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1.1 Background of the Study
In today’s competitive world consumers are exposed to thousands of voices and images in magazines, newspapers, and on billboards, websites, radio and television. Advertisers attempt to steal at least a fraction of a person's time to inform him or her of the amazing and different attributes of the product at hand. Because of the constant media saturation that most people experience daily, they eventually become numb to the standard marketing techniques. The challenge of the marketer is to find a hook that will hold the consumer’s attention such as media message content and the hook that can hold the consumer’s attention are the celebrities.
In marketing, different tools are used to promote the product and make the consumer aware of it. Among all these tools, celebrity endorsement is one of the most emerging, successful and effective tool. Advertisement is “the professional persuasion” that is convene to create awareness about what is being offered. Advertising is integral part of the society and economic systems for both consumers and businesses. It helps to deliver carefully prepared messages to target audiences thus facilitating marketing programs of the products and services of most organizations. Today, celebrity endorsement has become one of the most popular forms of advertising (Choi & Rifon, 2017). Flipping through the various television channels, print media and radios or social media consumers find quite a number of endorsements. Celebrity endorsement has been defined as: “Any individual who enjoys public perception and who uses this perception on behalf of a consumer well by show up with it in an advertisement” (McCracken, 2009). Most of the television channels are now using celebrity endorsers to promote brands (Erdogan, 2011). The increase in popularity of celebrity endorsement can be attributed to the ability to grab audience’s attention thus, giving entrepreneurs a better chance for communicating message to consumers. The use of celebrities is believed to help consumers remember the message of the advertisement and the brand name the celebrity is endorsing, enables to create the personality of a brand; because when a celebrity is paired with a brand, this image helps shape the image of that brand in the minds of consumers (Agrawal & Kamakura, 2010).
Advertisers try to hire such celebrities for endorsement who are not only attractive (Baker and Churchill, 2012) but credible as well. Together these aspects cast a comprehensive impact upon the customers, as most of the customers prefer those celebrities who are credible and trustworthy, some like those who are attractive and possess charming physical features, and some look for and consider both of these dimensions. Additionally, advertisers also look for a proper (or at least some) match between the celebrity’s personality and product’s attributes. This match-up also proves to be successful because the congruence of features from the celebrity and the product targets the senses of the customer more positively and leads to the development of favorable perceptions about the brand (Michael, 2009). Giving a brand 'face' is more than just a marketing strategy to increase sales or gain market share.
A truly designed celebrity endorsed commercial can change the future of the brand forever (Blazey & Ganti, 2015) and as celebrities enjoy Specific image, high profile, public recognition of a company can bank on this while this face opens his/her mouth on behalf of the company product produced consumer by appearing with it in an advertisement (McCracken, 2009). Nowadays, in Nigeria, order to get high market share of product; some of the organization become adaptive with their brands are endorsed by celebrities for creating awareness and motivating their customers.
Friedman and Friedman (2010) suggest that the promotion of branded luxury goods by Celebrity endorsers would lead to a significantly more positive purchase intention than advertisements using an “expert” or “typical consumer” endorser. Celebrity endorsement helps in making a product visible or any new brand a visible brand by affecting consumer’s pre purchase attitude using of celebrities like sports, athletes or actors can raise the profile of a company. It can help with consumer awareness with a brand, endorse the effects of a particular product or ingredient or drive sales of a long-standing product that needs a boost. Dean (2012).
The reason for using celebrities as spokespersons is based on the huge potential influence. Compared to other endorser types, famous people achieve a higher degree of attention and recall. They increase awareness of a company’s advertising, creates positive feelings towards brands and are perceived by consumers as more entertaining (Solomon 2012). Using a celebrity in advertising is therefore likely to positively affect consumers’ brand attitudes and purchase intentions.
