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Essay: Communication in marketing, advertising and celebrity endorsement

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This chapter aims to review the literatures which relate to the area of communication in marketing, advertising, celebrity endorsement, as well as consumer behaviour. Moreover, some relevant research about celebrity endorsements in Cameroon and England would also be examined. Couple of theories and models were introduced in order to provide deeper understanding about the research topic.
In a market where advertising plays a crucial role in guiding consumer purchases, it becomes necessary for companies to induct all possible measures to influence, motivate and inserting the desire to purchase in the customer through effective advertising campaigns. Theories and practice proves that the use of celebrities in advertising generates lots of attention and publicity. (Ohanian,1991).
2.1 Nature of Consumer Buying Behavior
Consumer behaviour is “the psychological processes that consumers go through in recognizing needs, finding ways to solve these needs, making purchase decisions” (Pankaj Mahajan, 2011). When a consumer makes a purchase, there are numbers of factors that help in the decision making process. Most generally accepted models of consumer behaviour explain the process of choosing a product. The first step of the process is problem recognition, where a consumer understands he/she’s wants or needs. Then, we move on to pursuing our needs by gathering information on our wants.
Consumer Behaviour may be defined as ‘the interplay of forces that takes place during a consumption process, within a consumers’ self and his environment”.
‘ The interaction takes place between three elements: knowledge, affect and behaviour;
‘ Then it goes through pre-purchase activities to the post-purchase experience;
‘ It includes stages of acquiring, evaluating, using and disposing of goods or services’.
The ‘consumer’ includes both personal consumers and business/industrial/organizational consumers.
Consumer behaviour explains the logic and reasoning underlying the purchasing decisions and consumption patterns; it also explains the processes through which buyers make decisions.
2.2 Evolution of Consumer Buying Behavior
2.2.1 Early & Neo Classical Stages of Consumer Buying Behavior
Early neoclassical economists assumed elements of irrationality in the context of inter temporal decision making. Jevons, Alfred Marshall, Irving Fisher, and A.C. Pigou all made observations on a preference for present over future consumption, and each of them took it as evidence that consumers ‘will power’ and ‘foresight’ were defective. The laboring classes were to discount future consumption and reflect the uncertainties, and as such discounting is regarded as being ‘rational.’ But each of these brilliant economists focused on an additional, ‘irrational’ reason for discounting: which is ‘impatience.’ Consumers are therefore indecisive or persistently miscalculated when it comes to decisions involving time.
Neoclassical consumer’s theory starts its analysis with the consideration that, individuals as consumers only, in other words, purchasers of consumer goods. This is to agree that individuals also act as producers in the market, yet, this function is ignored in consumer theory.
At the very early stage, people used to buy products and services based on their needs. They turn to look for their demands and there were not enough choices. Which prompted them to buy whatever was available in the market and based on their previous experience of using that product or service.
2.2.2 Modern stages of Consumer Buying Behavior
Most people’s wants are unlimited and the resources to satisfy these wants are limited. Therefore the some consumers think rationally before buying any product. Trying to buy a tooth brush for example is totally different from buying a luxury car. The more expensive the goods, the more information are required by the consumer. Four types of consumer buying behaviors can be used to refer the basis of buyers involvement while purchasing any product.
There are 4 types of consumer buying behavior in the modern era.
High involvement: – This means, when consumers are highly involved while buying a product. Normally, this situation happens in case of expensive and luxuries goods. Likewise buying a designer bag makes a consumer is highly involved.
Low involvement: – This term signifies, when the consumer is not highly involved while buying a product. This happens in case of low price goods. For example, buying a toothbrush makes a consumer is not highly involved.
Major differences between brands: – When there are major differences between brands.
Minor differences between brands: – It means when there are minor differences between brands.
Complex buying behaviour: – When the consumer is highly involved in the buying and there is major differences between brands then it is called complex buying behaviour. In this case the consumer collects some information about the product features and the marketer provides detailed information regarding the product’s attributes. For example, while buying a motor cycle, consumers are highly involved in the purchase and has the knowledge about the major differences between brands.
Variety seeking behaviour: – Consumer involvement is low while buying the product but there are major differences between brands. They generally buy variety products not due to dissatisfaction from the earlier product but due to seek variety. Every time they buy different shampoos just for variety. It is therefore the duty of the marketer to encourage the consumer to buy the product by offering discounts, free samples by advertising the product often.
Dissonance buying behaviour:- Here, consumers are highly involved in the purchase but there are minor differences between brands. While buying for example, a fluorescent bulb, consumer buy them quickly as there are barely any differences between brands.
Habitual buying behaviour:- Low involvement of the consumer and few differences between brands. Consumers buy the product quickly. For example, Toothbrush.
2.3 Concept of Celebrity Endorsement
Who is a celebrity?
