Celebrities don't affect consumer decision making, says study


Sandhir Sharma
Asst. Professor
Punjab College of Technical Education
Ferozepur Road, Baddowal, Ludhiana-142021

Celebrity endorsements are an omnipresent feature of present day marketing. The modern corporation invests significant amounts of money to align itself and its products with big-name celebrities in the belief that they will (a) draw attention to the endorsed products/services and (b) transfer image values to these products/services by virtue of their celebrity profile and engaging attributes. These ads are easy to recall by the viewers and helps to retain brands but Celebrity endorsements may not always give a positive return on expectation. As per the study, majority of the respondents i.e .41% believe that use of celebrities have no any kind of special effect over their decisions to buy certain products whereas 36% says that sometimes they get influence from celebrities in advertisements for taking decisions to buy those products but not every time. As per the study most influential factor (other than celebrity) in purchasing decision is the product information. It is because nowadays consumer is not easily swayed by a celebrity in an ad but he needs full fledge information about the product also, followed by brand name, overall appeal, music/jingle. Whereas frequency of ad repetition and punchline were the least influential factors affecting the purchase decision of the respondents.

The study was done in Ludhiana, taking sample size of 100 viewers. The study contained the sample size of 100, all the people of the age of 18 years and above. The data was collected from primary source by way of questionnaire which included Open-ended, Dichotomous and Multiple choice questions. The demographic profile of the respondent included 23 Businessmen, 35 service class people, 30 students, 6 professionals, 04 housewives and 2 retired persons. Out of 100 respondents, 56 were males and 44 were females.

The study found that majority (58%) of the respondents used to watch TV for less than 2 hrs a day due to their professional and personal work. Some of them watched TV for 2-4 hrs and very few managed to watch TV for more than 4 hrs a day.

As per the study 53% of the respondents feel that ads are informative while 23% find them interesting to watch. Therefore majority of the respondents take advertisements as an informative source about the product. Some respondents look for interesting factors in an ad like humor, family bonding etc. because in their daily life they hardly find enough time to experience those loving and happy moments. Few respondents consider ads as time pass and they prefer to change the channel and look some other stuff and very few respondents consider ads as boring as they cause an interruption in their favorite serials especially when any climax is about to happen.

As per the study 54% of the respondents feel that celebrities cast an impact through the advertisements while 46% do not feel any impact of celebrities. Out of 54 respondents, 42 feel that celebrities attract attention towards an ad, 15 of them feel that they arouse interest in the product. 12 respondents are of the view that celebrities build a desire to have the product and only 6 respondents only feel that celebrities initiate an action to buy that product.

The study also revealed that majority of the respondents i.e. 63% get attracted more towards Film Stars than any other celebrity. Majority of the respondents submitted their response that they would continue buying same goods from the market irrespective of the act of advertising the same product through any specific celebrity.  The advertisements and celebrities which respondents would recall, preference wise, listed below:

Celebrity Name                               Brand/Product Endorsed

Abhishek Bachchan                      Motorola, Whirlpool, Fiesta

Sachin Tendulkar                         Palio, Boost, Adidas, Pepsi, Sunfeast Biscuits,
                                                MRF Tyres, Reliance Communication

Shahrukh Khan                            Pepsi, Airtel, Navratna Hair Oil, Sunfeast
                                                Biscuits, Lux Soap, Videocon, Belmonte

Aishwarya Rai                              Lux, Nakshatra Jewellery, L'Oreal, Coke

Amitabh Bachchan                        Dairy Milk, Dabur products, Eveready, Parker
                                                Pen, Reid & Taylor, Boroplus, Binani Cement

Preity Zinta                                 Perk, Rexona, Lays, Santro, H&S, BSNL, Godrej

Rani Mukherjee                             Munch, Fanta, Aveo

Kajol                                          Tata Indicom, Whirlpool, Asmi Jewellery

Ajay Devgan                                Tata Indicom, Whirlpool

Aamir Khan                                  Coke, Titan Watches, Innove

Saif Ali Khan                                Lays, Aveo, Taj Mahal Tea, Royale Paints

Zayed Khan                                 Mirinda

Sania Mirza                                  Lipton Tea, Spirit

Isha Koppikar                               Garnier

Aman Verma                                Harpic

Mini Mathur                                 Big Bazaar

Shweta Tiwari                             Gala Brush

Priyanka Chopra                           Spice

Hrithik Roshan                              Coke, Sony Ericsson, John Players, Tata Sky

Sushmita Sen                               Pantene

Vivek Oberoi                                 Babool Toothpaste

Tabu                                           Tetra pak

Mallika Sherawat                           7 Up

Juhi Chawla                                  Henko, Kurkure

Hussain                                       Vim, Big Bazaar

Hema Malini                                  Kent Mineral Water, Bank of Rajasthan

Esha Deol                                     Kent Mineral Water

Bipasha Basu                                 Clinic All Clear

Sonali Bendre                                Nirma Beauty Soap

John Abraham                               Clinic All Clear, Yamaha Motor Cycle

Akshay Kumar                               Thums Up

Madhuri Dixit                                 Lux

Saurav Ganguly                             Sona Chandi Amrit Prash

Rahul Dravid                                  Reebok, Bank of Baroda

Sehwag                                       Boost

Riya Sen                                      Limca

M S Dhoni                                    7 Up, Brylcreme, Star City, TVS Bykes

Yuvraj Singh                                 Parachute Oil

Kareena Kapoor                             Lux

Ayesha Takia                               Hair Care Oil

Neha Dhupia                                 Godrej Renew Hair Color

Gauri Pradhan                               Keo Karpin Hair Oil

Sangeeta Ghosh                            BSNL

Indian Cricket Team                       Pepsi

It is evident that recalls of ads having Film Stars were more than any other celebrity showing that people must be relating them in their purchasing behavior.

The study found that very few respondents (37%) have bought product(s) under the influence of any celebrity which means that a consumer wants something more in an advertisement than a celebrity to be influenced enough to buy the product. All these respondents were happy from the product description given by celebrity in the advertisements which prompted them to buy that product followed by Good Image of celebrity, rational appeal etc.

Major Conclusion

Celebrity Advertising has become a significant tool for creating awareness of products. The important point in celebrity advertising is the effectiveness with which they are endorsing the product. By the mere presence of celebrity, the product will not make a sale as majority of the respondents who were not influenced by the advertisement responded that they did not find the persuasiveness in the advertisement. And few people who purchased the product(s) responded that they were influenced by the product information given in the advertisement and would have bought the same product(s) had they not been endorsed by any celebrity.The use of celebrities in advertising is like a double-edged weapon. It is to be carefully planned, thoroughly analyzed and properly executed. It may or may not influence the consumer and it may not be always effective, as it depends on the celebrity, the product, the message, the execution and the media. he conclusion of this study is that people of Ludhiana find advertisements being endorsed by celebrities to be less attractive and that the use of celebrities may not change the buying behavior of consumers significantly.

Sandhir Sharma
Asst. Professor
Punjab College of Technical Education
Ferozepur Road, Baddowal, Ludhiana-142021

Source: E-mail July 25, 2007


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