WHAT IS A BRAND? Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, once said, "Our most valuable assets are our intangible assets." The intangible asset he was referring to is a brand. The Dictionary of Business & Management defines a brand as: a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify goods or services of one seller or a group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitor.

DEFINITION OF CELEBRITY A celebrity is a person who is widely recognized in a society. Whereas attributes like attractiveness, extraordinary lifestyle or special skills are just examples and specific common characteristics cannot be observed. It can be said that within a corresponding social group, celebrities generally differ from the social norm and enjoy a high degree of public awareness. Today's celebrities are larger figures from movies (Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan), television (Larry King, Smriti Irani) and sports (Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Schumacher). DEFINITION OF CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT According to Friedman & Friedman, a "celebrity endorser is an individual who is known by the public for his or her achievements in areas other than that of the product class endorsed." So, in the Coco-Cola advertisement; actor Amir Khan is the celebrity endorser for the product or brand called Coke, and this process is referred to as Celebrity Endorsement.

THE NEED FOR CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT The charisma of the celebrities almost always entices people and their words are worshipped by a lot of people. Their influence also goes on the political front, where they are invited for political endorsement. The business firms, thus, resort to celebrity endorsement to perk up brand recall and product sales. This has now become a trend and is being perceived as a strategic means of brand building exercise.

The Elaboration Likelihood Model (EML) suggests that consumers will scrutinize claims more in important situations (say, life saving drugs) than in unimportant ones. So, for almost similar products like Coke and Pepsi, it makes sense to use endorsement. Also, Friedman & Friedman have shown that a celebrity relative to a non-celebrity spokesperson would be more effective for products high in psychological or social risk, involving such elements as good taste, selfimage, and opinion of others. For example, when actor Shah Rukh Khan endorses Santro-Zip drive; the consumers are made to think that he is giving his opinion to go for this car. Two reasons why advertisers need celebrity endorsement are to increase the credibility & attractiveness of their advertisement. This is solely to affect consumers' attitude towards their brand. To justify this hypothesis, we can take the example of former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen who helped the Epson brand of printers achieve instant recognition; even with the established giants like HewlettPackard and Wipro in the running. Similarly, actress Rani Mukherjee has turned the tables for Bata's ladies footwear brand called Sundrop as sales increased by a whopping 500%.

SCOPE OF CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT: The use of testimonials by advertisers dates back to the 19th century when medicines were patented. Firms have been juxtaposing their brands and themselves with celebrity endorsers (e.g., athletes, actors) in the hope that celebrities

may boost effectiveness of their marketing. The increasing number of endorsements throws a valid question to the consumers. Is there a science behind the choice of these endorsers or is it just by the popularity measurement? What are the reasons which lead to impact of celebrity endorsement on brands? The success of a brand through celebrity endorsement is a cumulative of the following 14 attributes. Greater the score of the below parameters, greater are the chances of getting close to the desired impact.

IMPACT REGIONS OF CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT While brand marketers with positive experiences would tend to believe that celebrity endorsements work and some would disagree, but one would be sure that the magnitude of its impact is difficult to measure even if sales figures are at our disposal. However, we can understand why it works and the impact regions of celebrity endorsement. The illustrations below explain the same: -

HOW CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS INFLUENCE THE CONSUMER The basis for the effectiveness of celebrity-endorsed advertising can be linked to Kelman's processes of social influence as discussed by Friedman and Friedman. According to Kelman, there are three processes of social influence, which result in an individual adopting the attitude advocated by the communicator: COMPLIANCE, IDENTIFICATION & INTERNALIZATION These latter two processes are particularly applicable to celebrity-endorsed advertising. Compliance infers that another individual or group of individuals influences an individual because he or she hopes to achieve a favourable reaction from this other group.

This process of social influence is not directly applicable to celebrity advertising because there is little, if any, interaction between the celebrity and the consumer. Identification applies to the situation wherein the individuals emulate the attitudes or behaviour of another person or group, simply because they aspire to be like that person or group. This process is the basis for referent power. It was found that celebrities are more commonly liked than a typical consumer spokesperson. Internalization as a process of social influence is said to occur when individuals adopt the attitude or behaviour of another person because that behaviour is viewed as honest and sincere and is congruent with their value system. The effectiveness of celebrity advertising traditionally has not been strongly linked to this process, as a celebrity's reason for promoting a product can just as easily be attributed by the consumer to an external motive (i.e., payment of fee) as to an internal motive (i.e., the celebrity's true belief in the value and benefit of the product). An important issue of concern relates to the development of a strategy for use in Celebrity Advertising, which benefits from the dramatic impact of dual support of both the identification and internalization processes of social influence. Celebrities are well-liked, but the techniques that can be used to enhance their credibility as spokespeople, and therefore, tie-in more closely with the internalization process needs to be looked into. EFFECTIVENESS OF CELEBRITY ENDORSERS A study conducted by Charles Atkin and Martin Block focussed on alcohol advertising and young audience to examine the impact of celebrity advertising in terms of social effects of advertising. The sponsoring Company is the underlying source of any advertising message, but the individual models depicted in the advertising serve as the

more visible communicator in many cases. The most thoroughly studied source quality is credibility. Research conducted by social psychologists over the past 30 years demonstrates that a source perceived as highly credible is more persuasive than a low credibility sender (Hovland and Weiss, 1951; McGuire, 1969; Hass, 1981). The sources that companies use to present their advertising message typically attempts to project a credible image in terms of competence, trustworthiness or dynamism. Celebrity endorsers are considered to be highly dynamic, with attractive and engaging personal qualities. Audience may also trust the advice given by some famous person, and in certain cases, celebrities may even be perceived as competent to discuss the product. Friedman, Termini and Washington cite a 1975 study showing that celebrities are featured in 155 of prime-time TV commercials. A later survey reported that this proportion was up to 20% (Advertising Age, 1978). The most widely used celebrities are sports figures, actors or other types of entertainers. There are several reasons why a famous endorser may be influential: They attract attention to the advertisement in the cluttered stream of messages. They are perceived as being more entertaining. They are seen as trustworthy because of apparent lack of self-interest. The final element is due to the wide-spread attribution that major stars do not really work for the endorsement fee, but are motivated by genuine affection for the product (Kamen et al, 1975). Despite the use of famous endorsers, there is little published evidence regarding effectiveness. In one experiment, an advertisement for a fictitious brand of Sangria wine featured an endorsement attributed to either a celebrity (actor - Al Pacino), a professional expert, the Company President, a typical consumer and no source (Friedman, Termini and Washington, 1977). College students read the ad and gave the ad 0-10 scales of believability, probable taste, and intent

