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The utilization of celebrities in the branding and/or marketing of consumer goods and services are business strategies which have been employed for many years in Corporate America as evidenced by the review of literature. Is the choice of utilizing such methods to sell products or services an ethical practice? Does the use of a celebrity really have any bearing on the quality of the service or good in question? Does the celebrity over shadow the quality and/or purpose of the good or service being sold? Does the celebrity matter or will any celebrity due in choosing a celebrity to endorse a product or service? These are some of the critical questions which emerged in the review and examination of the literature on the advantages and disadvantages of the use of celebrities in the promotion and marketing of consumer products and services. “Brooke Sheilds is to the sale and promotion of Calvin Klein Jeans as Bill Cosby is to the sell and promotion of Jello Pudding” (Colford, 1990). The said analogy and comparison is representative of celebrities who are so closely identified to their promotional brand or product that they have evolved into an icon that many consumers can’t separate from the product or service itself (Colford, 1990). The literature also supports the assertion that celebrity endorsement reaps huge rewards for a brand, yet there are some challenges and/or considerations which Corporate America should consider when developing endorsement plans to make certain that there value-added efforts do not have an adverse or delimiting effect. Priori Themes are utilized to organize and to collect appropriate data and information on the proposed topic. Priori Themes are utilized in empirical research to organize a topic in a logical and comprehensive way and the themes are then used to highlight the literature which is most prevalent or central to the given research topic or inquiry(s) (Mehta, 1990). The Priori Themes which emerged during the review of literature on The Use of Celebrities Endorsements in Advertisement are as follows: The Benefits of Celebrity Endorsements, Selecting an Appropriate Celebrity for a Brand, The Risk Associated with Celebrity Endorsements, Building Consumer Competence in the Purchasing of Goods and Services, Frameworks for Developing Smarter Consumers, Frameworks for Understanding the Implications of Celebrity Advertisements.
Purpose of Study
The purpose of this qualitative study is to readily identify both the frameworks and strategies utilized in the advertisement industry when employing celebrities to promote product sales and or services. The assumption then is that consumer information will position the aggregate consumer population to make the best choices with regard to the purchase of goods and/or services. The outcome of the study was to clearly define celebrity advertisement frameworks and related best practices and to utilize the findings to create a collection of recommendations as to responsible shopping and to establish a balance between assessing the reliability of such advertisement methods in the purchasing of products and services based on their true value. The implications of the study exude a level of utility for all shoppers and shopping endeavors and provide insight and direction for the responsible shopping experience.
Definition of Terms
Every empirical topic or discipline has its’ own specialized terminology in order to assist in the conceptualization of both the content and the implications. On my research project entitled: The Use of Celebrity Endorsement in Advertisement, the following terms has been defined in the context of the proposed topic and are central to the overall understanding of my proposed topic. The terms are as follows: Branding, Product-Brand Congruence, Match-Up Hypothesis, Interacting Influence, Buying Intentions, Cultural Meaning Transfer and Advertisement. The terms are defined as follows:
Branding: the strategic process of building a strong association and a positive perception of a product or service with the intention of the product or service being the lead in the industry of record (Mehta, 1990).
Product-Brand Congruence: is representative of a perfect match between the celebrities chosen and the product or service being represented (Mehta, 1990).
Match-Up Hypothesis: if the product or service is a “perfect fit” with the celebrity of choice, it is assumed that the branding and/or marketing process will be very successful (Mehta, 1990).
Interacting Influence(s): The sum total of all of the variables which impact the buyer’s motivation or inclination to purchase a particular product or service (Mehta, 1990).
Buying Intentions: the level of desire or motivation for the purchase of a product or service in the absence of viewing or being exposed to celebrity advertisement or related influences (Mehta, 1990).
Cultural Meaning Transfer: the ability for a celebrity to make meaningful cultural connections to a product or service (Mehta, 1990).
Advertisement: The activities or efforts of a business to attract public attention to a product or service via paid announcements, print broadcast or electronic media (Mehta, 1990).
Review of Literature
The Benefits of Celebrity Endorsements
Building “brand equity” are processes, procedures and protocols which are necessary, particularly for a mainstream consumer good or service, if the intended result is maximized profits and/or sales (Atkins and Block, 1983). The profitability of a good or service depends on how successfully the said brand has been branded and/or marketed (Colford, 1990). An example would be Nikes as Nike was primarily a company’s whose niche was tennis and track prior to corporate stakeholders deciding to form a partnership with Michael Jordan. “Who better to sign than one of the most electrifying young athletes in sports?” Who would think that such a choice...
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