Celebrity endorsement

January19, 2018
by UK Essay Writing

The practice of celebrity endorsement.

Celebrity endorsement can be defined as a type of marketing campaign or advertising strategy or advertising campaign or marketing strategy utilized by companies, brands, and non-profit organization. It entails influential individuals and celebrated personalities using their fame and social status to aid in promoting a product, service or even raise awareness on environmental or social matters (Lazarevic, 2012). Different product and service marketers usually hope to utilize the positive image of their celebrity endorsers to pass their social influence and their positive models to the products or the brand image associated with the celebrities. Celebrity endorsement is usually commonly used by fashion or beauty brands, but a non-profit organization relies on stars.

Celebrities have excellent communication skills which can attract people’s attention and is helpful in reaching a broader audience to raise their awareness towards a certain organization or an issue. Thus, making celebrities effective fundraisers. Celebrity endorsement also known as celebrity branding is a type of publication in which an entertainment personality or a well-recognized sports celebrity is used as a brand legate for a corporation or a business. Celebrity endorsement is a technique in which marketers focus their advertising energy by using celebrity social status to promote a service or product. The act of utilizing celebrities in offering different services such as endorsements other than performing their particular job as either athletes, actors, musicians or sports personalities has increased over time.  Despite celebrity endorsement being an expensive form of advertisement and involves numerous risks due to its different technique of advertising, it is a marketing strategy that has been used relatively extensively in recent time. The act of celebrity endorsement and branding has transformed to be a pervasive element in promotion and communication management.

Celebrity endorsement has grown to be a promotion and marketing strategy utilized by many organizations in introducing their products, services or brand to a new market niche or new consumers. It’s a mechanism by which organizations can raise their brand awareness and intensify their sales and market growth thus solidifies their influence on society since they are seen as opinion leaders. Product promotion through celebrity endorsement helps build a brand and strengthens the company’s relationship with the current and new consumers. The social status of celebrities and influential people in the society is utilized in capturing consumer’s attention and further provides identity to the products and brand being advertised which increases sales and makes the products preferred over other competitors. Research by (Mukherjee, 2009) Shows many consumers are obsessed with celebrities and will tend to be associated with what they utilize hence won’t hesitate to purchase anything related to a celebrity. It’s a way of promotion that creates a connection with the consumers. The modern customer base usually looks up to celebrities, and influential personalities in society as they can wish to be like them hence many brands will ride along the celebrity’s success wave when using them in an endorsement.

Initially, celebrity endorsement was in the form of a simple model. It’s a form of advertisement where a famed individual with high visibility appears in a campaign to attract attention to the service or product it is advertising. Celebrities are associated with positive qualities, such as attractiveness, likability, and reliability. Companies wish to link and transfer these qualities between the brand of the celebrities they associated with and the brand they are advertising (Khandai and Agrawal, 2010). With all this in mind, a celebrity endorsement was initially seen as a long-term contract between the celebrity and the company to promote a brand, product or service through adverts, campaigns, and appearances. However, recent technological advances have enabled celebrity endorsement to expand and can now vary from being the company’s spokesperson, the product model or to directly mentioning it on social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (Cunningham, & Bright, 2012).

The history of celebrity endorsement

The history of celebrity endorsement of brands, products, and services dates back to the 17th century. During this period, royal and great endorsements were utilized as a form of celebrity branding to promote and advertise products (Atay, 2011).  In the early 1760s, Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, the sole producers of pottery and chinaware, was the first company that employed celebrity endorsements.  Wedgwood also referred to as the father of the modern brand utilized celebrity endorsements and other promoting mechanisms to create an impression around the name of his company that gave the brand a value bigger than the features of the product itself.  He used celebrity endorsements as a marketing device to display the value in his company and promote their products.

The aspect of celebrity endorsement was further advanced between the years 1875 to early 1900 where trade cards were introduced. The introduction of trade cards was a huge step in enhancing the activity of celebrity endorsement which entailed including a picture of a famous individual with a photo of the product. Basically, these trade cards would feature superstars such as musicians, sports personalities or actors and would be given to customers alongside the products or would be packed together with the product itself (Patra, & Datta, 2012).

The Cigarette industry played a bigger role in advancing celebrity endorsement practice.  Successful cigarette manufacturers such as Koda’s cigarettes was hugely involved in celebrity endorsement. The company began to pack their cigarettes together with baseball player cards as part of a consumer loyalty scheme. The introduction of baseball player cards in the cigarette cards increased the demand for cigarettes because customers had to buy more to gain all the cards.


