Celebrity Endorsement: Too much of a good thing

Celebrities endorse everything from liposuction to positive body image, Pepsi to solving world hunger, and now, voting for Pedro to not voting for Donald Trump. When it comes to celebrity endorsement, it seems that money over morals may be a general rule for some. With the continuous brand jumping between celebrities, the industry seems incest with what I like to refer fondly to as “Brand Sluts”, sleeping around with a variety of products and in turn losing your personal brand dignity.

Paris Hilton for Carls Jr Burger

As celebrities squabble over products, searching for a piece of the placement pie, what is the actual level of influence placed on celebrity endorsement on advertising and world issues, and at what cost does it come to celebrities?

What is the actual level of influence placed on celebrity endorsement on advertising and world issues, and at what cost does it come to celebrities?

In our highly consumable society, brands are constantly looking for the newest and most influential celebrity to help sell their product to an easily manipulated market. Research shows that when celebrity-brand partnerships are created, the celebrity influencer power is optimised to “draw more attention to the advertisements, break through the clutter of competing brands and can exert greater influence on consumers’ attitudes and purchase intentions.” And it seems to be working. A 2010 study shows that brand equity can increase up to 20% upon sealing an endorsement deal, with some brands even getting a 0.25% increase on the day the deal is announced.

 

In 2015, Forbes reported that celebrity endorsements continue to increase yearly, with an estimated $50 billion being spent globally. Of course, as these statistics increase, so do the offers for celebrities to be a part of other brand personalities.

 

For example, international superstar and Queen of Plant Earth, Beyoncé, has endorsed L’Oreal, a variety of perfumes and fashion houses, and most famously Pepsi. But at what point do the consumers become oversaturated with a celebrity that they no longer identify with them or the products they endorse? When celebrities like Queen Bey become all things, to all people, at all times, the theory of “systematic desensitisation” comes into play. Essentially this theory states that the more someone is exposed to certain elements, the less likely they are to respond. So when, Beyoncé is shaking her bootylicious body for Pepsi, L’Oreal, and perfume multiple times a day, gradually consumers begin to care less about Beyoncé ass and the product she’s shaking it for.

Pepsi_gif

Coming up to the festive season, I think it is safe to say, along with the traditional Christmas merchandise on sale in October we should also expect another rendition of celebrities wondering if certain parts of the world “know if its Christmas time at all?”. As we approach Christmas, celebrity musicians are prepping for their annual Band Aid get together after a busy year of making money for themselves. However, during the course of the year we have seen these musicians support a variety of products from toothpaste, to clothes, make-up and toys. So why now should we as consumers believe that they care more about the Band Aid cause than they did about Hasbro and Colgate’s latest love child singing toothbrush? As a result the value of the endorsement towards charitable causes such as Band Aid has decreased due to the brand promiscuity during the year.

 

We are so used to low-value celebrity product endorsements, we have become to desensitised to the greater issues.

 

Approaching the U.S Presidential Election next month, celebrities may have finally joined forces for a cause bigger than the Taylor Swift-Kanye scandal – Donald Trump.

 

As worded so perfectly by John Oliver, I know every time someone mentions Trump’s name he has a “shattering orgasm”, so I will try to use his name sparingly. It is no secret that Trump has made very few friends over the campaign period, however the recent surfacing of a collection of sexist comments made over the past decade seems to bring out the celebrities in masses, and we all know nothing unites people quicker than a common enemy.

 

Trump seems to have pissed off the famous, and so in response celebrities have decided to use their fame for good. Over the past few weeks, working towards the upcoming United States of America presidential election, celebrities seem to be appearing en masse to push for citizens to register, and vote against Donald Trump. Unlike Australia, the USA does not currently have mandatory voting regulations. As a result, a vast majority of the population does not turn out to have a say in who leads one of the most powerful countries in the world. As a solution to this problem, Anonymous Content (a completely non-government organisation) has recruited an army of the celebrities to push the voter initiative #VoteYourFuture. Without mentioning any candidate names, the clip discusses the important issues that Trump has publicly denounced, and invites citizens to register and vote for their future.

 

 

This campaign comes after a string of other celebrity endorsed social media announcements that are less subtle about their voting intentions. Videos such as the Avengers SaveTheDay.Vote, or released just today (9 October 2016), Robert De Niro’s short clip calling Trump out as a “national disaster”. Adopting the power of celebrity endorsement to share the message, these campaigns utilise their “unique position in the advertising landscape due to their respective careers, as well as from the constant media attention many receive.

 

For the sake of an alliteration, if the product is the president, and the popularity of a personality presides, what proportion of the population gives a shit? Well if social media views, comments, mentions, and likes matter, then the success of these social campaigns is racking in over 30 million people, around 10% of the American population. Although this may not be a hugely massive percentile, every person counts when it comes to making a decision that not only represents their country, but resonates around the world.

 

The value of the associated celebrities has added worth through fame – sharing and promoting a message through their individual brand identities. This is the type of valuable, earned endorsement that celebrities should hop into bed with.


Also published on Medium.

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