- Often, celebrities contract to endorse a product, but should they use the product regularly, or even like the product before they are allowed to claim that they “endorse” the product?
- If you were assigned to sell a product called “Sweet Treats” with the slogan, “so sweet, it will make you tweet,” but you thought the product tasted sour, and not at all sweet, what would you do?
- Explore where the line is between harmlessly implying that someone is promoting a product, and someone dishonestly claiming that they genuinely believe the product is the best.
If you were assigned to sell a product called “Sweet Treats” with the slogan, “so sweet, it will make
Usually we refer TV stars, movie stars, sportsmen and women as celebrities. Actually, that was the list when I was growing up, now in the age of Social media anyone with millions of followers on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram are called social influencers and they are also known as celebrities because of the social following they have. Brands use celebs because celebs are basically known to us, popular and credible faces, and when they endorse something the audience tend to believe that.
I remember watching ads where cricketers were drinking “Boost” and saying “Boost is the secret of my energy”. And it made an impression that the product was something special and as a result my mother had to buy the health drink for me. So, celebrity endorsements definitely work.
In recent times smartphone took over our world and social media glued us to our screens. I do not remember when I watched live television last or read a newspaper, so social media ads and endorsements are targeted towards audiences who are usually on social media platforms. And the social influences with huge following usually do not charge as much as the movie star or sports guys would. So it makes sense for the companies to let the social media guys endorse their products. And I believe there is one more strong reason why brands are endorsing their products using social celebs. Most of us know that the celebrities on TV or newspaper either do not use the product that they are endorsing or the product is not as excellent as they are claiming it to be. Wherever, the social influencers actually use the product or give a live demo which makes them more credible.
“Impact of celebrity endorsements…”study astutely points out, “It is the combination of several factors especially the price and other elements that work together for the success of a brand and its acceptance in the minds of consumers as well as for its market offering.(Olenski,2016)”. I believe Celebrities should be really careful about what they endorse, since they are popular and can make an impression, they should be really aware of the negative side effects of products they endorse. And may be before they endorse something they should be more responsible and use it themselves to decide if he or she should endorse it. So, I am not against celebrities endorsing products, I would like to be more responsible about what they endorse. I do not think they will have to like the product all the time, but as long as the product does not come with any health hazard ( for example sugary drinks, often promoted by celebrities) it should be good.
If you were assigned to sell a product called “Sweet Treats” with the slogan, “so sweet, it will make you tweet,” but you thought the product tasted sour, and not at all sweet, what would you do?
If the product does not taste sweet at all I will talk to the management why manufactures the product and will let them know that the “Sweet Treats” actually taste sour. I will talk to them just to find out if there was any mistake, if they actually have a sour taste or it is not the product they want me to endorse. If there was a confusion hopefully this meeting will clear that. But, in case I find out that “Sweet Treats” actually does not taste sweet, then I would not endorse it. It will be unethical and as a person I will lose my reputation and credibility.
But then, I want to give another disclosure: Whether or not I endorse the product might depend on my financial condition too, if I did not have any job or money, I might have taken the job just for the money, knowing that it is not ethical and I would be lying to people.
Explore where the line is between harmlessly implying that someone is promoting a product, and someone dishonestly claiming that they genuinely believe the product is the best.
As a consumer we will not know until we try an endorsed product, whether or not the endorsement was dishonest. For celebrities it is just a work most of the time, they use their brand to promote a product and they receive compensation to do that. At times, celebrities try to promote their own product, and either way, we as consumers have lot of ways to make sure that we do not get duped.
Amazon, yelp, Facebook, Google all these sites allow reviews for products, and if we are not happy with the product, we can write reviews and the sale of the product will automatically go down unless the quality improves. Or before buying anything we can check the reviews of the product, but this might not work for brand new products.
A celebrity can end up endorsing a brand that is against his or her own values, and I would consider this to harmless (at least most of the times). For example, Nicole Kidman who was U.N Goodwill ambassador endorsed Etihad, that airline allegedly is not nice towards its female employees (Bukszpan, 2015). Nicole Kidman has to face public backlash, but this is possible she was not aware of Etihad’s behavior.
But some endorsements are just transactional, brands use celebrities or celebrities just promote their own brands. According to Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation management Consultants, when Celebrities endorses brands consumers gets a sense of familiarity, so when they go to store they feel they already have a relationship with the brand (Schlossberg, 2016). And celebrities take advantage of this fact, they can manipulate consumer into thinking something is great. But we as consumers have to more careful, we can use the review sites on internet, and most celebs are on twitter or Instagram. We can directly express our feelings to the celeb who endorses a brand that we did not like. This are the things we can do, and of course the celebrity should be responsible and ethical, and should test and like the product before he or she decides to endorse it. We can help that happen if we hold the celebrities responsible for what they say on those advertisements. But, celebrities should not endorse sin products or services such as tobacco, alcohol or gambling or anything that can be potentially harmful. They should be mindful of the fact that if they endorse something and that product or service turn out to be bad, it will be the celebrity who will lose reputation and respect along with the product and the company.
Olenski, S (July,2016). How Brands Should Use Celebrities For Endorsements. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2016/07/20/how-brands-should-use-celebrities-for-endorsements/#33f837b75593
Bukszpan, D (April,2015). 6 celebrity endorsements that enraged consumers. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/04/19/celebrity-endorsements-gone-wrong/
Schlossberg, M (August,2016). Brands are playing a ‘deadly game of Russian roulette’ with celebrities that’s costing them millions. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/celebrity-endorsements-can-be-dangerous-2016-8