The act of celebrity endorsement was fully transformed in the early 1930s where athletes were the main celebrities that were used for advertisement and promotions. This trend was changed and transformed by the year 1945 where movie stars and musicians were considered the biggest celebrity endorsers. In the year 1965, color television was introduced making it a popular demand in the advertisement and marketing field where entertainers and television personalities became a celebrity endorsement for communicating services and products (Dwivedi, Mcdonald, & Johnson, 2014).

By the 1980s, many companies and organizations had decided and settled to making products and offering services to celebrities. A good example is in the year 1984 when the Nike Company took the sponsorship of the well-known, Michael Jordan who was a talented young basketball player. Nike Company made Michael Jordan their celebrity brand ambassador for their sports activities and industry at large (Kellner, 2011). Nike Company enormously depended on Michael Jordan’s social and celebrity status to make the Nike brand globally recognized.

The link between human brands and celebrity endorsement

Celebrity endorsement became a favorite aspect, and many companies began offering products and services around celebrities where the celebrities became the brand ambassadors for the companies. At this stage, the competition was high as to which celebrity to represent different companies which resulted in actors, athletes, musicians and entertainment celebrity’s to introduce payouts and salaries to represent the companies and appear as their brand ambassadors. By the late 1900s, celebrity endorsements had been transformed to another level. Companies introduced alternatives to images of celebrities promoting their brands. They started holding press conferences where the celebrities would go to the extent of announcing new products or special deals (Finne, & Gronroos, 2009). The companies owned them by way of contract where they were also used as the spokesperson for the firms. As discussed by (Finne, & Gronroos, 2009) Companies that made their celebrity ambassador to hold press conferences and announce new contracts, new products or special deals experienced increased sales for their products and more deals were presented to the market. Below is an example of celebrity endorsement in recent time.

Examples of celebrity endorsement examples
  1. Licensing name
George Foreman for grills, Ainsley Harriott in the food industry
  1. Brand empires
Oprah Winfey OWN empire, Jamie Oliver Chef and restaurant
  1. Celebrity-branded products
Lady Gaga Fame Eau de Parfum


Beats by Dr Dre –Headphones

  1. Brand collaboration
Sean Combs –Diageo,

Rihanna –River Island & MAC


  1. Endorsing products on social media
Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber
  1. Brand collaboration
Sean Combs –Diageo,

Rihanna –River Island & MAC


  1. Taking a company’s tittle
Jay-Z –Co brand director of Budweiser Select,

Alicia Keys –Global creative director for Blackberry

  1. Promoting charitable cause
Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt -Maddox Jolie-Pitt

Foundation, Elton John -Elton John AIDS Foundation

  1. Lending celebrity voices
Kevin Hart –Waze,

Billy Murray –Call of Duty


The collaboration between individual brands and celebrities, through celebrity endorsement, has become a standard feature in the modern-day marketplace. One in every four advertisements in the modern world now features a star. Celebrity endorsement not only helps in selling products and enhancing social brand but also exert powerful influence across worldwide consumers with regards to their product perception and attitude. We have witnessed cases where celebrities are lending their images and personalities in endorsing more than one brand. A good example is where Australian model Jennifer Hawkins has deals in which she endorses Pepsi company, Myer, Lux, Lovable, and CoverGirl. With such cases in mind where celebrities are used in representing different brands, they are seen as brands themselves. According (Finne, & Gronroos, 2009), it’s been proved that celebrity endorsement results in human brand attachment, where customers extend their positive relationship with the celebrities to the brands they associate with. The constructive outcomes of the link between human brands and celebrity endorsement include positive product satisfaction and commitment among consumers.


How human brands used by mediate across consumer and brand culture.

Dior is an international company that designs and retails ready to wear leather goods, footwear, fashion accessories, jewelry, fragrance, make-up products, timepieces, and skincare products. Dior is a company that has heavily invested in celebrity endorsement form of advertisement with its interest centered on human brands (Dwivedi, Johnson, & McDonald, 2015). Since it offers beauty products, it has invested a lot in promoting human brands and mediating across consumer and brand culture. The following are examples of human brands used by Dior in negotiating across consumer and brand culture.

