Effects Of Celebrity Endorsements Cultural Studies Essay

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Well known for having a successful modelling career, Kate Moss has appeared in many endorsed advertising campaigns, such as, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Versace, to name only a few. Moss' endorsement career has had its ups and downs. In 2005, a drug scandal hit the headlines, with pictures of Moss snorting cocaine. This story put many of her endorsements at risk. When the news story was announced she lost major contracts with Roberto Cavalli, Chanel, Burberry & H&M. However, Rimmel took advantage of the publicity that she was receiving in the media and decided to incorporate the image in their television advertising. The advert showed her partying all night, then applying their new recovery foundation before arriving to work looking fresh and pretty. According to Bussey 'sales rocketed' (Bussey, 2005) after release of the advert. Coty Beauty, who runs the Rimmel brand, decided to keep Moss because she had made a public apology. 'They will stand by the model after she apologised and promised to 'overcome her problems' (Sky News, 2005)

There is no real evidence to show whether keeping Moss made an impact on the sales of Rimmel products. When the author contacted Coty Beauty and JWT, they were not willing to give any information regarding Rimmel's sales from the years 2006/2007.

Below is a comment made by Peter Knowland, Director of the Rimmel account at JWT.

'They (Rimmel- Coty Beauty) have no desire to look backwards. They are very excited about the family of Rimmel faces they have today - Coco Rocha, Georgia May Jagger, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Kate Moss. They all have a different but important part to play in the promotion of the Rimmel London brand.'

Glyn Thompson, who works in consumer affairs for Coty Beauty, stated:

'Unfortunately, we are unable to be of assistance on this occasion as we are a private company and we do not release annual sales report'

Twelve months after the scandal hit the headlines, Moss had won back many endorsement contracts 'Roberto Cavalli (again), Stella McCartney, Virgin Mobile (who used the scandal in their campaign), Burberry (again) and Louis Vuitton to name a few' (Bussey, 2006) According to Bussey, 'Autumn/Winter 2006 season was one of Kate Moss' most successful- and profitable' (Bussey, 2006)

This case study defines the quote 'any publicity is good publicity'. Although Moss was receiving bad publicity when the scandal was released, it worked to her advantage as well as Rimmel's for sticking by her. 'David Golding, Planning Director at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R says: "You have to think to what extent has her image been tarnished by these stories. The bigger story was how many companies dropped her and then took her back. To me this is proof that she is a great brand icon."' (Bussey, 2006)



Prior to news of the scandal being released in Novemeber 2009, Woods had estimated annual earnings of $100 million in endorsements.

Tiger Woods is a good example of how over using a celebrity could jeopardise brands when a scandal breaks. Many advertisers used Woods for his clean-living public image. When the scandal broke about the alleged string of affairs, it was reported that many of Woods's endorsement products would drop him from their advertising. What became evident was that many of his big sponsors did not drop him, instead they suspended any adverts that he appeared in from their campaigns. 'Procter and Gamble's Gillette and Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer, have maintained their relationships but are not featuring him in current advertising' (SkyNews, 2010). Gillette was the first major sponsorship to distance themselves from the golfer over his private life, the company stated this in a press release following the scandal,

"In the midst of a difficult and unfortunate situation, we respect the action Tiger is taking to restore the trust of his family, friends and fans. We fully support him stepping back from his professional career and taking the time he needs to do what matters most. We wish him and his family the best. As Tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing programs." (Norton, 2009)

However, Accenture and AT&T dropped Woods as soon as the scandal broke, stating that 'he is no longer seen as the ideal, clean-cut promotional vehicle' (Timesonline, 2010). However, Woods also announced his 'Indefinite Leave from golf, shareholders of companies that Mr. Woods endorses lost $5-12 billion in wealth' (Knittel & Stango, 2010:1). Woods' decision to leave golf for a while to focus on his personal life also left his endorsements at jeopardy.

Since the story broke, there have been certain companies that have made a big loss. 'Investors in three sports-related companies - Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf, Gatorade and Nike - fared the worst, experiencing a 4.3 percent loss, or about $6 billion'. (Talmazan, 2009). This evidence shows that many of his sporting endorsements have suffered the worst. Whether this is because his images in the advertisements are of him as a sportsman- which is what he is famous for, whereas other advertisements are using him because of his 'nice guy' image.

