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Impact of Celebrity Endorsement on Consumer Buying Behavior a Case of Adonko Company Limited





This chapter reviewed the works that have been done by other researchers on this topic and its related, topics. For the purpose of this study, we are reviewing literature on the following themes:

An assessment of the impact of celebrity endorsement on consumer buying behaviour; Impact of celebrity endorsement on a brand; celebrity versus noncelebrity endorsements, positive and negative aspects of celebrity endorsements, consumer buying behaviour, models for celebrity endorsements, Winning celebrities and companies they endorse; Celebrity endorsements gone bad; Corporate firms, Nigerian entertainers and endorsement deals.


2.2.1Who is a Celebrity?

So many definitions have been given to celebrity by various scholars. Celebrity was defined by Schlecht2003, as cited in Khatri, 2006) “as a person who enjoy public recognition by a large share of a certain group of people”. Therefore there are some features such as attractiveness, extraordinary lifestyle which are just examples and specific common characteristics which cannot be seen, though 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. Silvera&Austad, (2004), defined Celebrities to be “people who enjoy public recognition by a large share of a certain group and they have distinctive characteristics, such as attractiveness and trustworthiness”.  In our day to day activities, we perform many acts, at home, at the work place, in school, in sports, in social life, etc. But these acts may be daily routine or just “acts” per say giving no extra-ordinary results, not noticed by anybody surrounding us, and not taken into notice by the media, but if a person acts or performs something which gives spectacular results and is noticed by the masses, then that person has “done something” special that most of the masses cannot do. He is regarded as a special person with some “extra” gifting from “God”. Therefore, it will leave an impression in the hearts of the people, which will make them to start feeling that he/she is great and exceptional, and start celebrating his/her acts which produce success. If the success rate for that person is very high to “deliver” same results, he becomes a “CELEBRITY”. It may be in field of sports, cinema, music, comedy, theatre, education, social life, politics, science, and anything but something with some special results. Celebrities are popular among the public and they take pleasure in being recognized by numerous people. Good looks, classy lifestyles and special skills are only some of celebrities’ special features that are different from noncelebrities, and are seen by the public, which grants them a large amount of the public’s attention. Friedman and Friedman (2002) explain, that a celebrity could be anybody such as actor, sportsman, presenter, entertainer, etc., whose attribute is different from the general public and is recognized by them, because of his or her achievements. Celebrities such as Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi, David Beckham, Usain Bolt, RafealNadal and Michael Jordan have made hundreds of millions of dollars from endorsements and in return have helped the sports apparel company Nike become dominant global brand. Michael Jordan once claimed “I never thought a role model should be negative” this is because when a role model is negative, the person is perceived to have adverse effects on his or her audience (Arens, Weigold&Arens, 2011).

In recent years, using celebrity endorsers has become more and more common. According to Byrne & Breen, studies have indicated that a more positive response, along with higher purchasing intentions have been gained by using celebrity endorsers compared to non- celebrity endorsers (Byrne & Breen,

2003). Sales will greatly rise due to the availability of celebrity endorsed products that attract customers. So long as celebrities add up to a brand’s image, corporate firms must also understand that they take a risk when they associate their brands with a celebrity this is because their conducts might go against the image of a company and the norms of society.

It therefore suffices to say that it is the duty of every company to ensure that celebrities endorsing their brands are morally upright and socially responsible. Initially, this strategy seems a non-risk and all-gain situation, but, as with any dynamic marketing communication strategy, there are potential hazards. Individuals can change, and endorsement relations can sour. In a sense, celebrity endorsement strategy can be a two-edged sword, which makes selecting a celebrity endorser from innumerable alternatives in the presence of potential marketing pitfalls very challenging. It has been found that “negative information about a celebrity endorser not only influences consumers’ perception of the celebrity, but also the endorsed product” (Till and Shimp1995). Therefore, a celebrity can invariably attracts attention to an advertisement, his or her impact on other variables such as brand awareness, recall of copy points and arguments about the message, brand attitudes, and purchase intentions must also be considered (Belch & Belch 1995). A general phenomenon is that consumers will focus their attention on the celebrity and fail to notice the brand being promoted (Rossiter and Fercy, 1987). In the above case, the celebrity is always seen as the star, because his image has overshadowed the product, therefore the product will be neglected. As Cooper (1984) puts it “the product not the celebrity, must be the star.” Humiliation has occurred for some companies as a result of their celebrities getting involved in some controversial issues (Hertz Corporation & O.J. Simpson, 1994). Celebrities may vanish from the media within a twinkle of eyes before their contractual term elapsed as was the case of AfeezOyetoro (fondly called Saka) switching from MTN to Etisalat whose act generated a lot of controversy in the telecommunication industry and among his fans.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/etisalat/portability/saka, 2013). A similar issue occurred in Schick Inc’s relation with Mark Spitz, winner of seven Olympic gold medals (Ziegel 1983). It is unusual for celebrities to change their image, but when this occurs it can indicate failure for a campaign. Another important issue could be as a result of the greediness of celebrity and subsequent overexposure when a celebrity becomes an endorser for many diverse products, he may start dictating for his endorser.  (e.g. OmotolaJaladeEkeinde 2010). “If a celebrity’s image ties in with many brands, impact and identity with each product may lessen since the relationship between the celebrity and a particular brand is not distinctive” (Mowen& Brown 1991). This act will not only compromise the worth of the celebrity in the eyes of his fans, but it can also makes consumers openly aware of the true nature of endorsement which has little to do with the brand/product attributes, and more to do with generous compensation for the celebrity, leading consumers to publicly have a doubt about their motives (Tripp, et al. 1994).

