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Celebrity branding is a type of branding, or advertising, in which a celebrity becomes a brand ambassador and uses his or her status in society to promote a product, service or charity, and sometimes also appears as promotional model.
History of usage
Celebrity branding can take several different forms, from a celebrity simply appearing in advertisements for a product, service or charity, to a celebrity attending PR events, creating his or her own line of products or services, and/or using his or her name as a brand. The most popular forms of celebrity brand lines are for clothing and fragrances. Many singers, models and film stars now have at least one licensed product or service which bears their name.
Lately there has been a trend towards celebrity voice-overs in advertising. Some celebrities have distinct voices which are recognizable even when they not present on-screen. This is a more subtle way to add celebrity branding to a product or service. An example of such an advertising campaign is Sean Connery voice-over for Level 3 Communications.
The use of a celebrity or sports professional can have a huge impact on a brand. For example, sales of Nike golf apparel and footwear doubled after Tiger Woods was signed up on a sponsorship deal.
More recently, advertisers have begun attempting to quantify and qualify the use of celebrities in their marketing campaigns by evaluating their awareness, appeal, and relevance to a brand's image and the celebrity's influence on consumer buying behavior.
For example, Omnicom agency Davie Brown Entertainment has created an independent index for brand marketers and advertising agencies that determines a celebrity’s ability to influence brand affinity and consumer purchase intent. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Davie-Brown Index (DBI) will "enable advertisers and ad-agency personnel to determine if a particular public figure will motivate consumers who see them in an ad to purchase the product advertised."
Celebrity branding is a global phenomenon and it assumes paramount importance in countries like India where celebrities are given the status of demi Gods by the masses. There is a certain correlation between successful celebrity branding and brand endorsements.
With the increased visibility of social networking celebrities are being created in new mediums daily. Cyberlebrities often use the internet as a resource to follow celebrity branding trends.
- Influencer marketing
- Staunton chess set, possibly the first product marketed through celebrity endorsement
- Hamish Pringle (John Wiley & Sons, 8 April 2004) Celebrity Sells, ISBN 0-470-86850-3.
- Gerrie Lim (Cyan Books, 1 September 2005) Idol to Icon: The Creation of Celebrity Brands, ISBN 1904879187 and ISBN 978-1904879183.
- Jessica Evans, David Hesmondhalgh (Open University Press, 31 July 2005) Understanding Media: Inside Celebrity (Understanding Media), ISBN 0335218806 and ISBN 978-0335218806.