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DUMPED – Brands after a celebrity endorsement breakup

Borrowing celebrity spotlight

If it all goes wrong the process of dropping a personality can give the brand a morale backbone that would not otherwise be visible, say brand experts.

November 1, 2012 2:50 by



Lucy Queenborough, Executive Adviser at Brash brands adds more to the point. “In the age of celebrity culture and throw-away media, every day we are presented with famous faces getting it wrong. And, because of this I think the general public is more forgiving about petty misdemeanors, and would be hard pushed to discontinue their customer loyalty based on who the face of the brand is,” she says.

Preventative measures or should brands do nothing?

“People are people, whether they are celebrities or not and this means they are fallible,” continues Brash. “Therefore if you use brand ambassadors you must be prepared for an almost inevitable scandal.”

Duncan Daines, described as an expert in eliciting powerful behavioural responses to brand strategies, says the benefits almost certainly outweigh the downside. “For most brands the issue of whether to use celebrity endorsement is a non-issue. Jumeirah have benefited immensely from the ‘Rory’ effect, regardless of the highs and lows of his performance on the course.  In the grand scheme of things endorsements are low risk ways of creating profile.  If it all goes wrong the process of dropping a personality can give the brand a morale backbone that would not otherwise be visible.  The one thing to remember is the brand is always bigger and has greater longevity, than the star.”

Lucy Queenborough continues: “It appears that no-one is safe from a potential fall-out in the public eye and clearly brand managers the world-over will be questioning whether their ‘face’ is as angelic as they think. In the last few years, ambassadors seem to have shifted from the real world to fantasy. More and more, we notice product placement and endorsement on our television sets and on the big screen.

So what’s the theme here? Do celebrity endorsements really work?

“The simple answer is yes,” concludes Griffin. “However, in the world of celebrity, organisations should carefully consider the risk of allowing anyone to publicly endorse their brand. The media is everywhere; and we all have cameras on our cell-phones and are looking for any opportunity to catch a celebrity in the act.”

Brands can supercharge awareness in their products by paying for and seeking celebrity endorsement as long as they are prepared for the outcome, both positive and negative.  The brand very rarely loses because especially in most cases; the brand is bigger than the celebrity.



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