Impact of Celebrity Endorsement on Image of Infant Products Usages Among Nursing Mothers in Port Harcourt
1.1 Background of the Study
Advertisement is recognized as the fastest and most successful communication tool for businesses to develop an association and attract their target consumers. Among various sorts of communication techniques, the use of celebrity endorsement is greatly rising owing to the development of social platforms (Krotoski, 2011). These celebrities need not to be international superstars, they could be an individual from any field such as politics, science, entertainment, sport and so on, who is perceived as an idol, who enjoy public recognition and have a congruence with the brand image to constitute a compelling power to affect consumers’ buying intention and building of relatiosnhips.
An excellent technique to creating ties between the firm and its clients is through the employment of celebrity endorsement. It is recognized that buyers prefer to feel better about a product or brand when someone they can connect or look up to is promoting it (Busler, M 2002)). According to Flora Carlin stated in Chikezie E. (2017), superstars are surely regular individuals like us, but such thinking looks to be more reasonable than is the case in actual life. This is owing to the growth of popular culture around the turn of the century, which has elevated celebrities to god-like stature in society. They are interesting and awe-inspiring. Society idolizes and looks up to them. This is because people have an intrinsic tendency to turn to someone for reflection, validation, and authority, whether that person is a hero, mentor, guardian, or higher power. Celebrities are famous in modern times because of what they signify and represent: that “higher” being. It has been asserted that the mass media has a unique power to define agendas for the society in which they are immersed. They may not tell us what to think, but they have gotten skilled at informing us and recommending what we should think about. Attractions, like the extraordinary lifestyle or special skills are common symptoms, just examples and specific properties while observed and celebrities are usually social model and enjoy a high level of public awareness hence the reason why companies use their influence to attract patronage of their product.
The celebrity endorser is known as any individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf on a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement (McCracken, 1989,). According to Sherman (1985) cited in Andreas B. Jesper H.Mario (2015), the first known usage of celebrity endorsement dates back to the late nineteenth century. However, it gained popularity among companies during the growth of commercial radio in the 1930s as well as the commercial television in the 1950s (McDonough, 1995). Ever since the technological progress the usage of this strategy has constantly increased (Howard, 1979; Motavalli, 1988; Shimp, 1997; Chung et al., 2013). The celebrity endorser is known as any individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf on a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement (McCracken, 1989).
Celebrity endorsement is a widespread phenomenon today, over 20% of advertisements in the United States feature celebrities (Solomon, 2009). Hence, there are a great number of well known examples and celebrities from all kind of different professions that are used in order to endorse brands and products, for example athletes, actors, pop stars, television personalities and business men. Golf star Tiger Woods has been endorser and spokesperson for Nike during a long time; he has appeared in several commercials and is playing with Nike equipment. Fashion brand Gap has used television star Sarah Jessica Parker in commercials in order to promote its products, and Pepsi has used several celebrities over 2 the years, both pop stars like Madonna and Britney Spears and football players like David Beckham. Ogunsiji, A. (2012) states that celebrity endorsement is thought to provide a specific differentiation and strengthen the brand image in a market with intense competition, of local, regional and international brands. Furthermore, in order to be effective, it is said that a symbolic match should exist between the celebrity image and the brand image.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Baby care products are goods meant to be used on newborns and children under the age of three. Baby products are particularly made to be gentle and non-irritating and employ components that are selected for these attributes. Baby goods include baby shampoos and baby lotions, oils, powders and creams. These items are patronized by nursing moms in other to take care of their newborns but frequently caught with the issue of which product to purchase thus could settle for product who has celebrities as brand advocates. Celebrity endorsement as a marketing tactic and its influence on a firm’s brand image has been marginally examined throughout recent decades even as data indicate that celebrity endorsement boost attention and brand awareness. It also helps underpin worldwide advertising, simplifies possible image polishing and brand repositioning, and makes a product or service more believable (Amos, C., Holmes, G., & Strutton, D. (2008)). The extant empirical literatures produced conflicting conclusions and some of the research are outdated and must have been surpassed by contemporary circumstances. Also, most of the studies had severe methodological flaws since most of them employed nonparametric approach in analyzing their data which is most typically entrenched with mistakes. Therefore, the study will cover the identified gap by employing a more rigorous strategy in assessing the data.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine celebrity endorsement on image of infant products usages among nursing mothers in Port Harcourt. Specifically the study seeks to:
- To establish if celebrity endorsement affect brand image of baby care product.
- Determine if celebrity endorsement attract nursing mother’s patronage of baby care product.
- Ascertain if celebrity endorsement influences nursing mothers usage of infant product.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
The study is guided by the following tentative statement:
HO1: Celebrity endorsement does not have any significant effect brand image of baby care product
HO2: Celebrity endorsement does not have any significant influence on nursing mothers usage of infant product.
1.5 Significance of the Study
Findings from the study will be relevant to brands of baby care product, marketer and other companies dealing related product. To brands, findings from the study will enlighten them on the need to maximize celebrities in promotion of their products. Findings from the study will enlighten marketer on the need to delve into aggressive marketing different from the celebrity image on their brand. finally the study will add to the body of existing literature and serve as reference material to both teachers and student who wishes to conduct further studies in related field.
1.6 Scope of the Study
- The scope of this study borders on celebrity endorsement on image of infant products usages among nursing mothers . The stud will establish if celebrity endorsement affect brand image of baby care product. It will determine if celebrity endorsement attract nursing mother’s patronage of baby care product. It will ascertain if celebrity endorsement influences nursing mothers usage of infant product. The study is however delimited to Nursing Mothers in Port Harcourt metropolis in Rivers State.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. Despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
1.8 Definition of Operational terms
Celebrity: Celebrity is a condition of fame and broad public recognition of an individual or group as a result of the attention given to them by mass media. While celebrities are Personalities’ who are famous as a result of their achievements or the attention they have gained through entertainment, art, business or aesthetics.
Celebrity Endorsement: Celebrity endorser is probably the most recognized, he describes the celebrity endorser as a person that is publicly known and who uses his or her recognition in order to promote a product or brand in advertisement.
Brand Image: Brand image is the perception of the brand in the mind of the customer. It is an aggregate of beliefs, ideas, and impressions that a customer have about a product or brand
Customer patronage: Customer patronage is defined as a person or thing that eats or uses something or a person who buys goods and services for personal consumption or use.
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