“I’ll have what she’s having!!”
Why do you buy that perfume or choose that brand of shoes? Are you influenced by who stands in front of the product you buy? Advertisers have been attempting to crack the code for many, many years!
Using celebrities to endorse products is certainly not a new concept and their presence can impact attitudes consumers have about a product. What Amos is trying to determine is what about these celebrities influences consumers.
Amos found that negative information about a celebrity (like a juicy scandal) can be detrimental to any advertising campaigns the said celebirty was endorsing. These accusations can not only degrade the celebirty but also the product he/she is endorsing. Choosing the right celebrity to back your product can be a costly business.
A fine example is Tiger Woods and his premiscuous love life. While I will be the first to admit I know very little about golf I did know that Tiger was behind many lucrative products. One of my first thoughts was….what will his sponsors do? And enevitably he lost a lot of sponership…I did also notice that most who supported Tiger Woods in this endevour followed him in his golfing career. His performance and credability as a golfsman was much more important to his follwers than his private life. It may have been a different story if Tiger was not an athlete but instead a politician in an upcoming election. I myself found it hard to see Tiger in the same light…but am I of any interest to his previous or current sponsors?
On the other hand famous basketball player Michael Jordon has not only earnt a lot of money for himself but alot for his sponsors as well. His success on the court and charmful charisma has made him a very welcome endorser for many products. In this case the risk taken on this celebrity paid off.
Amos found that a celebrity who was considered credible and trustworthy to a consumer was more likely to convey these qualities in a product. Unfortunately (in my opinion) Amos also noted that physical attractiveness also played a roll in the effectiveness of endorsement…although not as influencial as any other traits.
I think one of the most interesting findings of Amos in this study is that the most significant findings were in USA while other nations recorded less significance.
Non-US studies may be characterised by more non-significant findings because their academic cultures are more motivated by pure academic debate
While companies continue to use celebrities to endorse their products they will continuously try to determine what traits are most influencial. This of course can be related to any situation of risk communication. Those delivering the information can be just as important as the information itself. You need to ask yourself
-What are the consumers (or lay people’s) views on the people behind the information?
-Are they trustworthy?
-Are they credible in the lay people’s eyes?
Celebrities help endorse products like clothing, perfume, chariety funds and even toiletries….but for issues in risk communication I think we should leave it up to the experts!
Amos C, Holmes G & Strutton D 2008, ‘Exploring the relationship between celebrity endorser effects and advertising effectiveness: A quantative synthesis of effective size’ International journal of advertising, vol 27, pages 209 234