Monday, May 19, 2014

Should you use celebrities in your Advertising?

We see celebrities in ads everywhere selling products ranging from cars to watches, cosmetics, baby products, insurance and more. Celebrity endorsements bring attention, and are definitely expensive but are they worth it? In this article we will discuss when it is useful to hire a celebrity to endorse your brand, when it is not, and when you must run away from them. 

Kendall Jenner
But first let's go through a quick psychological background about how we process information and how we direct our attention. There are basically two ways in which our brain processes information from the outside; an active and a lazy way. The active way is called the Central Route Processing and we use it when we are highly involved in something, such as the purchase of a home. The lazy way is called the Peripheral Route Processing and it is when we pay casual attention and we process a message without in-depth evaluation. With this in mind I will discuss three brand scenarios and when it is worth splurging in hiring a celebrity to endorse your brand.

1. High-Involvement Brands
In this type of scenario your customer is highly motivated to buy and they will make a highly focused evaluation of your product offering. On the other hand you have a strong value proposition that makes your product different and unique plus you have a strong argument as your sales pitch, a good example would be a home loan. With this type of product offering a celebrity endorsement would not make a significant difference in terms of sales so it would not be worthwhile to spend the extra bucks. 

2. Low-Involvement Brands
In this type of scenario your customer is casually motivated and will pay peripheral attention to your product. Your product offering may not have a strong enough argument to grab your customer's attention and convince them to buy your product.  If money is an issue you can use pretty pictures, humor, nudity, taboo or heartwarming messages to make a connection. But if your budget allows, here is where a celebrity endorsement can become your secret weapon! However the celebrity must be chosen very carefully and strategically.

3. When to Run -Away 
In the case of true luxury brands celebrity endorsements are a big no-no. The luxury brand must be courted by the celebrity not the other way around. The luxury brand must exude an air of mystery that can be cheapened or killed by a celebrity attachment. Your head may begin to start popping with a couple of ads of "luxury brands" that have been endorsed by those belonging to Tinseltown, but if you dig deeper you may be surprised to find out that those brands are no longer true luxury. Thinking of the Roger Federer-Mercedes Benz pairing perhaps? If you dig deeper Maybach is now Daimler's true luxury brand and Mercedes Benz now belongs to us mere mortals.

Gabriela Borja
SEED Branding Studio

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