Celebrities are people who enjoy public recognition by a large share of groups of people whereas attributes like attractiveness, luxurious lifestyle are just examples and specific common characteristics cannot be observed though it can be said that within a corresponding social group celebrities generally differ from the social normalities and enjoy a high degree of public awareness (Schlecht, 2003). (Anonymous, Business Standard, Dec, 2003)This is true for celebrities like actors, music stars, models, Sports athletes, entertainers, and business moguls but also for less obvious groups like normal businessmen or politicians. Besides these, there are fictional celebrities like the Simpsons, Ronald McDonald, Pillsbury doughboy and the muppets. Celebrities appear in public in different ways. Firstly, they appear in public when fulfilling their professional obligations.
Furthermore, celebrities appear in public by attending special celebrity events example, movie premiers, awards, charity events etc. In addition they are present in Fashion magazines, the tabloids, blogs and the news, which provide second source of information on events and private life of celebrities through mass media channels. Lastly, celebrities act as spokesmen and women in advertising to promote products and services they are endorsing. (Kambitsis et al, 2002) (Tom et.al,1992)
Firms and organizations that decides to employ a celebrities to promote products or services have a choice of using the celebrity as:
Testimonial: If the celebrity has personally used a product or service and is in a position to attest its quality, then he or she may give a testimony stating its benefits. For instance in the UK, Pop star Cheryl Cole endorses l’oreal products by testifying the quality of the product as it forms a part of her beauty routines.
Endorsement: Celebrities often lend their names to organisations for product or services advertisement for which they may or may not be the experts in.
Actor: A Celebrity may be asked to present a product or service as a part of character rather than its own personal testimony or endorsement.
Spokesperson: A celebrity who represents a brand or company over extended periods of time often in print and TV adverts as well as in public appearances is usually called a company’s spokesperson (Schiffman and Kanuk,1997). The reason for using celebrities as spokespersons goes back to their huge influences they have on their fans. Compared to other endorsers, celebrity achieve a higher degree of attention and recall. They increase awareness of a company’s advertising create positive feelings towards brands and are perceived by consumers as more entertaining (Solomon, 2002) Using a celebrity in advertising is therefore likely to positively affect consumer’s brand attitude and purchase intentions.
Why Endorsements?
Celebrity endorsement is a billion dollar industry today (Kambitsis et al., 2002) with companies signing deals with celebrities hoping that they can help them stand out from the clutter and give them a unique and relevant position in the mind of the consumer. According to Solomon (2002), the reasons for using celebrity endorsement involves its potential to create awareness, positive feelings towards their advertising and brand. Advertisement featuring celebrity endorsement is often also perceived to be entertaining. McCracken (1989) has called the use of celebrity endorsement advertising as ‘a ubiquitous feature of modern marketing’.
In the USA a survey showed that in 1997 almost 25% of all ads featured a celebrity endorser (Stephens and Rice, 1998). In Japan almost 70% of all ads feature some kind of celebrity according to Kilburn (1998).
Research has shown that celebrity endorsement can have an impact on the consumer’s attention, recall, evaluations and purchase intentions (Atkin and Block, 1993; Ohanian, 1991; Sherman, 1985; Belch and Belch, 1995 and 2001; Walker and Dubitsky, 1994; Kaikati, 1987). Although some of these arguments are being questioned by researchers looking into the effect of celebrity endorsement when it comes to actual behavior as well as attitude towards a specific behavior (Mehta, 1994; Ohanian, 1991).
Celebrity Endorsements act as a credible means of ‘money burning’. This is because this is a world of products for which the value a consumer obtains from purchasing any given variety. This could be for reasons of social standing-People want to wear the ‘right’ clothes, drink the ‘right’ beverages and use the ‘right’ fragrances. Specifically a consumer that observes messages for two different firm’s products, one product’s message containing a celebrity endorsed and the other not, believes the celebrity endorsed product will have more purchases and so be of higher value. (Clark & Horstman, 2003)
Celebrity endorsement is more likely to be observed for those products having a high price-production cost margin and on a large customer base. In short, celebrity endorsements are more typical for nationally marketed products then for local or niche market products and for products such as running shoes, soft drinks and the like for which the price cost margins are apparently large.
How celebrity endorsements affect consumer purchase decision is studied extensively by marketing and social psychology researches. Various hypothesis have been put forward including celebrity endorsement have recall of the product, (ii) celebrities have credibility on expertise that makes the product more desirable or enhances perceptions of quality (iii) the celebrity endorsers image is transferred to the product so that those who use the product are associated with the image. Experiments suggest that in certain situations, celebrity endorsement can enhance recall and consume assessment of the products. (Clark & Horstman, 2003)
McCracken’s (1989) definition of a celebrity endorser is, “any individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf of a consumer’s good by appearing with it in an advert’. It is useful, because when celebrities are depicted, they bring their own culturally related meanings, irrespective of the required promotional role.
Friedman and Friedman (1979) found empirical evidence that, in the promotion of products high in psychological and/or social risk, use of celebrity endorser would lead to greater believability, a more favourable evaluation of the product and advertisement, and a significantly more positive purchase intention.
