#CirocLife: The Pros and Cons of Celebrity Endorsement

CirocI’m not a Vodka fan, but recently, I found myself drawn to just that. As a matter of fact I was not only drawn to the drink, but I found myself parting with my hard earned cash in exchange for not just any old Vodka; but Ciroc.

Soon after, it occurred to me that it hadn’t been the clarity nor luminescence of the drink which had attracted me to it. But what I had in fact experienced was the effect of a successful celebrity endorsement on my buying behaviour.

As a result of following @iamdiddy on Twitter and being inundated with #CirocLife type tweets, I had come to perceive the brand as one synonymous with characteristics attributed to the celebrity and his lifestyle; one immersed in luxury. In this case, that association was enough for me to buy into a product which I’d ordinarily have no interest in. Result!

Although things don’t always run so smoothly, and careful consideration must be taken by brands before diving into an agreement with a popular personality; for these partnerships are not always advantageous. Here are some of the pros and cons of celebrity endorsements.

PROS

Helps to personify a brand. When associated with a celebrity, their attributes get transferred to your brand, as demonstrated in my example above. This works particularly well as a channel of brand communication as their well-established persona becomes immediately reflective of your brand.

Influence consumer purchases. Where celebrities go, the rest will follow. This applies to what they wear, what they drink, where they go and who they endorse – product marketing at its best.

Attract new users. With any celebrity come their fans – the lucrative by-product of any endorsement. An avenue that allows brands to tap into new and unknown markets, and ultimately boost brand equity.

CONS

Celebrity images change. One minute he [Tiger Woods] was the poster child for golf, the next, the disgraced philanderer. From the fashion worlds golden goose to “Cocaine Kate” [Kate Moss]. At times the plummet to disrepute occurs more swiftly than the rise to fame, and the snowball effect onto the associated brand can be catastrophic.

Celebrities may eclipse your brand. Consumers may focus on the celebrity, not the product. This is a particular danger when celebrities endorse multiple products at a time. David Beckham endorses a number of companies which feature him prominently in print advertising. However, his image as the focal point of advertising devalues many products. Do you remember the brand or do you remember David Beckham?

Expense. Celebrity endorsements are expensive business, and at the time of agreeing a deal, there is no guarantee that the investment will pay dividends. Take Derrick Rose (NBA basketball player) for instance, soon after Adidas extended their contract with him to the tune of $260 million and banking on him becoming their Olympic basketball stud, he was injured and delivered a huge blow to the brand plans for the Olympics.

Have you had a similar experience? What do you think about celebrity endorsements? Please share your thoughts below.

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