Published on June 3rd, 2012 | by Clark Kent0
Jlo, Deepika, Sonali and Siri – What’s Been Buzzing In World Of Celebrity Ads?
Last month something significant happened in the world of celebrity ads and endorsements. One of the finest and most loved consumer brands in the world which always featured real people in its ads rather than celebrities, chose to jump into the fray like the rest of the herd. If you haven’t cracked it yet, then we are referring to the slew of celebrity Siri commercials for the Apple iPhone 4S.
Apple has traditionally never used celebrities to endorse its brand. Its core philosophy has always been that the product itself should get the maximum attention in any commercial. That’s why Apple’s slate of celebrity ads starring Samuel L. Jackson, Zooey Deschanel and most recently John Malkovich, created quite a stir in the advertising community as well as among its millions of followers and users.
Truth be told, even with the inclusion of well known American celebrities in its recent ads the focus of Apple’s commercials is still on the product. That’s essentially how celebrity ads should work. Consumer’s today are smart and since there is nothing new about celebrity ads anymore, its easy to spot when an association between a brand and a celebrity is forced and when it is in perfect synergy. A celebrity must share the core values of the brand they’re endorsing, else there is a high chance of the brand being perceived negatively by the end user. With this rationale in mind it comes as no surprise that leading actresses and divas are commonly associated with beauty products, although Shahrukh Khan tried his hand at changing that with an appearance for a Lux commercial many years ago.
In the past few weeks two divas from Bollywood, one from a past era and one from today’s generation were signed up to be brand ambassadors of two global brands fortifying their position in the Indian market. Oriflame India, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oriflame – Swedish cosmetics major, recently signed up Bollywood actress and television personality Sonali Bendre as their brand ambassador for 2012. Sonali’s choice as the face of Oriflame in India is based on the notion that she exemplifies beauty, grace and elegance of a contemporary woman.
Now, to a first time customer learning about Oriflame and its products, the choice of a 37 year old actress from yesteryear as the face of the brand creates a persona that its products are targeted towards the 30 plus female audience. Such would not be the case if a younger actress were to represent the brand. Case in point is yet another endorsement whose commercials would seen be hitting the boob tube. Luxor Writing Instruments – the leader in the Indian writing instruments industry, most recently announced Deepika Padukone as the brand ambassador for one of its most successful brand – Pilot. Announcing the new face of Pilot, Pooja Jain, Executive Director, Luxor Group, said,
Our association with her is the right fit with many common factors between Pilot and Deepika which appeal to the youth instantly. I am sure this alliance will emphasize the positioning of Pilot series as a choice of young achievers.
The above is what is known in brand management parlance as a positioning statement. As one can imagine it is what powers the underlying concept of any advertisement or marketing communication effort of a product. In the case of Pilot pens it is clear that they want to position their product as something that should be accessible and used by the young, urban and ambitious Indian youth in the age group of 18-35 years. At the other end of the spectrum within the same segment are Parker Pens which is endorsed by Amitabh Bachchan. Mr. Bachchan endorsing Parker, which are known for their exquisite craftsmanship, fine design and steep price tag clearly signals a more mature and wealthy target audience than Pilot pens.
As the above examples show, a brand has to be very careful about choosing the right ambassador or the right endorser to represent it in celebrity ads as well as other brand related communication. The chosen face of the brand creates an emotional connect with the audience that strongly relates to his/her perception as a celebrity and effectively defines the product’s target market. Some celebrities though are able to defy this rationale due to their massive global appeal and ability to connect with audiences across age groups. When such a top 10 power celebrity gets associated with a brand, he/she essentially needs to live the brand and its products to do justice with the association. Jennifer Lopez who is among the world’s top celebrity brand ambassadors recently went down that path by creating her own collection as part of being the face of American retailer Kohls.
Kohls celebrity ads featuring @Jlo showcase the Jennifer Lopez Collection; a fashion range featuring everything from work-appropriate black pants and silky blouses to Jennifer Lopez signatures like off-the-shoulder tops, sky-high heels and even a jumpsuit.
At GlobalMasala, we love covering celebrity ads and celebrity brand endorsements because there is something special about them. It gives you a chance to see your favorite celebrity in a different way, learn about new products and at times be entertained as well. Which are some of your favorite celebrity ads? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.