The use of celebrities in advertising has been a common practicefor more than 70 years. Marketers understand the value of featuring people whoare recognized, often admired, or even idolized, by their target audience. Celebrities,such as actors and actresses, athletes, entertainers and other popular publicfigures, are frequently utilized as a way to draw attention to theiradvertising messages. Social media influencers are ____.
In this paper, I willdiscuss the different influences that motivate consumers to purchase products thatare endorsed by celebrities and social media influencers. Theidea behind celebrity-endorsed campaigns is simple: to draw attention to the recommendedproduct and to complement the desired image values. Celebrities are thepreferred choice because they act as role models and are powerful financial andcultural media figures and image creators. Essentially, celebrities are idealbecause they are more likely to capture and retain a consumer’s attention thanan unknown person would.
This idea can be explained by Pavlovian Conditioning,also known as classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is a process bywhich an unconditioned stimulus (US), a stimulus that naturally produces aresponse, is paired with a conditioned stimulus (CS), a stimulus that does notnaturally produce the response but comes to elicit the conditioned response(CR) following the pairing (Shimp 8). In the case of an advertiser using acelebrity endorsement, the celebrity acts as the unconditioned stimulus, which elicitsa positive affect toward the endorser and acts as the unconditioned response.When the celebrity is paired with the brand, the brand then serves as the conditionedstimulus, which elicits a positive affect toward the brand and acts as theconditioned response. For example, an avid DC Comics fan may be more likely topurchase a Speedo brand swim suit after seeing their advertisement endorsed by JasonMomoa, the actor that plays Aqua Man in the new 2017 Justice League film.
Although having a celebrity toendorse your brand’s product can be an important tactic, the recommendation cansometimes come off as disingenuous because the consumer knows that thecelebrity is being paid, and is likely scripted, to say positive things aboutthe product. This is why the rise of social media influencers have become a newfocus for brand positioning strategies. Stripping down the production value ofa celebrity endorsed magazine ad or commercial to the bare minimum of aseemingly average person recording a product review in their bedroom withnothing but an iPhone and simple editing software is an easy way to communicateauthenticity. As a result, marketers are doubling their investment ininfluencer marketing this year, with Instagram influencers alone accounting formore than $1 billion of marketing spend, according to AdWeek. Research done by Yuchi Zhanga, Wendy W.
Moeb, and David A. Schweidel suggests that targetinginfluencers to encourage the rebroadcasting of a message can potentially leadto greater rebroadcasting activity than investing in message content. Rebroadcasting,or “sharing” in other settings, is an extremely important activity formarketers, as they attempt to disseminate marketing communications about theirbrands on social media. Undercertain circumstances, tailoring message content to the interests of the influencerscan generate even greater rebroadcasting activity.