1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using celebrities in marketing campaigns?
Celebrities draw attention and marketing campaigns have the inherent objective of drawing attention to the brand and the product in hand (Fernández Gómez et al., 2021). Being public figures who majority of the population can relate with, celebrities can help most of the target audience relate with a product.
Through effective segmentation, a celebrity can help a brand establish a new niche market. For instance, by signing Michael Jordan, Nike was able to make inroads into the NBA market and launching many products for millions of the NBA fans around the world.
By using a respected celebrity, a brand can be able to build credibility in the market. Celebrities with statesman like status have the potential to induce trust in the audience and improve the credibility of the product. Such include respected athletes, movie and Tv stars and artists.
One disadvantage of relying on a celebrity for a marketing campaign is that the effectiveness of that campaign is tied to the image and credibility of the celebrity. In the event the celebrity is found in a scandal, the marketing campaign immediately becomes ineffective. Recently, a soccer player was found assaulting a pet in the UK and Adidas was forced to suspend its sponsorship with the athlete
Secondly, it’s not necessarily that the marketing campaign will be effective (Fernández Gómez et al., 2021). Some celebrity endorsement with significant budgets flopped forcing the brands to suspend the marketing campaigns. This leads to loss for the company.
2. What are the potential risks?
Scandal – being public figures, the reputational risks are very high. By using a celebrity for marketing campaign, a branding is also adopting the reputational risk placed on the celebrity’s brand (Jin & Muqaddam, 2021). A celebrity found in a scandal, like they sometimes do, can ruin the marketing campaign and the investment.
Overshadowed – some celebrities are so popular that using them for marketing campaign will not help the brand get the recognition it desires rather the audience will focus on the celebrity rather than the product. The brand equity that is supposed to come out of it never materializes.
Bad publicity – Cristiano Ronaldo, the Soccer superstar, removed a coca cola bottle placed on the table at his media conference and told the reporters to drink water instead. The company’s capitalization dropped by $4 billion the following day as a result. A global icon can ruin the brand equity of a company through unconscious actions (Lunardo et al., 2015).
3. Discuss an example of a negative celebrity endorsement and how the company responded. Do you agree with the company’s response? What else could the company have done?
LeBron James, the NBA superstar is one of the most followed athletes in the world and has got a lot of brand power. With millions of followers across twitter, Facebook and Instagram, his endorsement or lack of it has significant ramifications for any brand. Sometimes back, LeBron tweeted about a fault in his Samsung galaxy note III. This tweet alone was visible to over 40 million of his twitter followers, affecting the brands position across the world. This was at a point Samsung was keen to overtake Apple, especially in the US market. LeBron had been the biggest Samsung endorser during the 2014 summer and this tweet had a negative impact on the campaign. The company didn’t respond through their official channels but used LeBron’s platform in his own words to undo the damage by saying he had been able to restore his phone back to normalcy (Lunardo et al., 2015). I think the response of the company was perfect, given that, in his original tweet, LeBron hadn’t mentioned the name Samsung and the audience were not aware of which phone he had been talking about. Therefore, by the company choosing to let it slide, the audience were not able to turn the attention on what phone the tweet was talking about rather remained keen to focus on the superstar. That was effective damage control.
Fernández Gómez, J. D., Pineda, A., & Gordillo-Rodriguez, M.-T. (2021). Celebrities, Advertising Endorsement, and Political Marketing in Spain: The Popular Party’s April 2019 Election Campaign. Journal of Political Marketing, 1–26. https://doi.org/ 10.1080/15377857.2021.1950099
Jin, S. V., & Muqaddam, A. (2021). “Fame and Envy 2.0” in luxury fashion influencer marketing on Instagram: comparison between mega-celebrities and micro-celebrities. International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 15(2), 176. https://doi.org/ 10.1504/ijima.2021.10036968
Lunardo, R., Gergaud, O., & Livat, F. (2015). Celebrities as human brands: an investigation of the effects of personality and time on celebrities’ appeal. Journal of Marketing Management, 31(5-6), 685–712. https://doi.org/ 10.1080/0267257x.2015.1008548