Thus, companies use celebrities to endorse their products, however, there are deeper attributes that are involved in celebrity endorsement. Celebrities might endorse as a brand ambassador or a brand face.
Difference between Brand Ambassador & Brand Face
A Brand Ambassador would be someone who is not only a spokesperson for the brand or for the brand’s benefits. But He/she is an integral part of the brand personnel and helps to build emotions, which goes beyond just appearing on TV commercials.
He takes up the cause of a Brand Champion and is associated with every aspect related with the brand. There is a relevant difference between making just an endorsement for example, make up or cars, and being that brand’s alter ego. Both parties take the latter far more serious. So a brand ambassador is involved in press releases, he/she would be actively participating in any sales promotion, sporting the Brand all the while. For example, Beyonce is the brand ambassador for Pepsi while she remains a brand face for HM
On the other hand, a Brand Face would be the current celebrity who is just used as a tool to increase brand recall and is only appearing in the advertisement. It is usually seen that a brand face is a temporary contract and is very short term at times. Brand faces are easily forgotten and fades away with the campaign’s end.
Prachi Raturi (2005) finds that when it comes to selling, there is nothing like a celebrity sales person. Signing a celebrity helps the brand grow and if the chemistry between the celebrity and the brand is right, the buzz could well turn into a roar.
Spread of Celebrity Endorsement
Markets in which advertising coordinates consumer purchases, celebrity endorsements are more likely chosen for products that have either of the following:
‘ High price-cost margins
‘ Large potential customer pools
‘ The need to coordinate across diverse sets of customers
2.3.1 Application of Celebrity Endorsement
The use of celebrities in product advertising seems to appear more in TV than in older media, such as radio, print and even cinema. Actors, athletes, musicians and other notables have lent their talents to TV commercials. Some, like Paul Newman, have gone so far as to create the products they sell.
More properly called “Celebrity Spokesman”, as an endorsement requires the celebrity testify to his own use of the product, and this isn’t always part of a celebrity’s role in the commercial.
Due perhaps to its prevalence, at some point it became required to indicate in a caption or subtitle if the celebrity endorser was compensated for the endorsement. That is to say, if you paid the celebrity to endorse your product, you had to mention that on the screen somewhere.
Although most common on TV, a common literary equivalent is to see a brief quotation from one author enthusiastically endorsing the work of another one on the cover or in the opening pages of their latest work. Given that the usual dynamic is a very well-known author endorsing a lesser-known one (“John Anonymous is this generation’s Master of the Macabre!” ~ Stephen King), whether the well-known author has even read the book in question is, of course, uncertain.
Interestingly, the idea of celebrity endorsements dates back at least to Ancient Rome. Popular gladiators would regularly be paid to endorse various products and services. (In fact, Ridley Scott planned to have a scene in his film Gladiator where some of the arena fighters endorsed products, but changed his mind when he realized that the public wouldn’t buy it as real.)
There are a number of reasons why celebrity endorsements in advertising are so common. A celebrity endorsement can help build trust with current and potential customers, increase the chances of the brand being remembered, and attract a new type of audience. Endorsements may increase the consumer’s desire for a product. This is often achieved by implying that the particular celebrity is successful, talented, or attractive at least partly because of the product.
Endorsements are a common tool among manufacturers of retail products. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the most important is credibility and trust. Many people hold certain celebrities in high regard, so an endorsement of a product instantly increases the amount of trust the consumer has in the brand. This can sometimes work against the brand, however, if the celebrity starts to receive negative press.
Another important reason why celebrity endorsements are so common in advertising is brand recall. There are a huge number of products being marketed to consumers all the time, so it’s essential for a brand to find a way to stand out in the crowd and be remembered. If a customer sees an advertisement involving his or her favorite celebrity endorsing a particular product, then his or her chances of remembering that product are greatly increased.
Celebrity endorsements also are useful for attracting new customers to a brand that otherwise may not have held any interest for the consumer. If, for example, a product has traditionally been marketed to elderly people, then people in other age brackets may be reluctant to try it. A brand can try to rectify this problem by using a celebrity who is associated with a particular age group or demographic.
Many people idolize certain celebrities for their sporting achievements, appearance, or other talents. Advertisers often use this to sell products that claim to have a particular effect. Skin care products, for example, are commonly endorsed by an attractive celebrity with seemingly perfect skin.
There are a variety of other effects of celebrity endorsements in advertising. A brand that gain a high-profile celebrity’s endorsement may, for example, receive greater media coverage than if it had run a standard advertising campaign. A celebrity endorsement also can help to bring an older product, perhaps with consistently decreasing sales, into the modern day. Endorsements don’t always have a positive effect, however, which is why it’s essential to choose a celebrity who is likely to have the desired effect on the product’s target audience.