In a market where advertising plays a vital role in coordinating consumer purchases, it becomes pertinent for companies to induct all possible measures to influence, motivate and inculcate desire to purchase, in the customer through an effective advertising campaign. Theory and practice proves that the use of superstars in advertising generates lots of publicity and attention. (Ohanian, 2009). It is based on this background that this study examined the impact of using celebrities in television advertisement.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
Today, celebrity endorsement is being seen as more and more essential part in an integrated marketing communication strategy. Every marketer wants to use it. However, there is also a great risk behind the use of the celebrities. The celebrity personality should match with the products personality of target market and with the society. Today, the attitude, taste, preferences and buying pattern of consumers are changing rapidly and consumers are becoming more literate and aware of the products that they use to fulfill their needs and wants. Today, celebrity endorsement is a very successful and commonly practiced strategy for major firms to create and improve company’s brand image.
Before choosing a celebrity for an advertisement, the marketer has to ascertain whether the celebrity’s characteristics, go well with the product and also know the attitude of the consumer towards the celebrity. If the marketer fails to select the right celebrity, he/she is the loser and the customer may choose some other products. Every company has an image. By making a celebrity spokesman for the company, they put a significant part of the company’s image in the hands of a celebrity. When the celebrity subsequently creates a negative image for him or herself, the image of the company will be affected. Therefore, it is crucial to select the most suitable celebrity as endorser for a product. With the help of celebrities, consumer attitude can be changed, purchase intentions can be enlarged and profit can be extended. But the right celebrity has to be picked for the right company.
Another problem is that though customers may have a positive opinion of the characteristics of celebrity and a favorable attitude towards the celebrity, it is not certain that the induction of the celebrity will convert the liking of the product into a purchase intention. It is based on this anomaly that this study examined the impact of using celebrities in television advertisement with Pepsi soft drink in Enugu metropolis as a case study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to examine the impact of using celebrities in television advertisement. Specifically, the objectives include to:
1.4 Research Questions
Based on the objectives of the study, the following research questions were raised:
The following hypotheses were formulated based on the research questions.
H0: People do not pay attention to a particular product or services due to advertisement persuasion featuring a celebrity.
H1: People pay attention to a particular product or services due to advertisement persuasion featuring a celebrity.
H0: There is no need for the use of a celebrity in advertising.
H1: There is need for the use of a celebrity in advertising.
H0: Consumers do not react positively to products endorsed by a celebrity.
H1: consumers react positively to products endorsed by a celebrity.
H0: There is no situation where a celebrity in an advertisement will enhance increase in sales.
H1: There is situation where a celebrity in an advertisement will enhance increase in sales.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Many people will benefit from this research study. This work is being executed because of the importance of ascertaining that if the use of celebrities has any influence on purchasing decision of consumers. Again there is need for this research in order to know the extent of influence such advertisement commands when they appear on television screens. Also not unknown is that much have not been written about this area of advertising, therefore, the researchers hope to contribute to knowledge. Thus, the advert industry and society in general would be provided with data on the impact celebrities make in advert. The researchers will benefit from this study as it is a pre-requisite for graduation. The universities will benefit from the study as it increases their databank. Finally, this study will serve as reference material for further studies on this topic.
Celebrity (Conceptual): A celebrity is an individual who is well known to the public such as actors, sport figures, entertainers etc for his or her achievements in areas other than those of the product class endorsed.
Celebrity (Operational): A celebrity is an individual who is well known to the people of Enugu metropolis such as actors, sport figures, entertainers etc for his or her achievements in areas other than those of the product class endorsed.
Advertisement (Conceptual): The creation of awareness of goods, services, and ideas to be sold or paid for through the media.
Advertisement (Operational): The creation of awareness of goods, services, and ideas to be sold or paid for through the media to Enugu metropolis residence.
This study covered the impact of using celebrities in television advertisement. The product covered is Pepsi soft drink. The scope of the study was restricted to Enugu metropolis, due to the fact that it is very difficult to study the whole of Nigeria while the time scope is between 2010 and 2018.
The researchers encountered some impediments in the course of carrying out this research work. Among them were the uncooperative attitude of the respondents and lukewarm attitude in getting materials.
Uncooperative Attitude of the Respondents: Some respondents of Enugu metropolis were economical with information but when they were convinced that this study was for academic purpose, they gave out the necessary materials needed for the study.
Lukewarm Attitude in Getting Materials: Initially, the researchers had this lukewarm attitude in getting materials but this was eventually subdued by the concerted efforts of the researchers to get the materials through the internet and from the library.
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