Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on how celebrity endorsement will help to do marketing of products and services. For this reason, brands must select celebrity endorsements very carefully because the expense needed for celebrity endorsement is large yet there are many risks involved simply due to the fact that a brand cannot control a celebrity’s actions in either their professional or personal lives.
For brands that are looking to be successful, the easiest way to do this is by associating the brand with a celebrity that already has success. The hope is that consumers will associate the success of the celebrity with the brand they are supporting. The reality is that this is very often not the case, yet it is human nature to link one success with another. The trick that marketers have is trying to convince the target market that the celebrity really does support the brand and stands for the values of the brand. Celebrity often has their own fan bases, usually in the entertainment and sporting industries, so a key reason why marketers want to use celebrities to endorse a product is to have access to these loyal groups of fans. Some high-profile companies are willing to spend millions of dollars in order to attract celebrities that are well-known. One such example occurred in January of 2013 when Nike signed world number one golfer Rory McIlroy to be its major celebrity icon. Although the terms of the deal were never released, many insiders to the deal estimate that McIlroy will make $100 million over the next five years or up to $250 million over 10 years (Crouse 2013). While this may seem like crazy money, Nike is betting on the fact that McIlroy will remain a force in the golfing world for some time yet. Because of his relatively young age, 23, he has the potential to dominate the golfing world over the next decade. When McIlroy steps up for the winning putt at some of golf’s major events, Nike wants the world to see McIlroy with his Nike cap on, the Nike swoosh on his shirt, and the Nike golf club that he is using.
However, if a celebrity does something that brings shame to a brand, then it may have a long-term effect on the brand. Just recently, the well-known Paralympian Oscar Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend in his South African home. Although the details of his actions are still to be determined in a court of law, some of Pistorius’ main sponsors were quick to distance themselves from the controversy (Davis 2013). One popular new ad was a Nike ad in which Pistorius starred in. The tagline of the ad was that Pistorius was “the bullet in the chamber” (Davis 2013). The ad was quickly pulled by Nike when it realized how ironic this advertisement was considering the circumstances.
Celebrity endorsements will continue to be lucrative for brands that are looking to increase their reach to consumers, but there are also some downsides involved if that celebrity falls from the public eye. If celebrities are used to help market products and services, then a brand needs to be very selective and only select celebrities that stand for the values of the brand.