2.3.2 Impact of Celebrity endorsement in Consumer buying behavior
Impact of Celebrity Endorsement
The concept of celebrity endorsement has become a rage in all over the world as well, with every company trying to rope in a brand ambassador of sorts for their brands. The increasing number of endorsements throws a valid question to the consumers. Is there a science behind the choice of these endorsers or is it just by the popularity measurement? What are the reasons which lead to impact of celebrity endorsement on brands?
Figure: 1.0 ‘ Celebrity Endorsement Model (source: adapted from Douglas. Rice (march, 2009)
Through research and analysis, this paper develops a 14 point model, which can be used as blueprint criteria which can be used by brand managers for selecting celebrities, and capitalizes the celebrity resource through 360 degree brand communication, since our research proposes it as the foundation brick of the impact of celebrity endorsement. Our study reveals that the impact of celebrity endorsement is proportional to the 14 factors discussed in the model.
The success of a brand through celebrity endorsement is a cumulative of the following 14 attributes. Greater the score of the below parameters, greater are the chances of getting close to the desired impact.
2.3.3 Type of Celebrity Endorsement and their assessment models
Celebrities are people who enjoy public recognition by a large share of a certain group of people. Whereas attributes like attractiveness, extraordinary lifestyle or special skills are just examples and specific common characteristics cannot be observed, it can be said that within a corresponding social group, celebrities generally differ from the social norm and enjoy a high degree of public awareness.
The term Celebrity refers to an individual who is known to the public (actor, sports figure, entertainer, etc.) for his or her achievements in areas other than that of the product class endorsed (Friedman and Friedman, 1979). This is true for classic forms of celebrities, like actors (e.g., Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Idriss Alba ,etc…), models (e.g. Naomi Campbell, Gisele Buendchen, Adriana Lima etc), sports figures (e.g., David Beckam, Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Christiano Ronaldo, Samuel Etoo, Michael Schumacher, Steve Waugh, etc), entertainers (e.g.,Oprah Winfrey, Conan O’Brien, Kardashians), and pop-stars (e.g., Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles, One Direction etc..) – but also for less obvious groups like businessmen (e.g., Donald Trump, Bill Gates) or politicians.
Celebrity Endorsements act as a credible means of ‘money burning’. This is because this is a world of products for which the value a consumer obtains from purchasing any given variety. This could be for reasons of social standing-People want to wear the ‘right’ clothes, drink the ‘right’ beverages and use the ‘right’ fragrances. Specifically a consumer that observes messages for two different firm’s products, one product’s message containing a celebrity endorsed and the other not, believes the celebrity endorsed product will have more purchases and so be of higher value.(Clark & Horstman, 2003)
Celebrity endorsement is more likely to be observed for those products having a high price-production cost margin and on a large customer base. In short, celebrity endorsements are more typical for nationally marketed products then for local or niche market products and for products such as running shoes, soft drinks and the like for which the price cost margins are apparently large.
Promoter of certain products requires co-ordination over multiple customer groups – different age, income, education groups or groups in different location. Example, credit card. With a product of this sort a common set of advertising messages communicated to all custom is a more effective and coordinates mechanism than messages targeted at separate customer groups with common messages. A customer in one group receiving a message knows that customer in other groups are also receiving the message. The challenge with common message is of significant audience reach in the various customer groups at low cost. Because the celebrity is recognizable globally it is a low cost way to achieve cross group co-ordination.
The concerns of all marketing today is that whether this special form of celebrity endorsement affects consumers brand attitudes? The endorsement could negatively influence the celebrity spokesperson’s creditability (expertise trustworthiness) and likeability. Reasons may be found in the lack of distinctiveness, with one famous person enduring several products instead of concentrating on and representing one specific brand. (Trippiet at, 1994) On the other hand, research has suggested that celebrity endorsed has potential positive effect like transfer of positive brand images and shaping of consumer’s response when more than four products are endorsed.
Selecting the best endorser
Brand Endorsement is a way to get the brand noticed amongst the clutter that is there in the market place. Synergy is therefore required between brand and celebrity. The celebrity actually helps in accelerating the brand image formulation process. At the same time advertisement argue that celebrities come with loads of liabilities that are hard to ignore.
The decision of selecting the best endorser is thus a pertinent issue fixed by marketers & adventures for their brand promotion. In other words, the celebrity himself/herself should be a strong brand and the attributes of the celebrity brand should match the attribute of the product brand being highlighted.
To help select a celebrity endorser, many companies and their advertising agencies rely on Q ratings that are commercially available from a New York based firm known as marketing, evaluates Inc, (Belch & Belch). This firm annually determines a familiarity and likeability rating of top male & female personalities (and cartoon characters) based on a mail questioners survey of the television viewer. The basic rating called a Q rating, is obtained by dividing the number who rated as ‘one of my favorites’ by those who indicated that they were ‘totally familiar’ with the personality. The survey is widely used by marketers and agencies to select celebrity endorsers and is used by T.V. Network and Hollywood producers to cast their shows & movies.