  1.    Natalie Portman.

Natalie is a celebrity popularly known for her acting career. She has been used as the face of Christian Dior’s Miss Dior fragrance from 2010.  Being an actress and a model, she was used by the company to endorse many female products. Her role in the company was to showcase the different sides of women. Her social status was used by Dior to create a connection between the company and modern women. Because she is a celebrated personality, she has been utilized to mediate been consumer and brand culture. Dior brand culture is to provide clothes, makeup, and footwear mostly for women. Dior utilizes Natalie celebrity status to promote their female products. She was used to representing the company’s connection and desire to serve women.

  1.    Charlize Theron.

Charlize is a celebrated actress and film producer who has been used as the longtime face of the famous Dior brand J’adore fragrance. She has been used by the company to promote different products and fronted as campaigns for Christian Dior perfume J’adore since 2004. She is used to showcasing what the company stands for, beauty, allegiance, and class. Her celebrity and social status make it easy for the company to promote and sell this product.

  1.    John Depp.

John Depp is a celebrated American actor, musician, and producer who has been utilized by Dior in promoting a luxury perfume that represents the meaning of love. John Depp has been featured severally in Dior’s Sauvage perfume Love chain campaign. His personality and social status have been utilized BY Dior where they are tapped and linked to the perfume he is advertising.  Being a social figure, it helps creates a connection between the perfume he is advertising and the male character. Customers who are fans of John Depp will get interested in the perfume once they see the commercial and may end up purchasing it. It’s an advertisement mechanism employed by Dior where they try to link and associates the personality, and characteristics of John Depp with the qualities of the perfume. Since the product is mostly associated with the male character, the use of John Depp as the main character in the commercial defines the market niche and customer base it is directed to.

  1.    Jennifer Lawrence.

Jennifer Lawrence is a top American actress with a worldwide following. It’s her social status that made Dior company to utilize her in numerous promotion stands of their products. She has been featured in a collection of Dior advertising campaigns in which she promotes chokers, female jeans, and feminism at large. She has been used mostly in promoting feminine products since 2012 (Lawrence, 2013). She plays bigger roles in advertising female casual wear. Her influence in society has been utilized by Dior to promote the female wear and the dedication of the company to produce quality female products.

Dior Company settled for the above celebrities as their product ambassadors because they are famous and are seen as an idol in the society. They have a social status that identifies them with greatness, and reliability. Dior Company is identified by different brands which are important company assets. Selecting the above celebrities as their brand ambassadors and promoters represent the image and promise of their brands. These celebrities are associated with success and greatness hence help build Dior company brand equity. Dior primary produces footwear and beauty products. Partnering with celebrated actresses, models and actors such as Natalie Portman, Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron, and Jennifer Lawrence enable the company expands into new markets. The partnership by Dior and such celebrities has helped the company expand into its own multi-billion footwear company across the world. Utilizing celebrities to promote Dior products makes them stand out from competitors or the surrounding clutter. Female consumers will be more thrilled if they watch their favorite actresses or musicians advertising beauty products. Dior is an international company whose beauty products are sold across the whole world. Being an international company, it has to associate itself with international human brands (Choi, & Rifon, 2012). The celebrities utilized by Dior Company in promoting their products are celebrated personalities in the film, music and modeling industry. They are a brand by themselves hence chosen by Dior to be a face of the company products.

The link between celebrity obsession and the practice of celebrity endorsement.

Advertisement and product promotions have become a popular aspect among many organisations. It’s an effective form of marketing strategies but very challenging. The modern world has witnessed increased rivalry and completion for customer’s attention and massive introduction of new alternative products which has forced advertisers and product promoters to utilize attention-grabbing media stars in the form of celebrity endorsement. Product promotion by utilising celebrities will help the advertisement stand out from the existing congested media clutter, which will improve communication ability between the consumers and the producers. Consumers are known to look up to celebrities and empress their lifestyles. They tend to associate themselves products advertised by their favorite celebrities and social idols.  Celebrity obsession and the practice of celebrity endorsement has great influence on the brand advertised because celebrities have been found to produce superior recognition and recall of the brand name among consumers. As discussed by (Mukherjee, 2009), celebrity obsession and the practice of celebrity endorsement has great influence on promotion effectiveness measures such as consumer attitude towards the advertisement, the brand and the consumer intention to purchase. Additionally, celebrity endorsement creates the product image in the consumer’s mind. Celebrity obsession and the practice of celebrity endorsement forms a big partnership in advertising of any company’s product. This is mainly because celebrities have the potential to influence a large number of potential customers. For companies or brands that utilize celebrities to market and promote their products, they are most likely to reach to reach the largest group of potential clients possible.




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