Why celebrities in India have runaway success with brand endorsements

New Delhi | Updated: Oct 9 2013, 21:35pm hrs
Shah Rukh KhanIt is believed that celebrities are able to connect fast to the viewers. AP
One of the most commonly held belief in advertising is that celebrity endorsement enhances the effectiveness of marketing strategy. It is believed that celebrities are able to connect fast to the viewers, ultimately making the customers more likely to choose the product with a competitive edge. The positive acceptance ofcelebrity endorsementsis quite pervasive and its not surprising that more than 50% of commercial ads portray them. When a brand or product is promoted by a well-known personality, it helps to increase the volume of sales, creating a mutual benefit to the company and the celebrity. These celebrity endorsements expedite brand recall which influence customer behaviour and purchase.

Companies invest huge amounts to establish their brand image with the help of celebrity endorsers. In this process, companies hire popular individuals who excel in a specific line of work. The promotional features and image of the product is closely integrated with the personality of the celebrity, to convey a message to the customers to fix their choices while purchasing a product. Although this seems to be simple, the success of a celebrity endorsed product depends on the effective framework of the ad campaigning. The company uses the creditability of the celebrity, to make products creating a niche in the market and establish itself as a brand. The celebrity's role is most prominent in personifying the product to his/her image and help it reach the customers.

In Western countries, celebrity endorsements have limited impact on consumers while purchasing a product. However, in India, the scenario is a bit different as celebrities are almost idolized here, resulting in highly impactful and effective celebrity endorsements.

Few examples are:

* Shah Rukh Khan for Hyundai Santro campaigning, Fair n Handsome in Cosmetics

* Sachin Tendulkar for Pepsi in soft drinks, MRF tyres and Boost in Beverages

* Bollywood leading ladies in promotion of Lux beauty soaps (Lux soap was the first and is always among the top three products in India, that have been well received by consumers.)

In past few years, instances of companies opting for celebrity endorsements, to attract the diverse preferences of the customers, is increasing. The influence of celebrities has always had a greater impact on the consumers of India. Thesebrand ambassadorscan amplify the merits of the brand, which can supplement voluminous sales. The power of popular personalities have developed a kind of emotional attachment with Indian consumers and this drives them to choose a particular brand, which has a celebrity endorsing it. When a celebrity appears for a specific endorsement on media, they attract the audience's attention.

The most famous endorsements by celebrities are related to sports, fashion and the entertainment industry. Though there are few products which do not deliver the promised outcome, they are much preferred by the customers for the likeliness towards the celebrities. In India, marketers understand the significant role of the celebrities and build a platform for effective marketing frame works to deliver high potential ad service.

Advertising is an imperative tool to enable the customer to purchase a product or service. Even though companies use various techniques to attract customers toward a particular product, sometimes, celebrity endorsements will not ensure consumer loyalty. The customer tends to look at a product, with various prospects like:

* Is the product of good quality

* Whether the products exactly meets his or her needs.

* If the product is being produced by a well known manufacturer.

To win the customer's trust, the brands must convince customers with their continuous positive delivery of the quality of the product. Despite dependence on celebrity endorsements, few brands have embedded their image on consumers' psyche as the most consistent source. This is particularly strong in few aspects like:

* Body care products like Himalaya and Dove

* Cosmetics like VLCC products, Lotus

* Beverages like Tata tea, Three roses tea

* Washing powders and detergents like Ghadi, Tide, and Ariel

* TV sets like Onida

Most of these products are received by the customers on the basis of their consistent quality and performance. Even though the impact of celebrity endorsements focus on business growth, the brands without celebrities and popular personalities have been equally received by the customers. The attractive advertising campaign and product tag lines and captions have a major influence on the customers to avail these products.