All efforts go toward selecting an ideal celebrity as brand endorser who is able to infuse and bring about a change in the fortunes of a brand. Besides it is important to judge the compatibility of the endorser with the product and acceptance of the individual buy the target audience before selecting the stage endorsers.
Endorsement: Risk vs. Returns
The basic assumption underlying celebrity endorsement is that the value associated with the celebrity is transferred to the brand and therefore help create an image that can be easily referred by consumers. Consequently by association the brand can very quickly establish the creditability get immediate recognition and improve sales. However, there are many risks associated with such endorsers. The brand could slide down just as quickly as it moved up the consumers mind. There are many cases of brands failing in the market place despite famous celebrities endorsing them.
Risks
a) Celebrity overshadows the brand: In certain cases where the celebrity values category benefit and brand values are not closely linked. There are chances that the celebrity is remembered more than a brand. Cyber media research study reveals that 80% of the respondents approached for research remembered the celebrity but could not recall the brand being endorsed.
b) Necessary Evil: Marketing have felt that once the brand rides the back of celebrity it becomes difficult to promote it without the star as it becomes difficult to separate the role of message and the role of the celebrity in selling the brand. The celebrity activity becomes an addiction and the task to find substitute becomes more and more difficult.
c) Celebrity creditability a question mark for the competent customer: Today’s marketing endorsement has to deal with a competitive and knowledgeable customer who has begun to voice his opinion about their perception about endorsing a brand. Celebrity is said to befool the public as he is paid to sell and communicate good things about the brand. Hence the question of creditability of the celebrity being chosen to protect the brand is becoming pertinent.
d) Conflicting Image: A mix match between the image of the credibility and the product can damage both. Unless there is synergy between celebrities own image and that of product category the strategy of endorsement is rendered futile.
e) Multiple Endorsements: The multiple endorsements have lead to a celebrity clutter. Celebrity endorsing multiple products and multi brands in a category, have left the customer confused and it reduced the celebritie’s value.
f) Influence of Celebrity scandals and moral violation on brands: A number of entertainers and athletes have been involved in activities that could embarrass the companies whose products the endorsed. When the endorser’s image is finished it actually leads to a greater fall in image for the brand.
Returns
a) Build Awareness: A new brand can benefit greatly if a celebrity endorses it. It can attract the customers attention and inquisitiveness to see what product is being endorsed. Research has shown consumers have a higher level of message recall for products that are endorsed by celebrities.
b) Connects emotionally: some celebrities command great adoration among people. Such celebrities can positively influence their fans etc. a great extents and hence tend to even connect with the brand emotionally because of their star enduring it.
c) Quick Connect: The communication process tends to hasten up due to the more presence of a celebrity. This is because the star carrying the message tends to click with the customer more. Because of likeability, recall attractiveness and creditability thereby helping the company to clearly and quickly pass on the message to the target customers.
d) Means of Brand differentiation: using a celebrity is a source of brand differentiation. In a category where a brands is suing a celebrity the first that picks one up could use it differently itself in the market the same was done by Boost in the malted beverage category.
e) Source of Imitation and hence inducing increased product usage: celebrities actually tend to become models or idols for the target audience who tend to start using the product just because the celebrity name is attached with it.
f) Better Brand Image: the use of celebrities could also bring in positive brand image to the company.
2.4 Context of two nationalities and assessment of consumer preference.
2.4.1 Consumer Preferences in England
With the UK economy narrowly avoiding a third recession in five years during early 2013, austerity, both public and private, remains the biggest single influence on consumer behaviour, particularly for those on lower incomes. With wage growth struggling to keep up with inflation, real incomes are being squeezed, forcing many consumers to continually seek ways to trim their outgoings. However, many are still prepared to treat themselves to satellite television and gadgets like smartphones.
TOP FIVE CONSUMER TRENDS IN THE UK
‘ The big squeeze
‘ Smartphone nation
‘ Bulging waistlines set alarm bells ringing
‘ Swinging sixty-something
‘ Home-ownership dreams deferred for many
2.4.2 Demographics
CONSUMER SEGMENTATION OF THE UK
Babies and Infants
Quality concerns driving strong growth in organic baby food and cooking baby food from scratch. Parents claim celebrity culture pressurises them into spending more on baby clothes
Kids
The London Olympics may have encouraged increased participation in sports
Youngsters are becoming increasingly tech-savvy as the proportion with smartphones and tablet computers expands rapidly
Teenagers
Many children now using social media by the time they begin secondary school
Tweens, especially girls, are increasingly fashion conscious
Teens
Smartphone use is now close to ubiquitous among teens
Alcohol misuse by teens may be on the wane.
