How My Thinking Has Changed
When I was not so much educated about the whole idea of celebrity endorsements, I believed that celebrity endorsements and sponsorships were always something that I saw as something positive and I thought that many people would agree with that idea. It was surprisingly difficult for me to grasp the fact that when a celebrity or a well known person accepts the role of trying to represent a certain brand or company, there comes many risks that can not only affect the company but the brand as well. I truly was not aware on the amount of risks this certain topic has. After researching on why celebrity branding can be seen as something negative, my whole outlook on this topic has certainly changed and evolved.
Although I know and it is proven that using celebrities to promote a product can be extremely effective when it comes to business, this strategy must be done with a lot of thinking and planning prior to releasing the advertisement for the whole public to see. This specific source has really made me re-think my initial thinking. It gave me multiple examples of how a celebrity endorsement could possible go wrong. Celebrities are meant to help grow the popularity of a brand or company but not in this specific case. This celebrity destroyed the trust he had with this certain brand. His name is Lochte and he is a famous swimmer who recently had a celebrity endorsements. However, he soon got into trouble and was charged by a Brazilian police officer over an over-exaggerated story, which ended up being a false robbery claim. The article states, “Sometimes, celebrities can come out of a scandal much better off than brands. More celebrity endorsements are being overlooked by savvy consumers and brands are becoming the laughing stock while celebrities are walking away with reality TV show deals.” After reading this, I have come to the realization that choosing the perfect celebrity for an endorsement must be difficult for so many companies. I used to think that it was easy and that all you had to choose was a top name celebrity that everyone knew of. However, at the end of the day, we are all human and we are all prone to making mistakes everyday. There is not one famous person out there that is totally perfect. This then becomes a conflict with brand named companies. They want people to buy their products but in reality, four out of five people said they would not purchase a product backed by a celebrity who was convicted of domestic violence, rape, or any criminal actions. If a company already chooses a celebrity and then the celebrity makes a mistake overtime, it can really damage both the celebrity and the brand because consumers always tend to associate the celebrity with the brand. This results in sales to drop. It fascinates me because I never thought so much of how a person, just like anyone of us, can make a huge and drastic impact on whether someone wants to buy a specific product or not. So what happens when a celebrity does make a salacious mistake? Usually, when brands do back out of endorsement deals, they lose any money that has already been paid out. Another example that truly made me rethink my original idea of celebrity endorsements is the Jared Fogle incident. After he lost 200 pounds on a diet of subway sandwiches, he was sentenced to almost sixteen years of prison for distribution of child pornography. After this disturbing incident, the Subway company made the executive decision to cut all ties with Jared Fogle.
This source gave many examples that truly persuaded me on why having a celebrity represent a certain product can be very harmful. I never understood that there were as much risks as there were benefits in doing this because it really never struck my mind how companies took these celebrity endorsements very seriously. When you read and know real life experiences dealing with poorly represented celebrity endorsements, it really impacts your mind. It has made me ask myself one question. If there are so many risks that comes with having a person that is famous talk about your brand, is it really worth it? Why would a company put themselves under that pressure when they know that their chosen spokesperson could easily make a mistake? Initially, I was all for having a someone well-know advertise a product. However, after analyzing and reading this article, I am not so sure if it is even worth it or not.