Unlike the previous case study, this story is recent, so it's difficult to analyse whether these effects will be long term or similarly to the Kate Moss story, the effect on his endorsements may only be short term. A recent poll was created by Sport Business to see what the public believe will happen to Woods's endorsements.

The results show that 56% of respondents believe the effects of the scandal will only be short term, 27% believe that there will be no effects at all, whilst 17% believe that the effects will be long term. If these results are correct, then the effects of the scandal will only be short term and, like Moss, Woods may recover some of his lost endorsements.

4.1.4 JAMIE OLIVER- Sainsbury's

Jamie Oliver is best known as the 'naked chef', this was the name of a programme that Jamie appeared in, where he went out shopping for ingredients to cook a dinner for friends, the programme's approach was through an 'informality, friendliness and an easy- going, relaxed format' (Byrne, 2003:1). He was announced as the new face of Sainsbury's in 2000; it was the 'first time a celebrity chef has fronted a major supermarket advertising campaign. (PRNewswire, 2000) The credibility of the star was one of the reasons that Oliver was a perfect celebrity for the brand, 'Abbot Mead Vickers the advertising agency in charge of the campaign, felt that:

'We wanted to create a brand strategy and develop vision for the brand. Essentially we wanted to re-emphasise the brand's focus on quality and position the brand as a leader in the field in terms of quality. Therefore using Jamie Oliver who is renowned for quality would help us reposition on quality and that is what the adverts are conveying to the customer. In essence what we are doing is borrowing his values and transposing them to the brand' (Byrne, 2003:6/7)

The decision to do this links with the theory that McCracken suggests, the endorsement has to be right, the celebrity has to link with the product, and in order for it to be a success the product needs to attract the consumer. What this evidence does show is that Oliver has a good image through which to portray the brand and what they have to offer, because of his image within the public eye, his success as a chef and the quality of food that he uses. This will allow the public to believe that the products he uses are good, which will be reflected in their purchasing decisions.

One concern that the agency had, was they felt that Jamie 'would not appeal to the 45 plus age group' (Byrne, 2003:7) However, due to his informal style, his boy next door and every day image, it has allowed many consumers to relate to him.

Since introducing Oliver as the face of Sainsbury's, the advertising and sales has gone from strength to strength, 'According to new research, the £41m spent by Sainsbury's on campaigns using Jamie Oliver generated an extra £1.12bn of turnover - overall turnover was £17bn. Oliver was single-handedly responsible for £200m of Sainsbury's £535m profits in the past two years.' (Evening Standard, 2002)

Kate Nicholson, Head of Sainsbury's advertising, made this comment '

'Jamie has far exceeded our expectations. It does sound like an awful lot of money but we know he really has generated these extra sales because we have researched it very carefully... Jamie has been a crucial part of our turnaround, I don't think anyone else could have done it' (Evening Standard, 2002)

Jamie Oliver is a good example of how a celebrity endorsement can work, providing you have the correct celebrity and brand match.

4.1.5 GARY LINEKER- Walkers

Before the launch of Lineker as the face of advertising for Walkers, it appeared that the product wasn't at the top of the sales ladder in its market field. The endorsement of the star has been one of the most successful moves Walkers could have made.

This type of celebrity endorsed advertising has sought to preserve the emotional bond between product and consumer, as a consumer we believe that the product must be good if celebrities are advertising for them.

Figure 4 shows the transformation of Walkers' sales since introducing Lineker to the brand. 1996 saw a significant rise in sales after Lineker appeared in the adverts. What is evident is the continuous rise in sales since Lineker joined. At the end of 2004 it was apparent that Walkers had over half of the market share of crisp sales.

A spokesman for Walkers mentioned that after two years with Lineker as the face of Walkers Crisps it 'has helped to sell enough crisps to cover the whole of Holland' (Greedystar, 2003)

Figure 5 shows the sales that Walkers had in 2002/03. They had a great success, earning more than £30m worth of sales, Persil were second. What is also obvious is that there are no other crisp brands on the table, clearly outlining the fact that Walkers holds most of the market share for crisp brands in the UK.