to purchase. Across these three measures, the celebrity condition produced the highest scores. While the 'no-source' control group had a purchase intention rating of 2.7, the subjects exposed to the actor scored 3.9. Believability was rated 2.8 by control subjects versus 4.1 by those seeing the celebrity endorsement. For taste, the baselines of 4.0 compares to the celebrity group score of 5.6. None of the other three endorsers were as influential as the celebrated person. BRAND, CELEBRITIES & CONSUMERS

FACTORS IMPACTING A BRAND WHILE BEING VIEWED BY A CONSUMER IN MEDIA The model above shows the various factors that affect a celebrity endorsed brand while viewed by a consumer in the media (both TV and print). The central idea being the impact on brand. The three major parts to a brand being shown are: The Product The Advertisement The celebrity endorsing it It is important is to study the relationship between these factors and how they together act for or against the brand.

The product is important, of course, it may fulfill a need, want or a desire. Quality is quintessential and, hence, nowadays it is understood the product is of highest quality. So what next? The advertisement is important as a good product could see an early exit if the advertisement is handled badly, and otherwise, a mediocre product which is tastefully handled goes a long way. Lastly, the celebrity in the advertisement, recall, trust, familiarity is some of the reasons that they are used. Now consider the interactions of these individual factors. The best of superstars can be doing the advertisement but if the product is far from the image the star has, the whole advertisement is a waste. Imagine an Amitabh doing an advertisement for ad for youth apparel. Well, exceptions can be there but then again it depends on the way it is done. Believability is of vital importance, the TVS Victor advertisement shows us the bike being compared to the bat of Sachin and the strokes he plays. Classically executed advertisement with the bike and Sachin coming out as winners. The relationship between a product and its advertisement again can be either dependant or none. In that case, a shock value makes people remember the brand better and, hence, a possible long term loyalty. RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN A CELEBRITY & A BRAND To understand how consumers associate celebrities to brands is well documented by a research study by Anderson (1976); Collins & Loftus (1975); Rumelhart, Hinton & McClelland (1986). In their study, associative learning principles were based on a conception of memory as a network consisting of various nodes connected by associative links. In the research context, celebrities and brands both represent nodes, which initially are unconnected but become linked over time through the endorsement process. When a consumer thinks about a brand, the link with the celebrity node is animated to a certain level through spreading activation (Anderson 1983a). The joint activation

of brand and celebrity provides a path over which one's evaluation of the celebrity has an opportunity to transfer to the brand. The key to the process is the simultaneous activation of the brand and celebrity nodes. Negative information about the celebrity activates the celebrity node, which then activates the brand node to some degree and allows reduced evaluation of the celebrity to transfer to the brand. Studies by Noffsinger et al. (1983) and Judd et al. (1991) provide empirical evidence demonstrating that attitudes can be affected in such a way. It is also important to view the consumer in their social and cultural setting to further see how celebrity endorsements increase sales and impact brands over time. Celebrities usually form a very good example of a reference group appeal. This is particularly beneficial to a marketer and a brand that can cash in on the success of the star and, hence, push his brand. People who idolize their celebrities, hence, have a biased affinity to the brand their favorites endorse. As time passes on, they believe that they by adopting the brand that their celebrity endorses are becoming more like them. Celebrities can be used in four ways namely: testimonial, endorsement, actor and spokesperson. Right now the current hot favorite in India is roping in celebrities for social causes like pulse polio, etc. This has shown to be having a positive effect on the people. In India, Bolly-wood and sport personalities rule the mind-space and airwaves.

POSITIVE IMPACTS OF CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT ON THE BRAND

Approval of a brand by a star fosters a sense of trust for that brand among the target audience. This is especially true in case of new product11. Celebrities ensure attention of the target group by breaking the clutter of advertisements and making the advertisement and the brand more noticeable. A celebrity's preference for a brand gives out a persuasive message and hence, because the celebrity is benefiting from the brand, the consumer will also benefit. There is a demographic and psychographic connection between the stars and their fans. Demographic connection establishes that different stars appeal differently to various demographic segments i.e. age, gender, class, geography etc., while psychographic connection establishes that stars are loved and adored by their fans. Some stars have a universal appeal and therefore prove to be a good bet to generate interest among the masses. Another invaluable benefit from celebrity endorsements is the public relation opportunities. Dwane Hal Dean studied the effects of three extrinsic advertisement cues viz. third party endorsement, event sponsorship and brand popularity on brand / manufacturer evaluation. It was observed that endorsement significantly affected only product variables (quality and uniqueness) and one image variable (esteem). The third party endorsement hence may be perceived as a signal of product quality. Goldsmith ET assessed the impact of endorser and corporate credibility on attitude-toward-the-ad, attitude-toward-thebrand, and purchase intentions. 152 adult consumers were surveyed who viewed a fictitious advertisement for Mobil Oil Company. They rated the credibility of the ad's endorser, the credibility of the company, and attitude-toward-the-ad (Aad), attitude-toward-the-brand (AB), and purchase intentions. It was observed that endorser credibility had its strongest impact on Aad while corporate credibility had its strongest impact on AB. The findings suggest that corporate credibility plays an important role in consumers' reactions to advertisements and brands, independent of the equally important role of endorser credibility.