Young Adults
A growing number of young adults are living with their parents .Increased student debt and an elevated rate of youth unemployment squeeze 20-somethings
Middle Youth
Home ownership becomes increasingly inaccessible, particularly in London
Preserving their youth is a major preoccupation for many in this cohort
Mid-lifers
Keeping old age at bay for as long as possible is a major goal
Having benefitted from the housing boom, many mid-lifers are asset rich and some use this to fund their lifestyles
Late-lifers
Retiring baby boomers tend to be more active and adventurous than their predecessors
A growing number of over-60s are remaining in the labour force for longer
2.4.3 Target Market of Celebrity Endorsement
The target market of celebrity endorsements starts from water to land and home properties. It includes but not limited to food, fashion, groceries, cosmetic items, education accessories, fashion accessories, shoes, alcohol, beauty products and services, travel services etc.
Now the trend is to cover everything by celebrity endorsements.
2.4.4 Consumer’s Buying Preference
As noted in the introduction, consumer spending is the principal driver of demand in the UK economy. By looking at consumer spending at the level of individual product classes, we can get an idea of which types of goods and services have been purchased in greater quantities by consumers over recent years.
Several interesting points stand out. Firstly, some specific products have experienced particularly large increases in consumer spending. In 2009, UK consumers bought almost eight times the volume of consumer electronics products than in 1997, and more than twice as much clothing. Secondly, most of these markets were fairly small in terms of consumer demand in 1997, and have grown extremely fast since then. In particular, households bought considerably smaller amounts of clothing, consumer electronics, telephone equipment and telephone services at the beginning of the period. By contrast, some of these markets ‘ such as food, and operation of transport equipment ‘ are large markets that have grown relatively slowly in percentage terms, but make the list because of their absolute increase. Caution must be taken against labeling all of these markets as equally fast-growing.
Finally, other than telephone and health services, all of the top 15 fastest growing consumer products are goods, and indeed this is reflected across all consumer products; goods demand rose by 62%, but consumer demand for services grew far less at 17% over the period. This looks surprising, given the ongoing shift in the economy away from manufacturing and towards services, but may be explained by different relative price changes between goods and services, as explained in the next section.
Changing consumer prices and their effect on consumer preferences
As explained above, the growth of the markets identified above has been measured in terms of volume. But how have the prices of these products changed, and what effect have they had on consumer preferences? Between 1997 and 2009 the general price level faced by consumers increased by around 20%, but this was driven primarily by increases in the price of services, which rose by 50%, and non-durable goods such as food and fuel, which rose by 40%. In comparison, the prices of semi-durable and durable goods fell by 38% and 32% respectively, meaning there is considerable variation in price level changes across these markets.
Most of the fastest growing consumer product markets ‘ especially clothing, consumer electronics, recreational equipment and vehicles ‘ have seen significant falls in their price levels, and most have seen lower price changes than the average across all products. These price falls are most likely a big part of the reason why the volume of consumer demand for these products has increased so significantly. In other words, these fast-growing markets appear to have been extremely innovative. Prices have fallen (suggesting strong productivity growth), while demand has increased (suggesting the continual development of newer and more valuable products). That generates huge benefits for consumers, who get more products at a lower cost. Why have these growth markets seen such rapid innovation and increases in productivity? Advances in technology have made new or previously expensive electronics much cheaper, better quality, and available to a wider group of consumers. Revolutions in the way production is organised internationally have meant the cost of lower-tech goods such as clothing has fallen dramatically. Increased global competition has also played a part, both due to lower wage costs in emerging economies (this has been a particularly significant factor in clothing) and increased pressure on firms to innovate and cut costs.
But the rapid innovation and growth in demand in these fast-growing consumer markets do not necessarily mean that consumers spend a larger share of their total income on them. In fact, it is in areas where prices have risen where consumers are spending more of their money. Electricity and fuel costs more than doubled from 1997 to 2009; as a result, they took up a significantly larger share of consumer spending, despite growing by just 9% in volume terms.
2.5 Consumer Preferences in Cameroon
In spite of many economic challenges, consumers in Cameroon have enjoyed increased annual disposable incomes in recent years, resulting in rising consumer expenditure. While still plagued with poverty, particularly in rural areas, the country has a growing urban middle class that has been boosted by an increased number of young professionals. In turn, in an effort to address increased demand from these relatively more affluent consumers, the retail sector is becoming more formal and modern.
2.5.1 Demographics
The total population in Cameroon was last recorded at 21.7 million people in 2012 from 5.4 million in 1960, changing 305 percent during the last 50 years. Population in Cameroon is reported by the World Bank. From 1960 until 2012, Cameroon Population averaged 11.7 Million reaching an all-time high of 21.7 Million in December of 2012 and a record low of 5.4 Million in December of 1960. The population of Cameroon represents 0.29 percent of the world??s total population which arguably means that one person in every 348 people on the planet is a resident of Cameroon. This page provides – Cameroon Population – actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. 2014-04-28.
2.5.2 Target Market of Celebrity Endorsement
Cosmetic endorsement
Refers to the use of a Celebrity not so much as to sell a products but just to associate the product/service idea with them. Done by companies that are successful in their industry and don’t have many competitors.