As it can be inferred from this quick overview, selecting celebrity endorsers is not an easy task, but with time many scholars have attempted to construct models to aid in selecting celebrity endorsers. Cari I. Hovland and his associates presented one of the earliest models in 1953. Following his initial Source Credibility Model, three additional models are cited; the Source Attractiveness Model (McGuire, 1985) the Product Match-Up Hypothesis (Forkan, 1980; Kamins, 1989. 1990) and the Meaning Transfer Model (McCracken, 1989).

2.2.2 What is Product Endorsement?

A product endorsement is a form of testimonial from someone which indicates that they like or approve of a product. Product endorsement could be in form of positive word of mouth from people who are socially prominent, allowing companies to advertise their products with statements like “as used by suchand-such an actress,” or “the official product of a company.” It’s hard to miss a Celebrity Endorsement & Brand Building product endorsement on product packaging and in advertisements; most companies keep their endorsements front and centre so that they are always in the public eye. The concept of the product endorsement is quite ancient. In England, for example, so many companies have associated their brands with the Queen, in order to enjoy patronage of the British royal family. Consumers are always enticed with the idea of purchasing a product which is endorsed by someone influential or famous, as though by buying the product, the consumer also becomes affiliated with the endorser. Modern product endorsements can come with contracts worth substantial amounts of money. For example, many sports stars agree to participate in product endorsement campaigns with the understanding that the company will compensate them for the trouble; some stars donate the proceeds to charities they support, using the product endorsement as a public relations campaign. In exchange for an endorsement contract, someone may agree to use the product publicly whenever possible, and they may be restricted from using competitor’s products. Endorsement of product does not necessarily mean that a product is good. It just means that the company has managed to work its public relations connections to get a big name associated with it. Some endorsements take the form of written testimonials, where people write about how the product changed their lives. Modern testimonials are more commonly included in advertising campaigns, with excerpts only on the packaging.

2.2.3 Who are Celebrity Endorsers?

According to McCracken’s (1989, as cited in khatri, 2006) definition, “a celebrity endorser is an individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf of a company’s good by appearing with it in an advertisement”. Generally, research has shown that celebrity endorsement influences the feelings of the consumers and can also influence the attitude consumers have towards the advertisement and attitude towards the brands, which can increase the purchase intentions and, consequently, increase sales. A brand will result in an. advertising practitioners believe that using a celebrity endorser will foster an increase in consumer recall of the brand, and creates a connection between the celebrity endorser and the endorsed brand in the mind of the consumer. Celebrities have tremendous mass followers. For example, when the likes ofDapoOlabanjo (aka D’banj) and Innocent Idibia (aka Tuface) are seen coming to shoot a musical video, at a particular location on a particular day, the crowd will trope out just to take a glance at them. Friedman and Friedman, a “celebrity endorser is an individual who is known by the public for his or her achievements in areas other than that of the product class endorsed”. Compared to other endorser types, famous people always attach a greater degree of attention, recall and loyalty. Increasingly, researchers question empirical evidence validating a direct link between using a celebrity endorsement to achieve higher brand recall. A celebrity endorser used in an advertisement can be interpreted as a reference group. A reference group is defined “as any person or group of persons that serves as a point of comparison (or reference) for an individual by communicating values, attitudes and providing a specific guide for behaviour” (Shiffman&Kanuk, 2006). Given the high costs associated with using celebrity endorsements, marketers have relied on rating systems to evaluate the potential value added by celebrity endorsers. When brands use celebrities for endorsements, the “meaning” of the celebrity will be transfers to the brand. That can be a double edged sword. When negative information about the celebrity is publicized in the media, the brand can suffer. The worse the perception of the information, the worse the brand suffers, but in this age of intense competition, where capturing a position in the consumers’ mind space is extremely tough, celebrity endorsements give an extra edge to the companies for holding the viewers’ attention. Celebrities can create brand acceptance and provide the enormous momentum that brands require by endorsing the intrinsic value to the brand.

2.2.4 Attractiveness of Endorser

The success of celebrity endorsement depends very much on the attractiveness of the celebrity as well. To understand the importance of attractiveness, consumers need to watch television and other print media. Generally advertisements employ attractive celebrities or individuals. Consumers are inclined to have positive conventional images of such people and research shows that celebrities are attractive can effortlessly able to change customer beliefs (Debevec&Kernan, 1984; Chaiken, 1979). In 1972, Cohen and Golden suggest that celebrity endorser’s physical attractiveness is an important criterion to make the message an effective one among the customers. According to Kemins, (1990), “an attractive celebrity affects the brand they endorse especially given their ‘star’ status and their physical attractiveness”.  The notion was also supported by Kahle and Homer (1985) who showed that physical attractiveness of celebrities creates a great response to the brand image by its target audience.


“A sign of a celebrity is that his name is often worth more than his services.” (Daniel J Boorstin). The motive behind total branding may be decoded as an attempt to amalgamate diverse activities to win customer preference. There is need be to look at the “Impact of celebrity endorsement on overall brand”, has been a significant tool. The build-up of celebrities endorsing brands has been steadily increasing over the past years. Marketers publicly acknowledge the power of celebrities in influencing consumer purchasing decisions.


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