Looking at the effect of celebrity endorsement on the wealth of a company a classic example of Michael Jordan can be used. At the time of rumors of Michael Jordan returning to NBA in 1995, he was endorsing products of General Mills (Wheaties), Mc'Donalds (Quarter Pounders, Value Meals), Nike (Air Jordan), Quaker Oats (Gatorade) and Sara Lee (Hans Underwear). Study conducted by Mathur ET. associated with Jordan's endorsements shows that the anticipation of Jordan's return to NBA, and the related increased visibility for him resulted in increase in the market adjusted values of his client firms of almost 2 percent, or more than $1 bn in stock market value. From this study one can observe that the major celebrity endorser with rumors or otherwise has a tremendous potential to influence the profitability of endorsed products. Semi-partial endorsement indicates that when a company uses famous characters from any TV soaps for brand endorsements, consumers tend to relate to the character that he or she plays in the soap and hence can attract more credibility. For example, Smriti Irani who plays 'Tulsi' in a famous soap has garnered a lot of support from the middleclass housewife today. If she would endorse a brand, there would be more relativity and credibility. Same can be said about Priya Tendulkar who used to play the character of Rajani.

NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT ON THE BRAND More often talked about is the extreme usage of a celebrity called 'lazy advertising', that is inadequate content masked by usage of a celebrity. A good example is the use of Boris Becker by Siyaram and Steve Waugh by ANP Sanmar. Also as said earlier, associating with a star, in itself does not guarantee sales. There is also the fear of Brand-celebrity disconnect which points out that if the celebrity used represents values that conflict with the brand values, the advertising would create conflict in the minds of the target audience. Clutter in brand endorsements is very prominent these days and such kind of over-exposure can be bad for the brand as the recall value drops by a huge margin. A popular drawback of celebrity endorsement is the 'Vampire Effect' or the celebrity overshadowing the brand16. Some viewers forget the brand that a celebrity is approving. Others are so spellbound by the personality of the celebrity that they completely fail to notice the brand being advertised. Two new drawbacks can be seen these days what marketers call Celebrity Trap and Celebrity Credibility17. Celebrity trap is when the celebrity becomes an addiction for the marketing team and the task to find substitutes becomes more and more difficult, leading to surfeit of celebrities. Celebrity credibility refers to skepticism by the consumers regarding the celebrities, especially when there is anything negative regarding the celebrity associated with the brand in the news, then brand is bound to be affected. For example, Air Jordan's generated revenue sales of $130 million in the first year. The sales dropped miserably in the second year when Jordan missed 62 games due to a broken foot18. Another

main worry of the advertisers is that their celebrity endorser would get caught in a scandal or an embarrassing situation. Multiple product endorsement also has a negative impact on customers' purchasing intentions. Tripp et al.19 investigated the effects of multiple product endorsement by celebrities on customers' attitudes and intentions. They found that the number of products a celebrity endorses negatively influences consumer perception of the endorser and the advertising itself. It was suggested that when as many as four products are endorsed, celebrity credibility and likeability, as well as attitude towards the ad, may attenuate. Superstar Amitabh Bachchan endorses multiple brands like Pepsi, Mirinda, ICICI, BPL, Parker pens, Nerolac, Dabur, Reid & Taylor, Maruti Versa, Hajmola, Tide, Cadbury and a few social messages. It has worked in some cases, while in some cases it has not. D. K. Jain, Chairman and President, Luxor Writing Instruments Pvt. Ltd, the marketer of the Parker brand said, "Using Amitabh Bachchan as our brand ambassador has helped in strengthening our brand image and recall within the target audience". Tarun Joshi, Communications Custodian, Reid & Taylor said, "Amitabh Bachchan is an icon with universal appeal and has helped us to reach out to the real 'Bharat.' In fact, agents and retailers have told us that already customers have started asking about the 'Amitabh wali suiting.'" In case of Nerolac Paints, which was endorsed by Amitabh Bachchan, around 80% of the respondents when asked to associate Bachchan with any paint, did so with Asian Paints, which is the biggest competitor of Nerolac20. The budget or cost is an important factor for celebrity endorsement. Depending on the status of the celebrity, remuneration could run into millions of rupees for several years or may also include a profit sharing plan. For example when S. Kumar's used Hrithik Roshan for their launch advertising for Tamarind, they reckoned they spent 40 - 50

per cent less on media due to the sheer impact of using Hrithik. Sachin's endorsements got him $18 million over five years. When Aamir first endorsed Pepsi in 1995, he received Rs 17 lakh for it; his Coke commercials in 1999 got him Rs 2 crore. Hrithik Roshan in his highflying days reportedly made over Rs. 20 crore in endorsements and events by 200122.

NINE USES OF CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS1) Establishes Credibility:

Approval of a brand by a star fosters a sense of trust for that brand among the target audience- this is especially true in case of new products. The role of a celebrity endorser in an advertising campaign is, without doubt, linked to the reputation of the celebrity. If the reputation is damaged, more often than not for reasons other than professional ,then the quality of his reputation dos suffer:particulary if it is to do with his (or her) public behavior. Example: Dyna ad by Katrina Kaif. 2) Attracts Attention: Celebrities ensure attention of the target group by breaking the clutter of advertisements and making the ad and the brand more noticeable. Example: Shahrukh khan in pespi, Hrithik Roshan in Sony Erricson. 3) Associative Benefit: A celebritys preference for a brand gives out a persuasive message - because the celebrity is benefiting from the brand, the consumer will also benefit. Example: Amitabh Bachchan in Dabur Chwyanprash. 4) Psychographic Connect:

