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Negative Perceptions of Celebrity Endorsements

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English Language Teaching Centre    

Title: Negative perceptions of celebrity endorsements can affect a brand.

Describe and evaluate the validity of this statement.

Name: Huang Zhangyu

Registration No: 160283659

August 2017

Word count: 1***

Negative perceptions of celebrity endorsements can affect a brand. Describe and evaluate the validity of this statement.

  1. Introduction

With the development of technology and society, there are increasing kinds of similar products made by different brands on the market. Many companies and organizations get used to choosing celebrities to endorse their brands, which is the popular marketing strategy. Once a celebrity endorsement is successful, it would help the brand establishing a good image in the public eye and distinguishing the product from similar products easily (Erdogan, 1999)

As we can see that the international corporations invite famous people to endorse their own products. For instance, NIKE which is the well-known sports brand pays Michael Jordan $20 million per year as the endorsement fees (Kellner, 2001). The strategy of Celebrity endorsements depends on the advertisement mostly which makes full use of famous persons’ potential value (Pappu et al., 2011). Since the connection between the endorser and the endorsed brand is related closely, it might do harm to the brand once the celebrity was exposed some adverse news by the Internet and the media.

The essay will be divided into three main parts. Firstly,it will explain the definition of celebrity endorsements and consider the positive and negative perceptions of celebrity endorsements. Then it will go on to state how negative celebrity endorsements have an effect on the brand by analysed some real cases. In the final part, it will draw a conclusion about the negative impact of celebrity endorsements to a brand.

  1. Celebrity Endorsement
  1. The Definition Of Celebrity Endorsement

Celebrity endorsement is to promote the sales of a product and develop the brand’s value, advertisers invite a famous people as the image of the brand. The celebrities become the spokespersons and use their reputation to attract customers consuming the endorsed products or services(Kumar, 2017).

At present, the market is full of fierce competition and there are countless similar function products. It is truly tough to be unique and own a loyal group of customers. However, the brand might achieve the goal and get more attention once the company chose celebrity endorsements strategy. As we all know, a famous celebrity has a large number of faithful fans which care for every detail about the celebrity. The fans will pay close attention to what their idol wear, use or eat and try to follow the example of the celebrity. Such as Michael Jordan, who is the most well-known basketball player, he is so famous that whatever he does will get many fans’ imitation(Till and Shimp, 1998). The impact of endorsed product would be larger by the more famous celebrity. It is the most accepted pattern that celebrity charm would help the brand to attract global consumers(Kumar, 2017). The investigation shows that celebrities are able to affect the consumption decisions of potential customers since they possess the special status in the consumers’ minds.  


There is a link between celebrity and brand which will lead to a mutual benefit and win-win situation. Like Michael Jordan, he is famous for a legendary player in NBA. his life is linked to “Chicago Bull,” “University of North Carolina,” “basketball,” “Nike,” and so on. It is well-known that Nike tailor a series called “Air Jordan” to him and it becomes the best series in Nike’ products.(Till and Shimp, 1998)

The companies or the associations invest much capital to make all kinds of advertisements about the endorsed products and put them in the information media like TV, Radio and newspaper. Though the expanding is expensive, it is worth since the payoff could be huge for the company. The proportion of celebrity endorsement in total TV advertising expenses is 10%, and a well-known celebrity would appear on nearly 20% of the television advertisements.(Demangeot and Broderick, 2010).

  1. The Influence of Celebrity Endorsements

  1.  The Impact on The Economy

Now celebrity endorsements strategy shows an increasing economic value and the budget of endorsements also grows. The endorsement fee of an international celebrities might reach millions of dollars and the companies still tend to pay for the enormous fees (Jagdish Agrawal ; and Kamakura, 2015).  For instance, the giant of the soft drinks companies—Coca Cola Co. cost $25 million on using Bill Cosby to endorse its products. (Advertising Age 1986). Meanwhile, IBM invited MASH actors as the endorsed celebrities by the spending of about $40 million in a commercial competitive tender (Reuters 1987).

Jagdish Agrawal and Kamakura (2015) stated both positive and negative events would influence celebrity endorsements. The survey showed that it is a profitable strategy to use celebrities as endorsers and the manager should identify the applicable celebrity for getting more economy profits. Forbes magazine’s annual surveys showed that celebrities could gain much more benefit from commercials than their regular salary. The value of the celebrity should be far more than the endorsement fee so that the leader of the brand would like to hire him/her as the endorser.

  1.  The Impact on Society

celebrity endorsements could influence the consumer behaviour and attracted more and more attention. Consumers prefer to follow celebrities and their endorsed products while they ignore celebrities’ gender or profession.(Rai and Sharma, 2013). For example, teenagers would rather buy the NIKE basketball shoes endorsed by Michael Jordan than other sport brands even if they are expensive. There are a large number of people who express their willingness to follow the celebrities and consume the endorsed brand. It shows the positive of celebrity endorsements and promote the society forward.

  1. The Negative Perceptions

Although the strategy of celebrity endorses is popular in many companies, it contains some potential dangers what might cause negative impacts to the endorsed brands. No one is perfect, even if the celebrities. The only difference between normal people and celebrities is the celebrities accompanied by more attention. Every mistake they have made will blow up and spread on the media(Till and Shimp, 1998).

Based on previous investigation,there are plenty of reasons would cause negative impact to the endorsed product. The main issue of negative perceptions is the scandal.(Demangeot and Broderick, 2010). The scandal about the celebrity includes sex personal involvement, inappropriate behavior in the public and private areas. Some people might hear about the Hong Kong“Pornographic Picture Event”, Edison Chen who was the best entertainment celebrity in Hong Kong took indecent photos of several female celebrities. The main actress of this event named Gillian Chung was the famous movie star in China. Those photos have been exposed accidentally in January 2008 and all the medias were spreading the scandal. The netizens discussed about this event and continued exchanging the photos with each other which was considered as a terrible problem. It is not only cause a huge negative impact on Edison and other relating entertainment stars, but also influence their endorsed brands(Demangeot and Broderick, 2010). The next study showed that Edison and these related woman celebrities have endorsed at least eight brands, such as Pepsi, Samsung digital camera, Hong Kong Disneyland, Mentholatum lip balm, Adidas, Epson printers. After the scandal, these brands made decisions immediately and canceled the advertisements. Pepsi was the first company to take action,it replaced the endorser and hided every products about Edison Chen.(Demangeot and Broderick, 2010). The negative side of celebrity is harmful to the brand so that brand’s managers would   try their best to avoid the problem.



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