For this blog post I chose to write about persuading people to buy some particular product by having celebrities endorse the product in an advertisement. In this advertisement, a widely liked and positively thought-of person even out of his acting job – Brad Pitt, is starring in a Chanel no. 5 perfume commercial. He does get into a dreamy character, kind of filled with mystery (or he at least tried, which was ridiculed by some), yet one thing is clear – he can be related to the mentioned perfume, which unlike Brad Pitt, might be bought in most perfume shops.
How does this celebrity appearance in a commercial affect the sales of the brand or the product? Erdogan (1999) mentioned a number of studies where it was found that celebrity product endorsements are effective, but there is a matter of choosing the ‘right’ celebrity for a particular product involved. It was all simply explained by a classical conditioning model (look at Figure 2 below) – the creators of the advertisement assume that the celebrity evokes good and appropriate feelings, which in turn are attributed to the product itself, this way increasing the perceived value of that product compared to others.
A matter of finding the ‘right’ celebrity could be the reason why the Chanel no. 5 advertisement was seen by some as a flop, whereas celebrity advertising is still widely approved and thought to be effective. The attempt at persuasion was there, but the efficacy could possibly have been better by choosing a different celebrity. Maybe next time try advertising women’s perfume with the face of a woman?
Erdogan, B. Z. (1999). Celebrity Endorsement: A Literature Review. Journal Of Marketing Management, 15(4), 291-314.