Stars are loved and adored by their fans and advertisers use stars to capitalize on these feelings to sway the fans towards their brand. Example: Dhoni in 7up 5) Demographic Connect: Different stars appeal differently to various demographic segments (age, gender, class, geography etc.). Example: Amitabh Bachchan with child in Dadur Honey, Sunny Deol in Lux cozi ad. 6) Mass Appeal: Some stars have a universal appeal and therefore prove to be a good bet to generate interest among the masses. Example: Sharukh khan And Amitabh Bachchan in Polio Promotion. 7) Mitigating a tarnished image: Cadbury India wanted to restore the consumers confidence in its chocolate brands following the pitch following the highpitch worms controversy;so the company appointed Amitabh Bachchan for the job. Last year, when the even more controversial pesticide issues shook up Coca-cola and PepsiCo and resulted in much negative press, both soft drinks majors put out high profile damage control ad films featuring their best and most expensive celebrities. While Amair Khan led the coke fight back as an ingenious and fastidious Bengali who finally gets convinced of the products purity.Similary PepsiCo brought Shah Rukh Khan And Sachin Tendulkar toghter once again in a television commercial which drew references to the safety of the product indirectly. 8) Rejuvenating a stagnant brand: With the objective of infusing fresh life into the stagnant Chyawnprash category and staving off the competition from various brand , Dabur India roped in Bachchan for an estimated project of 8 crore. 9) THE FRED PRINCIPLE This concept is seen as the foundation of a successful endorser selection.

F is for Familiarity. The target market must be aware of the person, and perceive him or her as empathetic, credible, sincere and trustworthy. R is for Relevance. There should be a meaningful link between the advertised brand and the celebrity endorser, and more important, between the celebrity endorser and the defined target market. The audience must be able to identify with the person. If consumers can immediately associate with an endorser, they will feel more predisposed to accepting, buying and preferring the brand to competition. E is for Esteem. Consumers must have the utmost respect and confidence for the celebrity. Amitabh Bachhan & Tendulkar have these. So do Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Kapil Dev among others. The public respect them because of their distinguished careers and unassailable salesmanship. D is for Differentiation. The target consumers must see the endorser as a cut above the rest. If there is no perceived disparity among celebrities, then the strategy will not work. Michael Jordan is an example of an international celebrity that rises above the clutter. This proves to be a huge contributory factor to his effectiveness as an endorser. The Fred concept is not a guarantee to success, but it can serve as a guideline when selecting a spokesperson. Each organization and its objectives are different, and should be evaluated on an individual basis. BRAND IMAGE FORMATION & BRAND PREFERENCE Having a congruent image between the brand and celebrity does not guarantee any positive effect on consumers' brand preferences. The fundamental question is - what a brand image really does to consumers? Baran and Blasko explained, "Since most products aren't special, most advertising does that entire so-called image stuff... There's no information about the product, there's only information about the kind of people who might be inclined to use the product." (p.13). This view is echoed by Feldwick (1991) who

has suggested that the subjective experience of using a brand can be different from the subjective experience of using an identical product without the brand reassurance. In the case of using celebrity advertising to build brand image, the effects are examined with a social psychological framework. Before we can scrutinize the effects of celebrity endorsement on the overall brand, we have to ferret the implicit nuances that act as sources of strong brand images or values: Experience of Use: This encapsulates familiarity and proven reliability. User Associations: Brands acquire images from the type of people who are seen using them. Images of prestige or success are imbibed when brands are associated with glamorous personalities. Belief in Efficiency: Ranking from consumer associations, newspaper editorials, etc. Brand Appearance: Design of brand offers clues to quality and affects preferences. Manufacturers Name & Reputation: A prominent brand name (Sony, Kelloggs, Bajaj, & Tata) transfers positive associations. The celebritys role is the most explicit and profound in incarnating user associations among the above mentioned points. To comprehend this, let us analyze the multiplier effect formula for a successful brand: S=P* D*AV -- the multiplier effect Where S is a Successful Brand P is an Effective Product D is Distinctive Identity AV is Added Values The realm of the celebritys impact is confined to bestow a distinctive identity and provide AV to the brand; the celebrity does not have the power to improve or debilitate the efficiency and features of the core product. Thus, we are

gradually approaching an evident proposition claiming, "The health of a brand can definitely be improved up to some extent by celebrity endorsement. But one has to remember that endorsing a celebrity is a means to an end and not an end in itself." An appropriately used celebrity can prove to be a massively powerful tool that magnifies the effects of a campaign. But the aura of cautiousness should always be there. The fact to be emphasised is that celebrities alone do not guarantee success, as consumers nowadays understand advertising, know what advertising is, and how it works. People realize that celebrities are being paid a lot of money for endorsements and this knowledge leads them to cynicism about celebrity endorsements.

THE PROCESS OF CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT The process of celebrity endorsement is more of meaning translation & meaning application. A deeper insight into this complex process is provided by the following theory. The Meaning Transfer Model McCracken, the author to this model, has suggested that, "The effectiveness of the endorser depends, in part, upon the meaning he or she brings to the endorsement process." The celebrities' effectiveness as endorsers stems from the cultural meanings with which they are endowed. It is a threestage process of meaning transfer that involves the

formation of celebrity image, transfer of meaning from celebrity to the brand, and finally, from the brand to the consumer.

Figure 1: The Meaning Transfer Model To explain it with the help of an example, we can take the case of Rahul Dravid and Castrol. The cricket icon is seen as "Mr. Dependable". And when he endorses Castrol, an image of "dependability" is tagged on to the brand under promotion. THE IMPORTANCE OF CELEBRITY MANAGEMENT In a world full of faces, the ones' which bolt from the blue are perhaps of the celebrities. The advertisers are always on the look out for such faces for the purpose of endorsement. But, the major challenge before them is to find the right faces for their brands or in other words celebrity management. McCraken quotes, "In the best of all possible worlds, the marketing or advertising firm first would determine the symbolic properties sought for the product... It would then consult a roster of celebrities and the meanings they made available, and taking into account budget and availability constraints, would choose the celebrity who best represents the appropriate symbolic properties." This suggests that the image of the celebrity must fit or be congruent with the product which can be explained from the theoretical perspective using a social cognition framework.

