Company News, July 24
Many companies rely on the use of celebrities to endorse their brands or products in the hope some of their celebrity 'cachet' will rub off and appeal to their target customers. Yet are these brands being matched with the right celebrity in the mind of the consumers?
According to a global online survey conducted by ACNielsen in 42 markets across the globe, out of a random list of celebrities, power celebrity couple 'Mr & Mrs Smith' - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt - were voted the best to endorse almost every kind of category, be it casual or luxury wear, watches or sunglasses, evening wear or lingerie, sexy or trendy/cutting edge fashion. The powerful celebrity 'couple' garnered the greatest number of votes from online consumers, followed closely by Jennifer Lopez and David Beckham. (Table 1)
Angelina Jolie's appeal was most prevalent in South Africa and Europe, and selectively in Asia Pacific countries like the Philippines and Malaysia. In North America, Jolie was beaten into second place by Jennifer Lopez, and alongside Aussie favourite Nicole Kidman, who seemed to be equally suitable to represent a range of fashion apparel for millions of Americans and Canadians. Besides ranking No.1 celebrity of choice to front designer watches, designer wear, evening wear and luxury perfumes among consumers of almost all ages, Kidman also ranked well at home in Australia for all glamour products. Across Asia Pacific, Kidman and Julia Roberts both outranked 'J-Lo'.
For Indians it is Maria Sharapova, the favorite amongst the international female celebrities for endorsing casual wear (23%). For luxury designer watches it is Angelina Jolie (26%) and for Lingerie items it's none other than Jennifer Lopez(33%). When it comes to international male celebrities, it is Tiger Woods (30%) for Designer Watches, Tom Cruise (28%) for Lingerie and Sunglasses and David Beckham(48%) for Sports wears.
"Their country of origin certainly has an influence, but their profession or the types of films or songs these celebrities are associated with over time will also have a great influence on consumers' votes," said Sarang Panchal Executive Director, ACNielsen South Asia. "The ACNielsen global survey revealed not only consumers' choice, but also revealed any potential dissonance between the qualities these celebrities are trying to project and how consumers perceive them."
As leaders in their chosen sporting field, Maria Sharapova (43%), David Beckham (40%), Tiger Woods (37%) and Jackie Chan (15%) were unquestionably the best candidates to endorse sportswear products - money well-spent for sportswear marketers. Angelina Jolie, having starred in a number of action films including Lara Croft and Mr & Mrs Smith, seems to have acquired a bit of an 'action-girl' image, creating an association in the mind of some consumers (17%) as a good sportswear association.
In fact, to consumers in some markets, the celebrity effect can work its magic on any category, if the celebrity is adored enough. Maria Sharapova in India is a perfect example - voted the best celebrity to endorse not only sportswear (66%) but also for Casual wear (23%), beating big screen celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts in this category!
Global internet users also have an opinion as to who would best represent intimate products like lingerie, picking Angelina Jolie (28% globally, and a third of those aged 21-34), and Brad Pitt (33% globally and 35% of females) the best spokesperson for designer lingerie. Along a similar line, both are unanimously regarded the most appropriate to endorse sexy/provocative fashion according internet consumers, and especially those aged between 18 and 44. Over 50 percent of Koreans and South Africans also lent strong support to Jolie.
"The aspirational nature of product endorsement by celebrities makes it highly effective in mature as well as fast growing markets, where people are increasingly enjoying higher disposable incomes and are looking to buy an 'image' that will better project their growing social status, In India too celebrity has a real big influences and so you see likes of Amitabh Bacchan, Sharukh Khan, Rahul Dravid is selling you so many products " said Panchal "One size doesn't fit all, though, and marketers need to consider a number of factors before committing to a celebrity endorsement contract."
The ACNielsen Global Online Survey, the largest twice-yearly survey of its kind, is aimed at gauging consumers' opinions to a variety of subjects ranging from current confidence levels, major concerns and attitudes as well as spending habits/intentions.
ACNielsen, a VNU business, is the world's leading marketing information provider. Offering services in more than 100 countries, the unit provides measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics and consumer attitudes and behavior. Clients rely on ACNielsen's market research, proprietary products, analytical tools and professional service to understand competitive performance, to uncover new opportunities and to raise the profitability of their marketing and sales campaigns. To learn more, visit www.acnielsen.co.in