Monday, March 26, 2012

Gossip Grils and celebrity endorsement

One of the most powerful TV series nowadays is Gossip Girl, which is proof of amazing fashion, which viewers can see. You can see the designers from Stella McCartney, Dolce Gabbana, Valentino, Victoria Beckham, Mar by Marc Jacobs etc.

Dolce Gabbana top, Valentino
Christian Dior

There is six main characters: Blair Waldorf, Serena Van der Woodsen, Charlie Rhoodes, Chuck Bass, Nate Archibald and Dan Humpfrey.

Victoria Beckham spring dress

Fashion in serias is important because we, as a customers have tendency to copy the style which we see in TV or we like.  This lead to buying more clothes products from fast fashion retailers and increasing a presstige of designers. Some brands use celebrity as a part of their brand image and nowadays celebrity endorsement is important part of our lives.

Marchesa dress

Blake Lively who play Serena Van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl became a face of Chanel.
Leighton Meester who play Blair Waldorf is a face of Vere Wang parfume.

Celebrity endorsements have proven very successful in China where, due to increasing consumerism, it is considered a status symbol to purchase an endorsed product, according to Boorstin 2012.

"A sign of a celebrity is that his name is often worth more than his services.”                                                 Daniel J Boorstin
The celebrity endorsement is definitely a part of Gossip Girl. They were normal people, who was not actresses and because of Gossip Girl, they became very popular. Designers are happy to sign up for collaboration with the series because it bring them benefits.

“Any brand can get a celebrity. That is easy. But getting a celebrity consistent with the right brand, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way... that is not easy.”
There are some advantages of celebrity endorsement:
  • Establishment of 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..
  • Ensured Attention: Celebrities ensure attention of the target group by breaking the clutter of advertisements and making the ad and the brand more noticeable.
  • PR coverage : is another reason for using celebrities. Managers perceive celebrities as topical, which create high PR coverage. A good example is Gossip Girls. Celebrity are covered by most media from television to newspapers. 
  • Higher degree of recall: People tend to commensurate the personalities of the celebrity with the brand thereby increasing the recall value. Golf champion Tiger Woods has endorsed American Express, Rolex, and Nike. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is used by T-Mobile and Elizabeth Arden. 007 Pierce Brosnan promotes Omega, BMW, and Noreico.
  • Associative Benefit: A celebrity’s preference for a brand gives out a persuasive message - because the celebrity is benefiting from the brand, the consumer will also benefit.
  • Demographic Connect: Different stars appeal differently to various demographic segments (age, gender, class, geography etc.).
  • Mass Appeal: Some stars have a universal appeal and therefore prove to be a good bet to generate interest among the masses.
  • Celebrity endorsement can sometimes compensate for lack of innovative ideas.

It is not just about benefits but also about disadvantages. Here are some:
  1. The reputation of the celebrity may derogate after he/she has endorsed the product: Pepsi Cola's suffered with three tarnished celebrities - Mike Tyson, Madonna, and Michael Jackson. Since the behaviour of the celebrities reflects on the brand, celebrity endorsers may at times become liabilities to the brands they endorse.
  2. Multi brand endorsements by the same celebrity would lead to overexposure: The novelty of a celebrity endorsement gets diluted if he does too many advertisements. This may be termed as commoditisation of celebrities, who are willing to endorse anything for big bucks. Example, MRF was among the early sponsors of Tendulkar with its logo emblazoned on his bat. But now Tendulkar endorses a myriad brands and the novelty of the Tendulkar-MRF campaign has scaled down.
  3. Celebrities endorsing one brand and using another (competitor): Sainsbury’s encountered a problem with Catherina Zeta Jones, whom the company used for its recipe advertisements, when she was caught shopping in Tesco. A similar case happened with Britney Spears who endorsed one cola brand and was repeatedly caught drinking another brand of cola on tape.
  4. Mismatch between the celebrity and the image of the brand: Celebrities manifest a certain persona for the audience. It is of paramount importance that there is an egalitarian congruency between the persona of the celebrity and the image of the brand. Each celebrity portrays a broad range of meanings, involving a specific personality and lifestyle. Madonna, for example, is perceived as a tough, intense and modern women associated with the lower middle class. The personality of Pierce Brosnan is best characterized as the perfect gentlemen, whereas Jennifer Aniston has the image of the ‘good girl from next door’.

Despite the obvious economic advantage of using relatively unknown personalities as endorsers in advertising campaigns, the choice of celebrities to fulfill that role has become common practice for brands competing in today's cluttered media environment. There are several reasons for such extensive use of celebrities. Because of their high profile, celebrities may help advertisements stand out from the surrounding clutter, thus improving their communicative ability. Celebrities may also generate extensive PR leverage for brands.  A brief assessment of the current market situation indicates, that celebrity endorsement advertising strategies can, under the right circumstances, indeed justify the high costs associated with this form of advertising.

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