Functional endorsement
Refers to the use of a Celebrity to enhance the image of a product and increase sales. This was done by companies that enjoy free competition in their industry.
In Cameroon, a report on the Appropriateness of Celebrity Endorsements in Developing African Countries by Ceasarine Nyaseda and Armstrong Ayuk looks at the success of this strategy in Kenya and Cameroon.
The study found that the strategy relies on the product’s personal success and the celebrity’s world exposure. This, compared to the use of conventional methods of advertising which are said to be less ineffective, has pushed advertising agencies to source for more engaging strategies. Captivating adverts are now said to be the driving force since they reduce boredom and keep sales up.
Ms Rose Kagori the Media Manager at Media Edge Interactive says that people tend to switch off during conventional adverts which include a model rather than a celebrity. ‘Consumers prefer to have the advert delivered by a celebrity, this way it makes the commercial more captivating and interesting to watch or listen to,’ states Ms Kagori. Mr Joe Otin, the director of the Media Monitoring Division at Synovate says this is a suitable way of advertising and ensuring active participation of the consumers. ‘Companies are looking to create an opportunity to be heard thus we see a major shift from exposure to engagement, an aspect that is changing fortunes in companies,’ he states. The strategy which was first introduced to print and broadcast media has moved to radio advertising which has widespread coverage. The use of presenter endorsements in radio commercials has also picked up as it attracts more attention from listeners.
2.5.3 Consumer’s Buying Preference
The people of Cameroon do buy food items rather than other items. Although some rich people do buy many luxury items including beauty products and services but most of the people fight to earn their daily food. Cosmetics and other beauty items are mostly attractive to a specific class of people. Fashion and beauty industry are engaging celebrity of spread their influence over the potential consumers. In most cases, people of Cameroon do respond to the celebrity endorsement.
THE SCOPE OF A CELEBRITY ON THE INCUMBENT BRAND
Simply stating, a brand is a differentiated product and helps in identifying your product and making it stand out due to its name, design, style, symbol, color combination, or usually a mix of all these:
Before we can scrutinize the effects of celebrity endorsement on the overall brand, we have to ferret the implicit factors that act as sources of strong brand images or values: –
Experience of Use: This encapsulates familiarity and proven reliability.
User Associations: Brands acquire images from the type of people who are seen using them. Images of prestige or success are imbibed when brands are associated with glamorous personalities.
Belief in Efficiency: Ranking from consumer associations, newspaper editorials, etc.
Figure 2.0 Brand Equity
Brand Appearance: Design of brand offers clues to quality and affects preferences.
Manufacturer’s Name & Reputation
A prominent brand name transfers positive associations. The celebrity’s role is the most explicit and profound in incarnating user associations among the above mentioned points.
To comprehend this, let us analyze the multiplier effect formula for a successful brand: –
S=E* D*AV — the multiplier effect
Where
S is a Successful Brand
E is an Effective Product
D is Distinctive Identity
AV is Added Values
The realm of the celebrity’s impact is confined to bestow a distinctive identity and provide AV to the brand; the celebrity does not have the power to improve or debilitate the efficiency and features of the core product. Thus, we are gradually approaching an evident proposition claiming, “The health of a brand can definitely be improved up to some extent by celebrity endorsement. But one has to remember that endorsing a celebrity is a means to an end and not an end in itself.”
An appropriately used celebrity can prove to be a massively powerful tool that magnifies the effects of a campaign. But the aura of cautiousness should always be there. The fact to be emphasized is that celebrities alone do not guarantee success, as consumers nowadays understand advertising, know what advertising is, and how it works. People realize that celebrities are being paid a lot of money for endorsements and this knowledge leads them to think twice about celebrity endorsements.
Celebrity endorsement: factors involved
There are several factors to consider before resorting to celebrity endorsement. There is no single formula to win in the world of marketing. A company must analyze the prospect of endorsement from 360 degrees, prior to product promotion.
Price vs. Profit
The most important issue is that of return on investment (ROI). Companies need to perform a cost-benefit analysis prior to endorsement. The process of gauging the effectiveness of endorsement on the overall brand is but difficult. The companies expect to bring, in the long run, future sales, revenues and profit from the present investments on celebrity endorsement.
Celebrity endorsement is an expensive means of brand promotion and the price burden almost always shifts on to the consumers; if not, then it narrows the companies’ profit.
Multiple Brand Endorsement vs. Multiple Celebrity Endorsement
In the advertising landscape, we find either a celebrity endorsing multiple brands or multiple celebrities being used to endorse a single brand. Sachin Tendulkar, for example, in 2002 endorsed 12 brands says that the endorsement of as many as four products negatively influences the celebrity spokesperson’s credibility and likeability.
Factors Impacting a Brand while being viewed by a Consumer in Media
The model above shows the various factors that affect a celebrity endorsed brand while viewed by a consumer in the media (both TV and print). The central idea being the impact on brand. The three major parts to a brand being shown are: –
‘ The Product
‘ Advertisement
‘ The celebrity endorsing it
It is important is to study the relationship between these factors and how they together act for or against the brand.