Schema-Based Expectancy Theory A schema is an abstract, cognitive structure that represents some stimulus domain, e.g., a person, place, event, or thing. It is organized through experience and consists of a knowledge structure. They can determine what information will be encoded or retrieved from memory. Schemas are involved in encoding, interpretation, retention, and retrieval of information. They can influence perceptual cognitive activities through the generation of expectancies. In the case of well-known celebrities, individual would typically have personal relevant schemas (person schemas), acquired over time. When a celebrity endorses a brand, the characteristics of that celebrity may be compared with the advertised attributes of the brand by the audience for congruence or fit with their available person-schema. The degree of congruence between the new information (the brand attributes) and the existing information (the celebrity's characteristics) may then influence the level of recall of the new information. The Associative Network Model suggests that information inconsistent with an individual's schema may be quite salient and information will, therefore, be attended to more closely and be processed more deeply. Therefore, this information would be conceptually linked to a larger number of items in the memory, compared to a piece of information that is consistent with the schema. While the Schema-Pointer + Tag Model proposes that consistent or typical items are encoded in terms of a "pointer" to a generic schema that contains the typical components and relationships for that particular knowledge domain. The atypical or incongruent items are, on the other hand, encoded with a rather distinctive "tag" and stored as a unique, separate unit. This leads to higher recalling for incongruent items than for typical items. And empirical researches confirm significantly higher recalling when the image of the celebrity is congruent with the brand image. Therefore, celebrity management is very important for the success of any brand.

"If commerce is the engine of our economy, then advertising is the spark. Responsible advertisers are the drivers who keep us on the right track, leading to a richer, more benevolent society." Philcox Brian

RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT The various risks associated endorsements are as follows: Negative

with

celebrity

publicity - If the celebrity is strongly associated with the brand then the occurrence of the negative publicity can spill over the brand. This can harm the trustworthiness and credibility in the mind of the consumers. E.g., Salman Khan lost his endorsement deal with Thumbs-Up after his infamous incidents like buck-killing and rash-driving.

Overshadowing - When celebrity endorser is used, the

risk of consumers focusing on the celebrity and not on the brand exists. Overexposure - This risk arises when the celebrity

chooses to endorse several different products simultaneously which might leave the consumers confused. E.g., Sachin Tendulkar endorses several brands such as MRF, TVS Victor, Pepsi, Fiat, Boost, etc. Overuse - Sometimes the company can use many

different celebrities to appeal to different market segment. But multiplicity of endorser might blur the image of the brand and reduce the effectiveness of the means of persuasion. Extinction - The favorable response obtained by a

particular brand may weaken over time if the brand gets significant exposure without the association of the celebrity. If the celebrity contract is for a considerable period of time, then it can lead to draining out capital without proper return. Financial Risk - The decision for hiring an expensive

endorser may not be always feasible if there is a poor brand fit. Therefore, for celebrity endorsements to work effectively there are some fundamental ground rules: The brand promise and the brand personality should be clearly articulated. The communication objectives for the campaign should be frozen. Focus must be on the synergy between the brand and the celebrity image. Establish explicitly what the celebrity is going to communicate Once these criteria are met, endorsements can work as a force multiplier. A deeper insight in the impact of celebrity

endorsement on consumers' minds can be explained by the meaning transfer model, explained in the next section.

SELECTION OF CELEBRITY Celebrity endorsements are not new. One of the earliest examples is Coca Cola who used Lillian Nordica, a Metropolitan Opera Star as their first model or endorser. She became a household name all across USA known as the Coca Cola Girl. Soon people forgot her as an actress but

remembered her as the Coca Cola girl. She did wonders for the brand and this led the company to release a series of these advertisements for over 30 years. There are various scientific ways in which the right celebrity is selected for the product endorsement, which are discussed here after. Stereotyping Tellis defines stereotypes as perceptions and depictions of individuals based on simplistic, biased image of the group to which they belong, rather than on their own individual characteristics. For example: its better to select celebrities who say are teens for chocolate advertisements and females for detergent ads, etc.

The TEARS Model The attributes highlighted by the acronym "TEARS" are gauged for celebrity selection. These are: Trustworthiness:

For example - Legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan who is an icon of trust; promoting ICICI Bank. sports brand.

Expertise: For example - Golfer Tiger Woods for a Attractiveness: For example - Tennis player Anna

Kournikova who earns 10 Million dollars per year in just endorsement. Respect: For example - Former Miss World Aishawarya

Rai and the Eye donation campaign. Similarity: For example - a child artist promoting a

chocolate brand. A celebrity scoring high on all the above attributes can turn out to be a good endorser for the brand under question. The No TEARS Model The "No TEARS" approach is a tool for managers and their advertisers how to go about selecting celebrities so as to avoid the pitfalls from making an unwise decision. It gauges the following information: Celebrity & audience match up, Celebrity & brand match up, Celebrity credibility, Celebrity attractiveness, Cost consideration, A working ease and difficulty factor, An endorsement saturation factor, A likelihood-of-getting-into-trouble factor

Selecting the right celebrity does more than increasing sales; it can create linkages with the celebrities' appeal, thereby adding new dimension to the brand image. Research conducted by Katherine Eckel has revealed that celebrities

can get people to make a better choice but cannot influence 'people to make a foolish choice'. The success of celebrity endorsement in India can be sought from a market research conducted earlier which found that 8 out of 10 TV commercials scored the highest recall were those with celebrity appearances. A few examples: Sachin Tendulkar - Adidas, Sourav Ganguly - Britannia, Leander Paes & Mahesh Bhupati - J. Hampstead, Shah Rukh Khan Pepsi, Sushmita Sen - Epson, and Aishwarya Rai - Coke.

CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT: THE ISSUES INVOLVED There are several factors to consider before resorting to celebrity endorsement. There is no single formula to win in the world of marketing. A company must analyze the prospect of endorsement from 360 degrees, prior to product promotion. Price vs. Profit The most important issue is that of return on investment (ROI). Companies need to perform a cost-benefit analysis prior to endorsement. The process of gauging the effectiveness of endorsement on the overall brand is but difficult. The companies expect to bring, in the long run, future sales, revenues and profit from the present investments on celebrity endorsement. Celebrity endorsement is an expensive means of brand promotion and the price burden almost always shifts on to the consumers; if not, then it narrows the companies' profit.

Multiple Brand Endorsement v/s Multiple Celebrity Endorsement

In the advertising landscape, we find either a celebrity endorsing multiple brands or multiple celebrities being used to endorse a single brand. Sachin Tendulkar, for example, in 2002 endorsed 12 brands (including Pepsi, Boost, Colgate Total, Gillette, Britannia Tiger, Fiat Palio, TVS Victor, Fiat Sienna, MRF, Adidas, Visa Cards and Home Trade). Tripp et al, says that the endorsement of as many as four products negatively influences the celebrity spokesperson's credibility and likeability.

Figure: Khan)

Multiple

Brand

Endorsement

(Shah

Rukh

Also, the use of multiple celebrities to endorse a brand may hinder the meaning transfer process, and thus, lead to confusion among the consumers.

Figure: Multiple Celebrity Endorsement (Adidas & Hyundai Santro) Similarity between the target audience and the celebrity is the third important attribute. A person well-known in a society can have greater impact than a celebrity of a

different world. If the endorser and receiver have similar needs, goals, interests and lifestyles, the position advocated by the brand communication is better understood and received. Similarity is also used to create a situation where the consumer feels empathy for the person shown in the commercial. The bond of similarity between the endorser and the receiver increases the level of persuasiveness. The companies have to first clarify their business objectives, brand values and then decide who the celebrities are who can carry them forward. Otherwise, there can be unnecessary investments without proper return. So the celebrity endorsement cost has to be weighed up against the return on marketing investment. Besides, while designing an ad campaign, one should also keep in mind that the overuse of some extremely popular celebrities often tends to confuse consumers and reduce the utility of celebrity endorsement. Another argument against celebrity endorsement involves the behavior of the celebrity. The values that display themselves in regrettable behavior could transfer themselves to the brand. The marketing function of a company should also understand that brands should assume a much greater space than the celebrities, because their association may be temporary but the brands are permanent.

FRAMEWORK TO MAKE ENDORSEMENT PROGRAM

EFFECTIVE

CELEBRITY

With the cut-throat competition and continuously changing market dynamics, one has to assess the market conditions and re-evaluate its current marketing strategies such as its portfolio of celebrity endorsement. The action plan should be able to answer the following key questions: Are the celebrity endorsements programs result driven?

How to quantify the value generated by the celebrity endorsements? Are customers able to connect the brand with the celebrity?

Figure: Evolution of Celebrity Endorsements One can gauge the performance of celebrity endorsement marketing program across the various stages of development (Refer to Figure). We have attempted to prepare a framework to build a more effective celebrity endorsement program: 1) ALIGN CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT WITH BUSINESS OBJECTIVES. The attributes of the celebrity should be intrinsically valuable and aligned with the product, brand and company. Figure 3 suggests strategies to be adopted by a company depending on its brand positioning and the brand fit with the celebrity.

Figure: Brand-Celebrity Attribute Fit Matrix

If the brand-celebrity attribute fit is slow, then the company should adopt "Eliminate or avoid" strategy. The consumers are unlikely to connect between the brand and the celebrity, and the recall value is likely to be very low; defeating the entire purpose of signing the celebrity. This is what happened when Goodlass Nerolac Paints roped in Amitabh Bachchan as their brand ambassador. When the positioning of the brand is high but the fit with the celebrity is low, the company should adopt a "Monitor and evaluate" strategy. The company should continuously track the effectiveness of the celebrity endorsement through surveys, monitoring the sales, etc. Though Parker pens had a positioning of premier pens, the early advertisements (Refer Annexure 1) with Amitabh Bachchan showed low brand-celebrity fit. When the positioning has not been effective, but the fit with the celebrity is high, the company should adopt the strategy of "Keep and enhance". The company has to spot the opportunities to leverage the celebrity investment and to find more better and effective ways to

communicate with the target audience. The celebrity attributes align with the company's brand, strategic business objectives and primary customer segment. The Narain Karthikeyan - J K Tyres relationship works well in this category.

In the ideal quadrant when the positioning effectiveness is high and celebrity fit with the brand is also high, the company should follow the strategy of "Grow and partner". In case of Coke, the brand has firmly established the "Thanda" position in the minds of the consumer, with Aamir Khan playing the perfect role.

By situating potential celebrity on the matrix, companies can manage the celebrities as portfolios - re-distributing the resources and marketing efforts to those celebrities with the greatest potential to increase value, while eliminating those that prove too costly. 1) MEASURE AND QUANTIFY PERFORMANCE A part of the marketing budget should be allocated to primary and secondary research to determine the overall return on investment - measuring the real performance of a celebrity endorsement against the company's business objectives. The company should have proper metrics in place such as increase in sales, brand awareness and customer preference, to measure the effectiveness and the impact of celebrity endorsement in the short and long term. The endorsement costs are primarily driven by the endorsement fees and promotion outlays.