Since the introduction of Lineker, who has appeared in over 100 adverts, many other celebrities have joined him in advertisements as well, such as The Spice Girls, Charlotte Church, Paul Gascoigne and Girls Aloud. Walkers created a famous campaign that saw Lineker's favourite flavour rebranded to 'Salt 'n' Lineker'. This was an advertising ploy that would help the sales increase for a certain flavour. This was a good way to create brand awareness as well as to incorporate the character of the celebrity in the product's advertisement. Since the introduction of the campaign, sales had risen from '14.5% to 17.8%. Average sales in grocery stores over the first 12 months of the campaign were 23% up on the previous year' (Marketing, 2005)

What's interesting to see with this campaign is that, unlike Jamie Oliver, who has a link with Sainsbury's, Lineker has no real link with Walkers Crisps, What they successfully did was to incorporate Lineker within the product, so their advertising had the tag line of 'No More Mr Nice Guy'. What's also interesting, as Martin mentions, is that 'young people are a target for snacks.. Which makes football a sensible choice- Regardless of Mr. Lineker's nice guy image' (Martin,1996:43)


McCracken (1989) believes that providing meanings is a good way to portray a good image with the use of celebrities in advertising campaigns. In relation to this theory it would appear that most of the case studies above have shown evidence of this, Jamie Oliver is an obvious candidate for Sainsbury's as he is a chef, therefore the meanings that were portrayed in the advertising proved to be successful and relate to what McCracken believes. The evidence above shows that a celebrity's popularity within the media affects the sales of a product, whether in a good or a bad way, Rimmel's decision to continue using Moss was a good example of how media attention can be an advantage. The attractiveness and similarity that they portray within the advert by using Moss was apparent to the audience. As Kamins suggests (outlined in the literature review), a celebrity fronting a campaign can lead to the consumer being attracted to the product.



The following charts will outline the results of the questionnaires that were conducted to find the consumers opinions of celebrity endorsement advertising. Overall 70 respondents completed the questionnaires, half Female and half Male. In order to gain a fair set of results it was important for the respondents to be a variety of different ages. The results were inputted onto a database giving opportunities for different reports to be created. These results will form an argument that will seek to discern whether the consumer's response to celebrity endorsement advertising is the same as that of the practitioners. The results from the questionnaire are a sample as this is a small research project, whilst it is indicative; it is not big enough to show a definite answer.


It is important to find out whether consumers are influenced by advertising, this will show evidence of how much of the population are influenced by advertisements, which will then allow us to see what population that are influenced by advertising are also influenced by celebrity endorsed advertising. Figures 6 shows evidence that a majority of respondent's purchasing decisions are influenced by advertising.

However, Figure 7 shows that not as many people are influenced by celebrity endorsed advertising.

This chart is interesting as it shows a slight contradiction; not many respondents have brought a product because a celebrity is in the advertisement. However, a majority of them believe that using celebrities in advertising is successful.

It would appear that many of the respondents believe that a celebrity brings awareness to a product, but the consumer doesn't necessarily buy a product because a celebrity 'uses' it. One respondent wrote this statement about how they are not influenced by celebrity endorsed advertising.

'I think that most adverts have celebrities in them but I wouldn't buy a product just because I like the celebrity, probably more to do with the product'

However, this respondent, when answering yes to the question, do you think that using celebrities in advertising is successful, stated this;

'Because you feel a sense of admiration for some of them, and if they are using certain beauty products that make them look so good, then people will want to use them too.'

In relation to Erdogan's theory in the literature review, a disadvantage of using celebrity endorsements is if they over-shadow the brand, however and advantage of using celebrity's is increased recognition of the product.

These are results from the questions that were asked to the respondents to find out whether they knew what the celebrity's names were.

It was interesting to see that only one respondent incorrectly answered Tiger Woods name. Kate Moss was the next recognisable celebrity with only 6 people who answered incorrectly. John Terry and Kerry Katona each had 8 people incorrectly answer their names. However, it was interesting to see that 4 people didn't know John Terry's name, but recognised him as a football player.


The next set of charts will show whether the respondents know certain celebrity's and what they remember about them. This is important to discover whether they remember positive or negative attributes about the celebrity's in order to gain a varied set of results; there were no multiple choice options available. These charts will analyse what consumers think of the adverts that are celebrity endorsed, giving a chance to see whether they remember more about the celebrity or the product that was being advertised. KATE MOSS

Overall, most respondents remember Kate Moss for her profession (Modelling). However, it is interesting to see that 21 respondents also mentioned that they remember her for taking drugs. Rimmel, a product that she endorses, was the third most popular thing remembered about her.

When asked if the respondents knew of any adverts that Kate Moss had starred in, 51 of them said 'Rimmel' Figure 11 shows what they remember most about the advertising campaigns. Please note, these results are not just for Rimmel.