The product is important, of course, it may fulfill a need, want or a desire. Quality is quintessential and, hence, nowadays it is understood the product is of highest quality. So what next? The advertisement is important as a good product could see an early exit if the advertisement is handled badly, and otherwise, a mediocre product which is tastefully handled goes a long way. Lastly, the celebrity in the advertisement recalls, trust, familiarity are some of the reasons that they are used. Now consider the interactions of these individual factors. The best of superstars can be doing the advertisement but if the product is far from the image the star has, the whole advertisement is a waste. Imagine an Amitabh doing an advertisement for ad for youth apparel. Well, exceptions can be there but then again it depends on the way it is done.
Believability is of vital importance, the TVS Victor advertisement shows us the bike being compared to the bat of Sachin and the strokes he plays. The relationship between a product and its advertisement again can be either dependant or none. In that case, a shock value makes people remember the brand better and, hence, a possible long term loyalty.
Selection of Celebrity
Anyone who is famous may be the right celebrity. However, the appropriateness of the celebrity largely depends on the product or service. Most advertisers insist that their celebrity spokespeople have charisma and current popularity. That is why we see more movie and television stars, athletes, real-life heroes, and musicians acting as brand ambassadors in the market.
Figure 3.0: How marketers choose Celebrities
MEASURING A CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT
It becomes very important to measure the effectiveness of a celebrity (or determine the worth of one). Few of the methods of measurement that are in practice are: –
The Q-SCORE Method
The FRED Principle
The Q-SCORE Method
There is a way to measure the credibility, believability, popularity, and like-ability of a celebrity. It’s called a Q-Score, and you can purchase the Q-Scores of the candidates you’re considering. Consider both sides of the deal – for a client who wanted to use a celebrity endorser, and for a celebrity who was looking for an endorsement opportunity. Once you’ve defined the kind of endorser you need (e.g., athlete, actor, male/female, young/old, etc.), its well worth going through the Q-Score exercise.
Evaluating the contribution of the endorser after you’ve already made the decision is not nearly as straightforward. One time, many years ago, a company actually shot a commercial with a well-known (high Q-Score) endorser for national use, and it shot the same commercial with a good actor, not so well-known. The company ran a limited market test for 6 months with the unknown actor (cutting in the commercials locally, over national network schedule) so could quantify the sales impact of the celebrity. By the way, the celebrity was worth every penny of his outrageous fee. It ended up using him for years, and he helped the brand reach market leadership almost entirely on the strength of the commercials in which he appeared.
The FRED Principle
This concept is seen as the foundation of a successful endorser selection. F is for Familiarity. The target market must be aware of the person, and perceive him or her as empathetic, credible, sincere and trustworthy.
R is for Relevance. There should be a meaningful link between the advertised brand and the celebrity endorser, and more important, between the celebrity endorser and the defined target market. The audience must be able to identify with the person. If consumers can immediately associate with an endorser, they will feel more predisposed to accepting, buying and preferring the brand to competition.
E is for Esteem. Consumers must have the utmost respect and confidence for the celebrity. The public respect them because of their distinguished careers and unassailable salesmanship.
D is for Differentiation. The target consumers must see the endorser as a cut above the rest. If there is no perceived disparity among celebrities, then the strategy will not work. Michael Jordan is an example of an international celebrity that rises above the clutter.
THE IMPACT
As defined earlier, impact would be both short term and long term, but here the focus would be 0more on the long term implications of the brand. Measurement of this would be challenging and data would be difficult to obtain. The parameters on which impact could be measured would be on a comparative basis of the brand before and after the celebrity began endorsing the brand.
Sales / revenue, market share, brand recall, level of repurchase, brand loyalty, trust, image and perception of the brand per say. In this trend of creative advertising, we see usage of celebrities of all walks in life ‘ particularly actors, film stars, models, sports persons, and the whole gamut. But the usage can always backfire if the choice of the star is completely contradictory in nature to the brand. Believability and association of brand to celebrity is important.
Selection of celebrities can be done while they are at their peak or when they are destined for greatness in the near future. Again a risk that may go either way. What is important at some level is the value that a celebrity adds to a particular brand. The advertiser tries his best to make the celebrity and brand as analogous as possible.
The celebrity endorser is seen to score quite well on dimensions such as trustworthiness, believability, persuasiveness, and likeability when tested for reaction from people. This is important to a marketer as if he can get a celebrity to make the masses follow, believe or listen to him, he has been successful.
The basis for the effectiveness of celebrity-endorsed advertising can be linked to this process of identification and internalization of the desired behavior. Price of fame may be high for the celebrity endorsed brands but they have both what the markets and the everyday common man want – attention, power and star sizzle.
Celebrities are people who enjoy public recognition of a large group of people. Celebrities may convey a broad range of meanings, involving demographic categories (e.g., age, gender and status), personality and lifestyle types.

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