Celebrity 2009) as well as influence consumer perceptions

Celebrity endorsement advertising has been recognized as a “ubiquitous
feature of modern day marketing” (McCracken 1989; Keller 2008). Furthermore,
celebrity endorsement activity has been increasing over the past years (Biswas,
Hussain & O’Donnell 2009). From 1984 to 1999, there was a reported
eleven-fold increase in sponsorship spending, representing $23.16 billion or
7.0% of the worldwide advertising budget (Meenaghen 2001; Pope, Voges &
Brown 2009). Some estimates suggest that one quarter of all commercials
screened in the United States include celebrity endorsers (Till & Shimp
1998). Athletes, both amateur and professional, as well as musicians,
television and movie stars, and even animated spokescharacters, such as Mickey
Mouse, are used to promote and bring awareness to products and services through
sponsorship campaigns. The main goal of using celebrities in advertising is to
generate publicity and attention to the brand (Biswas, Hussain & O’Donnell
2009) as well as influence consumer perceptions of the brand stemming from
their knowledge of the celebrity (Keller 2008). This requires that the celebrity
must be well known in order to have the desired effect (Keller 2008). Kaikati
(1987) expressed five advantages to employing celebrities to endorse products:
drawing attention, crisis management, brand repositioning, global marketing,
and boosting sales. Biswas et al. (2009) found that the reasons for recalling
celebrities included, popularity, status symbol, attractiveness and glamour,
likeability and recall value or familiarity of the celebrities. The increased
awareness and attention resulting from celebrity advertising is thought to
combat the challenge of advertising clutter and bring instant credibility and
brand recall to consumers. Pope, Voges and Brown (2009) found that sponsorship
positively affects an individual’s perception of a brand’s quality and image.
Products that may be of inferior quality to their competitors, or have fewer
features can benefit from using a high profile celebrity to pitch them to
consumers. The target market of campaigns must be considered when selecting
spokespeople and whether a celebrity is the best medium to reach them with.
Biswas et al. (2009) found that people aged 18-25 have the greatest ability to
recall brands as a result of celebrity advertising compared with older age
groups. The main reason for this result is that the older age group is looking
for greater product information in advertisements, whereas celebrity campaigns
focus on the feelings and perception of the consumer. In addition, the
placement of celebrity advertisements in sites like youtube.com or metacafe.com,
where most viewers are relatively younger, information rich, and Internet
savvy, suggests that celebrity-based advertisements are no longer limited to
traditional campaign media (Biswas et al. 2009). This helps overcome the
problem that the younger age groups typically change channels during television
commercials or use disruptive technologies such as TiVo and DVR to bypass
commercials (Biswas et al. 2009). Different cultures react differently to the
use of celebrity spokespeople. Developing economies, such as that of India,
have vastly different dimensions of culture as outlined by Hofstede (1997).
Using Hofstede’s framework, Biswas et al. (2009) suggest that due to a
high power-distance
relationship within India’s culture, there is a vast gap in lifestyles between
consumers and celebrities. Due to the extreme differences in lifestyle between
consumers and celebrities, the majority of respondents in the Biswas et al.
(2009) research did not believe that celebrities use in advertising campaigns
actually use the products they were promoting. However, there is very high
brand recollection between the celebrity and the product. While the future of
celebrity spokespeople in India remains promising, recent findings suggest that
celebrity spokespeople are not as effective as they once were in developed
markets such as the United States (Biswas et al. 2009). Furthermore, the number
of products a celebrity endorses negatively influences consumer perceptions of
endorser credibility and likeability, as well as the attitude toward the ad
(Tripp, Jensen & Carlson 1994). Also, the frequency of exposure of the ad
has a negative impact on purchase intention due to over-exposure. Monitoring
frequency of use is the most critical success factor in implementing an ad
campaign involving sponsorship or celebrity spokespeople (Pope et al. 2009).
One successful campaign that overcame these over-exposure challenges was the
“Got Milk? – Moustache” campaign,  which
showcased a different celebrity each month. Hsu and McDonald (2002) found that
endorsing a product with multiple celebrities is an effective strategy for
appealing to various audiences to which the product is aimed. The use of
multiple-celebrities avoided the problem of over-exposure, while the usage of
the product was believable, which led to greater acceptance by consumers. The
campaign also received external press as speculation arose as to which
celebrity would be featured next. The most successful endorsers were positioned
in the upper right quadrant, whereas the least successful endorsers were in the
lower-left quadrant.