When products get endorsed with a celebrity, we all have a tendency to buy it. However, celebrity endorsements have become a topic of debate. Is it really okay for a person to use their fame to persuade customer minds to buy a particular brand? Bruce Clark from Northeastern University talks about the pros and cons of celebrity endorsements and how to deal with this.
Celebrities, he says, become eye-catchers for the audience. Companies feel that their products will grab attention when celebrities are shown on the advertisements. While the customers do know that the celebrities are getting paid for these, there is an inherent belief that their beloved stars wouldn’t take up a product’s endorsement if they did not like it. Clark says that it is a high-risk, high-reward situation. The celebrity’s good reputation can do wonders for the product while if caught up in a bad controversy, the same spokesperson can have a negative impact on the sales.
Talking about celebrities caught up in controversies, he says that the magnitude of the scandal also matters. Being caught for smoking a pot and being accused of murder are not the same thing. It is factors like this that determine how far the celebrity’s controversy will affect the sales of the product. Another determinant is how far the market really cares about the person’s doing. Some products sustain in spite of such controversies because the company has a strong rooting, separate from the celebrity endorsing it.
Social media has a huge impact on this as well. While it helps in the transmission of the word of a new product, it also helps forget controversies sooner. Media gets bored of them when there is no new development and moves on. However, the fact that a fire has died down, doesn’t mean that we start forgetting the cause of it too.
N Malavika Mohan