A majority of the respondents remember the tagline of the product, 'Get the London Look'. What's more interesting to see is that the respondents remember Kate for being in an advert, but cannot remember the name of the product being advertised. JOHN TERRY

Figure 12 shows what the respondents thought John Terry was most famous for. It would appear that due to his recent media attention after an alleged affair, many of the respondents recognised him for sleeping around. There were 3 respondents who didn't recognise him at all.

A majority of respondents did not know of any adverts that John Terry had starred in. Samsung was the most popular brand that was listed. The next page outlines what they remembered most from the adverts he appeared in. Not all respondents wrote an answer for this question as they could not remember the advert.

Figure 13 clearly outlines that many respondents remember the advert because it was football related, what's interesting to see is that they also remember it more because other celebrity's also appeared in it. KERRY KATONA

These results show that most of the respondents remember Kerry Katona for her singing career; the second most popular thing that people remember about her is her reported drug taking. Unlike previous celebrity's, respondents had more to say about Katona, whether this is due to negative media attention in the past or the fact that she is famous for more than one thing.

Figure 15 shows that the main reason people remember the advert is because of how annoying it was. Whether this was because they thought Katona was annoying, or that the advert itself was. What's also interesting is that many respondents also remember her starring alongside other celebrity's in the advert. TIGER WOODS

All respondents knew what Tiger Woods is famous for. What was interesting is that, similar to John Terry, over half of the respondents had put down that he is also famous for sleeping around.

Figure 17 shows what respondents remember most about the adverts that Woods starred in. The most remembered attribute was the tagline of the product that he endorses 'The best a man can get'. This suggests that unlike Terry, they remember more about the product then the celebrity promoting it.


In terms of whether consumers are influenced by celebrity endorsement advertising, relationships between celebrity and product is important, A respondent wrote this statement when the question: What relationship do you think using a celebrity's name to sell a product has on sales? Was asked.

'I think it probably has a positive effect on sales as consumers build relationships with celebrities, see them as role models and idolise them. If a celebrity such as Cheryl Cole promotes a product which she uses herself, as she is known for being a style icon to many, then this will encourage consumers to buy it in the hope of looking like her.' (Age bracket14-25)

However, a respondent who is in a different age category has a similar opinion;

Possibly the younger generation may be more inclined to buy products endorsed by a celebrity because they tend to look up to models or sports stars etc. I don't really take much notice of who is wearing/using what.' (Age bracket 36-50) '


The questionnaire results are interesting, as many consumers are aware that companies are using celebrity's for advertising, many of the respondents have never purchased a product because of a celebrity being in the advertising, yet they still believe that celebrity's are successful within advertising. What they did notice was that many companies are using celebrities as brand recognition, a way of appealing to the public. This research has shown that many consumers remember negative attributes about celebrity's, rather than remembering what positive things they have achieved, which indicates that consumers are more inclined to be effected by negative characteristic's of a celebrity as opposed to the positive things. This research has also proven that younger consumers are influenced more by celebrity culture; they are more inclined to know what outfit Cheryl Cole has been seen in and how to do their hair like hers. This is why more companies are using these types of celebrity's within their advertising campaigns, to attract the niche market of consumers who are susceptible to that type of advertising.


This section of the data analysis will look at the expert's opinions. Three interviews were conducted, as well as a recording of a debate on celebrity culture that the author attended. The respondents were interviewed about two different strategies of using celebrities as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using celebrities. These results will build up an argument to see whether the practitioners have similar views of celebrity endorsements as that of the consumers.


Using a celebrity in an advertising campaign can be quite a risqué decision. It would appear that many advertisers get it wrong in the selection process. Ogilvy has written that 'Celebrities get high recall scores, but I have stopped using them because readers remember the celebrity and forget the product... they assume that the celebrity has been bought, which is usually the case' (Ogilvy, 1983: pg, 83).


Many consumers are aware that the celebrity does not really use the product they advertise, instead they have been 'bought' as the face of the campaign. If this is true, why do advertisers continue to use celebrities in their campaigns?

Alan Jarvie, Director of London Advertising, believes that using a celebrity:

'Gives you some recognition, it gives you some memorability, as long as the personality doesn't overshadow the product. Sometimes you get campaigns where the only thing that you remember is the celebrity, and you can't remember what the product is, we always make sure that the celebrity plays second fiddle to the product that we're advertising.' (Alan Jarvie, London Advetising- Appendix 5)

Jarvie believes that provided that the celebrity does not overshadow the product, then a campaign can be successful since the personality can be an attraction for the product.