The benefits that accrue from such a relationship can be categorized into two components: -

Value of Hard Assets: The benefits derived from the hard assets are those that have a clear market value such as increased sales and increase in brand equity. These are the tangible benefits that a company derives from its endorsement strategy. Value of Association: Association value is derived from the target customers who associate the company / brand with the celebrity. These are the intangible benefits that the company will accrue in the long-term. There are ways to quantify the potential value of hard assets and association value against their impact on company's celebrity endorsement by looking at the following catergories: Incremental Sales Companies can quantify the effect of the celebrity programs on sales by performing year-to-year or quarter-to-quarter sales comparisons for targeted consumers, geographic regions, or specific product lines. Primary research can also be done to reveal the impact of the celebrity on target customer's propensity to purchase. Brand Recognition

One of the objectives of celebrity endorsement is to increase brand awareness. However, the companies use popular, though incorrect, survey approach by asking the respondent which celebrity endorsed their brand. Instead, they should ask the respondent the brands associated with the celebrity. By gauging the top-of-mind recall can enable the company

to find out if a connection is made between the brand and celebrity.

Figure: Endorsement Cost-Value Relationship

Customer Loyalty: Customer churn can be measured in fixed intervals before and after the celebrity campaign period to determine the impact of celebrity on customer retention. Additionally, primary research can be conducted to evaluate changes in the customer loyalty, customer preferences, etc. 1) SELECTION AND RENEWAL OF CONTRACT WITH CELEBRITIES The ability to align goals and measure the value of brandcelebrity fit is the first step in obtaining optimal value from a celebrity endorsement. Value is also derived by revisiting the celebrity portfolio to determine ways to reduce costs and increase benefits. Additionally, a company can increase its

benefits by re-examining (and altering, if needed) its promotion strategy to create deeper brand association, identify new celebrities that are capable of achieving company goals and negotiate for additional rights from the existing contracts. A large extent of this can be successful if the company can develop and execute coordinated, preplanned negotiation strategy which will enable it to improve the contractual fees and media commitments stipulated in the contract, as well as the amount and benefits conferred on the company. A few guidelines for formulating a well-defined negotiation strategy would include: Understand the Competition of Celebrity Except for few venerable celebrities, most of the celebrities quote their price in expectation of negotiation. The company should benchmark the contractual fees and benefits against that of comparable celebrities to ensure the package is equivalent. Understand 'Celebrity' Clutter There could be a degree of clutter with the celebrity endorsing many more brands and companies. This clutter can impede the ability of the company to capture the image and awareness required to generate value from the endorsement. The company needs to understand the risk associated with the signing of such celebrity and need to devise strategic opportunities to stay clear of the clutter. Include Value-in-Kind Payments Companies can reduce their risk and endorsement costs by substituting out-of-pocket cash payments with value-in-kind, which can be traded at market price.

Protection Against Ambush Marketing Ambush marketing (or adjacent marketing) is the reality of the day and the marketing managers need to be creative to stay one step ahead of the competition. For instance, Amitabh Bachchan was shown drinking Thumbs-Up in the hindi movie Kaante, when he is actually brand ambassador for Pepsi.

WHY CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT FAILS? There may be cases where brands are not able to take-off even after the backing of celebrities. And this leads to speculations in the Ad World on the soundness of celebrity endorsement as an effective communication strategy.

The Reasons According to leading management thinker, Dr. Seamus Phan, "Many celebrity endorsements fail because they identify a celebrity they like in an emotive and un-researched manner and then try to create advertising to force-fit the celebrity into the creative concept." Therefore, the advertisers must associate the celebrity to the advertisement and not vice versa. Thinking on the similar lines, the advertisers shouldn't identify the brand to associate with the celebrity but do vice versa. The success of celebrity endorsement also depends upon the capacity, knowledge, experience, and qualification to talk about the product. Failure may be attributed to improper positioning (Example: Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan & Maruti Versa), negative perception after use of product / service (inferior products), misapprehension of the meaning of the endorsement, etc. "The philosophy behind much advertising is based on the old observation that every man is really two men - the man he is and the man he wants to be." William Feather Another reason for the celebrity endorsement to turn against the brand is due to "Overshadowing". This happens when the celebrity is larger than the brand being endorsed. And unfortunately, though the celebrity generates higher levels of attention among viewers, the impression is not always strongly linked to the advertised brand. Finally, brand may also fail to get noticed given a recent negative publicity of the celebrity endorser. Example: Michael Jordan lost his endorsement deals when he announced in 1991 that he's HIV-positive. It wasn't until July 2003 that he landed his first endorsement deal since the announcement. The Solutions As discussed, celebrity management is very crucial to avoid the brand-celebrity disconnect, and subsequently, brand failures. Proper market research should be carried out and right positioning strategies should be in place. If the

consumers have questions in their minds regarding the quality or performance of the product then even God cannot save the brand. There shouldn't be any ambiguity or confusions when showing the celebrity in the advertisement. The obvious solution to the problem of overshadowing is to make sure that both the advertisement and the celebrity are focused on the brand or product. To avoid any bad publicity arising out of celebrity defames, companies may resort to multiple celebrity endorsement. For Example: Pepsi while capitalizing on the popularity of cricket and films in India used several cricketers and film stars in their ads. So when Azharuddin and Jadeja got embroiled in the match-fixing controversy, Pepsi severed its association only with these stars, but its relationship with cricket continued. The Symbiotic Model Based on our understanding of the celebrity endorsement process, we can propose our own model taking cue from the biological kingdom. There are various symbiotic relationships that can exist between two organisms. Similarly, we can visualize two entities "brand" and "celebrity". To achieve a perfect success, there should be absolute symbiosis between the two entities. There may be one of the six effects to the celebrity endorsement process: -

Figure: The Symbiotic Model

Mutualism (M): Both help each other (Example: Tata

and Narayan Karitiken) Commensalism

(C1): Only one among benefited (Example: A failed endorsement)

them is

Parasitism (P): One is benefited; other is harmed

(Example: Azharuddin and Pepsi. Also, Home Trade & Shah Rukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Hritik Roshan) Neutralism (N): None of them benefited or harmed

(Example: Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Maruti Versa) Amensalism (A): Only one of them is harmed; other

unaffected Competition (C2): Both are harmed

Celebrity endorsement is a complex process of balancing your risk with your gains. "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde

RESEARCH & ANALYSIS The data has been collected from Virar Region by 35 people. A market survey on Do celebrity advertisements sell?

