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BizReport : Advertising archives : November 18, 2009

How to choose the right endorsement for your brand

When it comes to recommendations and reviews, brands big and small are after the same thing: an endorsement. A local celebrity, an athlete, an actor or model are good 'gets' when it comes to product endorsements. Sometimes an average Joe will even do, depending on the brand focus. But did you know that, to the public, all endorsements are not created equally?

by Kristina Knight

According to a recent Harris Poll, ">celebrity endorsements can have a mixed bag of reactions by the public. For instance, most consumers reports that athlete endorsements are some of the most persuasive (21%) and that political figures are the least persuasive (10%). But, business figures - CEOs or founders, are at the top of the heap with 37% of consumers saying they are persuaded by them.

Movie or television celebrities were found to be persuasive by 18% of consumers polled and singers/musicians were found to be persuasive by 14% of the population.

What does this mean for marketers? Although the 20% who find athletes persuasive is a good number, this poll indicates that the money spent on celebrity endorsements could possibly be better spent in another way - through targeting, a rich media campaign or a new advertising portal. Still, celebrity endorsements aren't going away and some do pay big bucks - Michael Jordan branded Nike's, anyone - so how can you make the most of them?

First think about your product and how a celebrity endorsement could help it. The athletes hawking energy/athletic drinks are a good example. These endorsements fit the brand; having a celebrity chef hawk an energy drink wouldn't fly as well with the public, but seeing an athlete who expends a lot of energy practicing or playing drinking the beverage makes good sense.

Second, if an endorsement makes sense for the brand, do some celebrity research. Finding out which celebrities 'match' the feel, message and goal of your brand are crucial. A bad choice of endorser could potentially kill the brand.

Third, think about the venues where the endorsement will best reach the consumer base. Is this celebrity best in a visual medium? Would the message be better received through video? Is it possible to create a viral sensation with some clever thinking and timely promotion?

Finally, consider the timing. Will only fans of the sport, movie or music in which the celebrity is noted take notice? Especially for lesser known celebrities, an endorsement campaign may only make sense when that sport, album or movie are hot and in the public consciousness.

Tags: advertising, AdWeek, celebrity endorsements, endorsement, Harris Interactive, online advertising, product endorsements

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