Understanding celebrity endorsement

By Abhinash on June 8, 2012

Celebrity endorsement of luxury brands is hardly a new phenomenon but has been in practice for several centuries. Celebrities are highly valuable and necessary for brands especially in the luxury brand sector (Keegan, 2011). This wields enormous power in fashion circles and can contribute to breaking and making brands. Fashion designers pamper them and brand managers recognize their potential to brands and utilize this effectively. Aspiration is an important aspect in fame and celebrity endorsement. People mimic their favorite heroes or film stars because they want to be associated with the success represented by their lifestyles. This is often subliminal but nevertheless very powerful.

Celebrity endorsement

First of all celebrities are people that exert significant influence in various facets of the society ranging from music, arts, television and movies, culture, sports, politics, education, religion and also government (Vinod, 2010). They range from television and film stars to sports, musicians. Personalities, royals, politicians, engineers and also socialites have no defined careers apart from looking beautiful and attending the right events. Celebrity endorsement does not however begin and end with shooting and printing the photo of a beautiful star with a luxury product in a fashion magazine.

Choosing a celebrity to endorse a product

There are several dimensions and factors involved in choosing a celebrity to endorse a brand. It is however worthwhile to establish the true value and scope of celebrity endorsement. Sometimes marketers recognize that the use of celebrity endorsements can be a very high risk and expensive strategy. Because what the celebrities do in their personal lives can impact their image and the way they are viewed by the public. Some companies may face a dilemma in selecting celebrity endorsers. While they prefer them to upright, they still want them to have an edge or be somewhat irreverent to be able to connect with consumers. This may be particularly true for companies marketing their products to young customers. For promoting luxury brands the celebrities are chosen mostly from the music and film industry because of their visibility and prominent role that fashion plays in the entertainment sectors.

Endorsement contracts

Many companies in their endorsement contracts include a morals clause allowing the company to terminate the contract if a controversy of the celebrity arises (Shah, 2009).  However marketers must remember that adding morals clauses to their endorsement contracts only gets them out of a problem it does not prevent it.

Thus it is very important that they carefully consider the celebrity character as well as the potential risk associated with using her or him as a spokesperson or endorser for the company or one of its brands.


  • Keegan W J (2011), Global Marketing Management, Dorling Kindersley, New Delhi.
  • Vinod V S (2010), Managing Intellectual Property : The Strategic Imperative, PHI Learning, New Delhi.
  • Shah (2009), Advertising and promotion, Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi.

I am currently working as a Research Associate. My work is centered on Macroeconomics with modern econometric approach. Broadly, the methodological research focuses on Panel data and Times series data analysis for causal inference and prediction. I also served as a reviewer to Journals of Taylor & Francis Group, Emerald, Sage.