Celebrity Endorsement - Through the Ages


Themes: Marketing
Pub Date : 2004
Countries : India
Industry : Advertising

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Case Code : MCS005
Case Length : 7 Pages
Price: INR 250;

Celebrity Endorsement - Through the Ages


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"American Express has a long and proud history of communicating the values of our brand by using heroes and personalities who hold a significant place in the hearts and spirits of people around the world. In Tiger Woods we have a representative who captures the imagination of many different types of consumers. His participation helps us communicate messages that our 'Do More' campaign supports: American Express has a family of products that is relevant to a wide variety of consumers."1

- Kenneth I. Chenault, President and CEO, American Express

"It's truly vital to our customer base. Not only does that celebrity bring new value, excitement, or humor but they bring an energy and memorability that you don't get sometimes with non-celebrity advertising."2

-Mark Rooks, Pepsi's senior marketing manager of multicultural marketing

"Testimonials by celebrities are below average in their ability to change brand preference. Viewers guess the celebrity has been bought, and they are right.Viewers have a way of remembering the celebrity while forgetting the product.."

- David Ogilvy in 'Ogilvy on Advertising3

Celebrity Endorsement – Through the Ages


The history of celebrity endorsement of products dates back to the 1760s. Josiah Wedgwood, the founder of the Wedgwood brand of pottery and chinaware, also called the father of the modern brand ';used royal endorsements and other marketing devices to create an aura around the name of his company that gave the brand a value far beyond the attributes of the product itself.4;Between 1875 and 1900, the trade card, either handed along with the product to the customer or inserted in the packaging itself, popularized celebrity endorsing. The card had a picture of the celebrity and a product description, but had no quote or a direct testimonial by the celebrity. Trade cards featured actresses like Lily Langtry and Sarah Bernhardt and baseball players like Cy Young and Ty Cobb. Author Mark Twain featured on three brands, Great Mark Cigars and Mark Twain Cigars and Mark Twain flour.5

The cigarette industry signed on entertainment personalities like comedians Fatty Arbuckle and Harry Bulger when Murad Cigarettes used them in its ads in 1905. Later cigarette brand endorsers were Henry Fonda, Jack Benny, Ethel Barrymore and Fred Astaire.

Kodas Cigarettes began including baseball cards in their packs of cigars. These baseball cards were intended to be given away as gifts to loyal customers. People soon started buying the cigarettes for the cards and endorsements caught on fast with marketers. Though no evidence exists to show whether these brands had the express permission of the celebrities, it is known that Honus Wagner, a baseball player stopped a tobacco company that was using his name and baseball card to sell its products. They became so famous later, that one of those cards was sold on eBay in July 2000 for $1.1 million.6 One of the oldest brands of breakfast cereal in America, Wheaties had sport-stars like Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Chris Evert, Micheal Johnson,

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1]Clark, C., Robert, and Horstmann, J.,Ignatius, "Celebrity Endorsements", www.bu.edu
2]Alleyne, Sonia, "The celebrity sell: advertisers use black celebrity endorsers to pump up sales", Black Entreprise, September 2002
4]A "Mindshare" Manifesto, Eric Almquist and Kenneth J. Roberts, http://www.lippincottmercer.com
5]Ketcham, Steve, "Celebrity endorsements are a thing of the past (and present)", The Old Times, February 2001