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Endorsement by Celebrities Promise Success for a Brand

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Celebrity endorsement has been identified to be one of the most viable methods of advertising in recent times. In the beauty and wellness space per se, it’s almost like a winning formula that ensures success. However, the underlying prerequisite is that the brand and celebrity fit should match in order to lend credibility and influence the buying behaviour of a consumer.

Let’s start from the latest – Pond’s Men, The Body Shop, Naturals, Garnier Men, Pantene, OxyLife Men Crème Bleach, Fem Bleach, Fair & Handsome…the list of brands roping in celebrities seems endless. It is one of the most popular ways of drawing the attention of a buyer toward a product or service and aids the recall value of the product by several notches.

Recently, Pond’s had unveiled the new Pond’s Men range and collaborated with Varun Dhawan, actor, to be the brand ambassador. Srinandan Sundaram, Vice President, Skincare and Colours, HUL revealed that while launching a men’s range for the Indian market had been on the cards for a long time now, they were waiting for the right time and the right celebrity to come along to endorse the brand. Varun Dhawan is the right fit as he’s young and enthusiastic and takes care of himself in every way. A good choice, I must say, as Dhawan is popular with the youth, is known to take care of his skin and a rising star of the Indian film industry.

A few months ago, Naturals Salon had signed up Kareena Kapur Khan to be the face of the brand. On the move, said CK Kumarvel, CEO and Co-Founder, Naturals, “Kareena Kapur Khan is now the brand ambassador of Naturals salon chain. While Genelia helped us to move the business from 80 salons to 340 salons, now Kareena will take forward from 341 to 3,000. She will be the face of Naturals for a two-year long contract.” Kumarvel feels that while celebrities help build the brand, whether it is on a national or global scale, the point is to pick a strong and popular celebrity who will be a definite hit with all age groups and has global appeal.

Dabur India Ltd, too, has joined the fray and signed up several stars to endorse their various brands – Madhuri Dixit Nene, Sonakshi Sinha and Ali Zafar for OxyLife says a Dabur India Ltd spokesperson, “While celebrity endorsement, be it from the world of sports or cinema, helps in creating top-of-the-mind recall, the fact also remains that celebrity endorsements is a means to an end and not an end in itself. What’s most important is how a brand uses a celebrity. It’s only then that the connect happens better. Dabur identifies brand ambassadors for our products after a great degree of research. We have used film stars and sports celebrities to successfully endorse products like Dabur Amla Hair Oil, Vatika, and others, for many years.”

Talking about taking on Ali Zafar, actor and musician, said Sanjay Singal, Head of Marketing-Skin Care, Dabur India Ltd says, “We believe Ali Zafar exemplifies and brings to life the values and the proposition of OxyLife Men and we are confident of the success of this relationship.”

Actor-activist, Jacqueline Fernandez, too, has been taken up by The Body Shop, as the new brand ambassador, replacing Dia Mirza. Commenting on the association, Shriti Malhotra, COO, The Body Shop India, said, “Jacqueline portrays the modern and intelligent woman who is conscious and aware of her beauty needs. She believes in looking good, feeling good and doing good. Jacqueline has widespread appeal and this association will resonate with the aspirations of today’s generation while promoting the brand’s uniqueness through its products and values. This year she will be seen in our body care, skin care and make-up campaigns with loads of new and exciting launches in the market.”

Varun Dhawan, actor, who’s been snapped up by HUL for the Pond’s Men skin care range shared, “I love the new Pond’s Men range of face washes and moisturisers because they are an effective and no-fuss solution to my skin’s needs. Pond’s is amongst the most reputed skin care brands in the world. It is exciting to be the face of this product range for men.”

Expert’s view
According to a paper titled Impact of Celebrity Endorsements on Brand Image presented by Debiprasad Mukherjee, Business Process Management Consultant, “Through analysis and research, it was found that the celebrities’ acceptability, availability, regional appeal factors, popularity, attractiveness, image, belief system are some other important factors on the impact of celebrity endorsement on brands; the customer wants a variety of aspects from the endorsement like the credibility and acceptability of the endorser; multiple endorsements create cluttering the minds of the consumer; in case of multiple endorsements by a celebrity, the success of celebrity endorsement for a particular brand depends entirely on the power of the brand; apart from financial gains from the endorsements, brand and own image matching is also vital from celebrity’s point of view; professional and planned performance of the endorser is important in deciding the success of the endorsement; association of the celebrity with a controversy or ill-behaviour can negatively impact the endorsements; a celebrity endorsement is useful in the Indian scenario as the amount of impact of the effect varies with the celebrity and the product profile; and lastly, celebrity endorsements cannot replace the comprehensive brand building processes.”

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