Celebrity-Aided Brand Recall and Brand-Aided Celebrity Recall: An Assessment of Celebrity Influence Using the Hierarchy of Effects Model

By Gnanapragash, T. Joel; Sekar, P. C. | IUP Journal of Brand Management, September 2013 | Go to article overview

Celebrity-Aided Brand Recall and Brand-Aided Celebrity Recall: An Assessment of Celebrity Influence Using the Hierarchy of Effects Model


Gnanapragash, T. Joel, Sekar, P. C., IUP Journal of Brand Management


The proliferating innovative ways of promoting brands have necessitated the assessment of the effectiveness of the tool being used. As celebrity endorsement is believed to have the stopping power in the cluttered media environment, the effectiveness of which should be assessed. While there are many ways to assess the celebrity endorsement, this research paper examines the effectiveness of celebrity used in endorsements with a different approach. This paper introduces a new recall concept termed as celebrity-aided brand recall and brand-aided celebrity recall. It also identifies the selected celebrity-aided recall of brands and selected brand-aided recall of celebrity. Further, it examines the extent to which the celebrity influenced the respondents using the Hierarchy-of-Effects Model of Lavidge and Steiner.

Introduction

Marketers use innovative methods to hold attention in communicating and promoting the brands. Celebrity endorsement has long been recognized and widely accepted as an attention getting tool in advertising. While there are many innovative ways of advertising, celebrity endorsement in advertising is an easy means to achieve the 'stopping power'. Celebrity advertising is actually a substitute for 'absence of ideas' (Sabnavis, 2003). However, the persuasion ability of celebrity endorsement to move the consumer to the purchase action is questioned by researchers. Although there are theoretical models supporting the use of celebrity endorsement, the critics have arguable cases and are skeptical about the use of celebrity endorsement because of the vampire effect of celebrity on brands. However, there are supporting views that the aid of celebrity could facilitate the creation of brand personality.

Literature Review

The effect of celebrity endorsement is high when the celebrity image and product fit is achieved. The wealth effects associated with celebrity endorsement is humongous when there is a proper blend of celebrity and brand over a period of time. A study, for example, indicates that there is a positive impact of celebrity endorsement on the expected future profits, which recommends the market to use celebrity endorsement in their advertising (Agarwal and Wagner, 1995). The power of celebrity endorsement is enormous and it helps in changing the personality of a brand (Lawrence et al., 2007). Celebrity is powerful even after death, as audio and video clips of deceased celebrities are used in advertising and merchandising (Brott, 2004). The increased use of celebrity by firms makes the consumer feel skeptic about the celebrity messages. According to Persuasion Knowledge Model, consumers acquire knowledge over time about the persuasion tactics of influence agents such as advertisers and sales people. Owing to this knowledge acquisition, consumers come to have certain beliefs about persuasion agents and their intent (Friestad and Wright, 1994). This knowledge acquisition helps consumers to become aware of the ulterior motives of any such persuasion agent and hence they learn to respond by not exhibiting emotional buying behavior.

The risk of celebrity endorsement comes in the wake of single brand endorsed by multiple celebrities. When a brand is endorsed by only one celebrity, consumers are likely to perceive the brand in a highly favorable light and indicate a greater intention to purchase it. However, when a brand is endorsed by a variety of celebrities, this might lead to confusion. One of the main reasons for using celebrity endorsement is to create a better image by transferring symbolic meaning from the celebrity to product. Langmeyar and Walker (1991) asked respondents to first evaluate the product without any prior endorsement and then again evaluate it after the endorsement. They found that the endorsed product ended up possessing more qualities of the endorsed celebrity which changed depending on the celebrity (Langmeyer and Walker, 1991). When a single brand is endorsed by many celebrities, the qualities transferred from celebrities to a single brand are under question. …

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