From previous research, if a celebrity is receiving bad publicity in the media, then the product and brand does suffer. However, Jarvie believes that many products can use the celebrity to their advantage. For example, many marketers have ended their contracts with footballer John Terry due to his recent negative media attention. However, Jarvie believes that some marketers could use this as an advantage in their marketing ploy;

'I think it all depends on what the product is, I think if your product is all about being, you know good and clean and righteous then obviously that would be a problem, but if you're product is just about being a normal bloke or somebody that makes mistakes, or somebody who's every man, then I don't think that it should hurt them at all.' (Alan Jarvie, Giraffe Advertising- Appendix 6)

Jim Shannon, Creative Director for Giraffe Advertising, believes that a brand would suffer if a celebrity were to receive negative media attention, 'If the individual behaves in a way that detracts from the brand (even outside promotional activities), the brand suffers' (Jim Shannon- Appendix 6) However, Jim Shannon does go on to say that marketers could use the media publicity as an advantage 'Only in a 'knowing' way ' (i.e., in the promotion of products that might tacitly endorse his/her behaviour)'. Noreen Jenney, Director of Celebrity Endorsements, believes that marketers should be careful about who they select for their advertising campaigns. 'Advertisers need to be very careful to do their due diligence when hiring a celebrity.  When a star gets bad publicity, it reflects on the advertiser's product and company. (Noreen Jenney, Appendix 7)

Trevor Beattie had an interesting point when he mentioned in a celebrity debate that Gillette's advertising has not influenced his purchasing decisions;

I think Gillette has produced probably the worst advertising a man can get and the worst advertising on television, and I use Gillette products at least twice a day. I'm not put off by their totally shit advertising and I find that a bit strange. As much as I want to be put off by their advertising, I'm not, so I blank it out. Their distribution is brilliant and their product is extremely good. Their advertising sucks. So there is a strange triangle going on, and for all their money and all the worthiness, they then go and hire the three people who they feel are the worthiest celebrities in the world, people who are stars actually, who are very good at their chosen sport. (Trevor Beattie, Appendix 8)

Beattie also mentioned how using endorsements can be successful;

I think you can get it wrong, if you get it right, like they did with Gary Lineker and, for all his failings, he is a brilliant spokesperson for the brand and he took Walkers from nothing to a major brand and he's earned his money, I think, and he's done a brilliant job. Jamie Oliver, don't like the bloke, think he's a git, but, he's done a brilliant job for Sainsbury's, really has, so therefore they've got it right, it is a gamble. (Trevor Beattie Appendix 8)


Is it a gamble, or do advertisers believe there is strategy to creating a perfect match between celebrity and product? Bergstrom & Skafstad (2004) in their case study of Celebrity Endorsement asked the experts what type of theories they would employ when selecting a celebrity in advertising. I have employed this same technique within this case study to see whether the results from different experts are they same, or whether they have their own opnions on what they believe is a good way of selecting celebrities for endorsement advertising. What will be taken into consideration is the difference between different celebrities for different campaigns.

The research approach will be analysed against Shimp's TEARS model from the literature review, the Experts were asked what order they believe is the right way of choosing a celebrity for an advert.

All practitioners stated that they could not give an accurate decision as it depends on which product they are advertising. The charts below outline what they believe is correct for a general advertising campaign.

It's interesting to see that 'Trustworthiness' ranked the highest in making a decision when selecting a celebrity in adverts. Both Shannon and Jenney believed that 'Expertise' was the second aspect that is important when selecting a personality. Jarvie, however, ranked that last in his selection. What is interesting to see is that although McCracken believes in his theory that there needs to be a meaning behind the endorsement, some sort of connection between celebrity and brand, this evidence has show that most of the experts believe that Similarity is not as important in the selection process as the Trustworthiness of the celebrity.


The result from the expert research shows that using a celebrity in advertising is successful providing it works and the celebrity doesn't over shadow the product. 'Trustworthiness' plays an important part in the selection of the celebrity which was interesting, 'Similarity' between the brand and product was not a necessity when approaching a celebrity for the advertising. It is interesting to see that marketers do not really have a specific way of choosing celebrity endorsements; they do not run by any theory, its more about whether the celebrity is right for the brand and vice versa.