Celebrity Endorsements in India

A celebrity endorsement is when a famous person uses her/his notoriety to help to sell a product or service. It has been practiced since the 18th century, as Josiah Wedgwood, the founder of Wedgwood, used royal endorsement to create a heightened value for his products. During our days, it is typical for brands appealing to a specific segment to seek out an ambassador who meets the criteria. As consumers become more and more weighed down by the amount of advertising, companies are pushing their boundaries and exploring more innovative solutions for catching the attention of their target audience.

Celebrity is an individual who enjoys recognition and attention among the general public due to being in the field of exposure or media eyes for some reason mainly arising as a result of his profession/achievements. Brands tie up with these celebrities to give their brand the same recognition and acceptance enjoyed by these high profile individuals. A celebrity endorsing a brand referred to as the “brand ambassador” for that particular brand. The trend of endorsements or promotions by employing celebrity faces is not new. It dates back to more than a 100 years with some evidences of it being highlighted for 19th century.

Although the share of celebrity endorsements was a minimal 5-7% overall or even less, recent studies show that in the current age of booming media, the share of celebrity endorsements in the endorsement world has gone up to 65% in Indian market, with the Chinese and Western markets having 45% and 35% share respectively. Apart from the rising share and the benefits of using celebrity for the brand, let’s understand certain factors increasing the effectiveness of a celebrity endorsement-:
One of the most commonly held belief in advertising is that celebrity endorsement enhances the effectiveness of marketing strategy. It is believed that celebrities are able to connect fast to the viewers, ultimately making the customers more likely to choose the product with a competitive edge. The positive acceptance of celebrity endorsements is quite pervasive and it’s not surprising that more than 50% of commercial ads portray them. When a brand or product is promoted by a well-known personality, it helps to increase the volume of sales, creating a mutual benefit to the company and the celebrity. These celebrity endorsements expedite brand recall which influence customer behaviour and purchase

Companies invest huge amounts to establish their brand image with the help of celebrity endorsers. In this process, companies hire popular individuals who excel in a specific line of work. The promotional features and image of the product is closely integrated with the personality of the celebrity, to convey a message to the customers to fix their choices while purchasing a product. Although this seems to be simple, the success of a celebrity endorsed product depends on the effective framework of the ad campaigning. The company uses the creditability of the celebrity, to make products creating a niche in the market and establish itself as a brand. The celebrity's role is most prominent in personifying the product to his/her image and help it reach the customers.

In Western countries, celebrity endorsements have limited impact on consumers while purchasing a product. However, in India, the scenario is a bit different as celebrities are almost idolized here, resulting in highly impactful and effective celebrity endorsements.

Exposure of celebrity-

By exposure we mean the number of brands/products a particular celebrity endorses or the “Air time” (Air time is generally defined as the total number of seconds for which the celebrity appears in advertisements running on television. Generally it is taken for a fixed duration like month, week to determine the exposure) which the celebrity consumes.

Celebrities like Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and MS Dhoni endorse more than 25 products each and have a comparatively larger frequency of advertisements and being on TV as compared to an others .These are overexposed celebrities as their visibility is too high. The point to consider is if exposure value has any effect on the likeability of the advertisement. The answer is yes as a recent study has found that that the credibility of a celebrity decreases with him being close to the overexposure level. This is related to a simple fact and the perception among the consumers that a particular person could not have a string belief in all the products he is endorsing. May be he is doing for some other purpose or just for the sake of most aspirational attribute “money”. You will be surprised to know that there are some public figures who don’t want their advertisements done in some country or region to be showcased in other just for escaping to be branded as “overexposed”. Also some brands are exclusive enough to take an overexposed figure for their product portfolio. This is an important factor. May be in this case “Even all the good publicity is not a good publicity” if you understand what I mean.

Linkage between product & endorser-