1. Are you influenced by the presence of a celebrity in an advertisement? Yes No 2. Do you think celebrities make a difference to the image of the brand? Yes No 3. Do you agree with the concept of brand ambassadors? Yes No 4. Will you compromise on your current preference if the competitor brings in ads featuring your favorite celebrity? Yes No 5. What are the chances that you would buy a new product just because of the presence of a celebrity? Definitely yes. Will not I might 6. What would be the contribution of a celebrity in building up a brand image? Totally builds up the image Doesnt make any difference to the brand. Celebrity + quality product builds up the right image

1) Are you influenced by the presence of a celebrity in an advertisement? Interpretation From the curved conducted it is evident that almost 60 percent do not blindly believe or get totally influenced by the presence of a celebrity. However 40 percent are of the view that the presence of a celebrity will get them to go and ask for the product. This is an aspect due to which celebrities are used by advertisers.

2) Do you think celebrities make difference to the image of a brand? Interpretation People do not think that celebrities alone can make up the image or break it up. In order for a brand to have a positive and successful image in the minds of the customer there are a large number of factors other than celebrities endorsing them. Quality, affordability and consistency are major factors that that contribute towards this. So it has to be concluded that majority of the people do not feel that the presence or absence of any celebrity makes any difference to the public.

3) Do you agree ambassadors?

with

the

concept

of

brand

InterpretationAgain out here 60 % believe that brand ambassador as a concept is not very important. Hence it can be understood that people do not get much influenced by celebrities endorsing a product and giving it their personality. Or it can be said that one celebrity for one brand throughout is something that people wont mind compromising on in other words they do not mind a brand not having a brand ambassador.

4) Will you compromise on your current preference if the competitor brings in advertisements featuring your favorite celebrity? Interpretation The majority of the people i.e. more than 60% here fells that they will not go for the competitors products if their favorite celebrity starts endorsing it. This shows brand loyalty among the young Indian consumers as the survey done by us has been focused mainly on the age group of 18-24 years. However there still are some 305 who say that they will go for it seen their favourite celebrity in the ad. This is important for a company if it is launching up say a new brand in a sector which it wasnt operating. This would thus help in pulling the competitors market share. 5) What are the chances you would buy a new product due to the presence of a celebrity? Interpretation More than 60% of the people here are in a dilemma as to if they are going to try out a new product just because of the presence of a celebrity. This

shows that majority of the public do not blindly believe on the image put up by the celebrity and the brand he/she is endorsing. Only 20% say that they will try it out only due to the presence of a known face. This further strengthens our view that celebrity endorsements alone cannot make up a brand. 6) What would be the contribution of a celebrity in building up a brand image? Interpretation From the graph it can be easily concluded that the majority feel that there is no effect of the presence of a celebrity on the building up of a brand i.e. most of them feel that celebrities alone do not make up the brand. The product should be quality oriented, which alone can contribute majorly in building up a successful brand.

CONCLUSIONCelebrity endorsement can be a goldmine or a minefield for a company's brand building process. There have been extensive studies relating to the process of celebrity endorsement and brand-building. These studies indicate that celebrity endorsement has worked well in some consumer

segments while failing in others. Few celebrities have been more successful than those with almost parallel fame. So the role of celebrity endorsement in the advertising space is equivocal and cannot be seen as a assured strategic tool to win profits, market share, revenues, etc. Consumers can identify the clear difference between a good script and a good brand idea. For example, while Pepsi's Sachin and Bachchan (kite flying) ad was seen as one with a good script, Coca-Cola's Thanda Matlab... was seen as an insightful and strong brand idea. For all the flak it drew in its vainglorious attempts to run down competition, Thumbs-Up was seen as the only example of seamless linkage between brand positioning and brand celebrity. "Brand" is the most valuable asset of any company; building its image is, thus, of paramount importance. Any thoughtless adventure can be like the Sword of Damocles upon your head. Celebrities do not make brands but ideas do. If the former were true then brands would have vanished when the hype and hoopla around the celebrities faded. Celebrity endorsement is also one of the ideas. But, its easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out-of-date. Therefore, it is imperative to invest in good ideas; which will bring good returns. Thus, the need of the hour is to focus less on your Return-on-Investment, and think more in terms of your Return-on-Ideas. There is an increasing challenge to the marketing manager to develop and implement an integrated marketing communication (IMC) plan to realize the true value of the celebrity endorsements. There is a gradual shift from the traditional approach of showing celebrities in advertisement to making them the "spokes-person" of the brand. Companies have taken celebrity endorsement to next level by projecting brands as a way of life. Smart companies are using their brand ambassadors in other mediums such as movies to promote their brands. E.g., Amitabh Bachchan, who endorses the financial instruments of ICICI Bank, is

shown as a branch-manager of ICICI Bank in the movie Baghban. Wooing the key existing and potential target customers is the trait of a successful promotion strategy. However, the marketing manager should be able to offer significant value propositions in the services / products offered to the customers. Thus, one needs to integrate celebrity endorsement with other marketing programs and ensure that the celebrity attributes align with the overall brand or company. Companies that succeed in developing such an integrated IMC plans is the one to succeed in the long-term.

BIBLIOGRAPHYREFERENCE: Philip A. Stroke(2009), "Impact of Celebrity

Endorsement", Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 14 March, Pg.47182. Shimp (2007), "Celebrities as spokesperson", Journal

of Retailing, Vol. 76 No. 2, Pg.175-91. Friedmen et al. (1976), The power of brand, Journal

of Business, Vol. 23, Pg.71-80. WEBSITE:

www.marketingmania.in/india.html http://en.wiki.wikipedia.com/indian_industry www.marketingmanagement.in/india.html www.indiatimes.com/

www.hindustantimes.com http://www.businessweek.com./html