Celebrity endorsement is defined by the Business Dictionary as the following “A form of brand or advertising campaign that involves a well-known person using their fame to help promote a product or service.” Brands associating themselves with celebrities has been one of the most innovative methods to attract consumers. According to research by Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse and Barclays Capital analyst Jeroen Verleun “A Celebrity endorsement increases a company’s sales an average of 4% relative to its competition, and also increases a company’s stock value by 0.25%.”  (https://tinyurl.com/s2e2uhh)

The Weeknd recently collaborated with Mercedes Benz for the launch of its first electric car, the EQC.  A short preview of the song “Blinding Lights” was heard when the Mercedes-Benz ad was released. In the ad it shows the Weeknd, driving fast while his new track plays in the background. The song “Blinding Lights” is the Weeknd’s first solo single since 2016. According to Bettina Fetzer, Mercedes-Benz’s Vice President of marketing, stated in a press release “The cooperation was inspiring and gave us lots of new and creative impetus. The Weeknd’s talent as the creative director and performer is the right combination for this unique Mercedes moment on the road to an electric future.” (https://tinyurl.com/rlmgh7w) This demonstrates how celebrity endorsement of brands can be beneficial to both parties. Shortly after the ad was released the single “Blinding Lights” took the No.1 spot in the Itunes store.   The song “Blinding Lights” also took the 11th spot on the Billboard Hot 100. On YouTube the song has reached 26 Million views. 

This was an innovative way of causing two distinct elements, in this case a song and a luxury car to become the trending topic. On one hand a very popular artist that had not released a single in over two years and on the other hand a new feature on a car that is said to change the future. Coincidentally the single “Blinding Lights” states “I’m blinded by the lights” as well as other phrases like “Cause I can see the sun light up the sky.” The EQC has a new feature that includes an LED strip light that reaches both the front and the back that is said to improve visibility of the road while driving. The New York Times stated the following, “With consumers facing so many choices these days, an emotional connection with a certain celebrity may make the difference between whether a Shopper’s hand stops over one product or moves on to the competition.” (https://tinyurl.com/rt7txms) . In this case having the Weeknd be a part of the Mercedes Benz ad creation allows the viewers to be able to relate to the Weeknd in the sense that his songs relate to situations that everyday people encounter. Also, it allows room to reach a younger audience.  In a statement provided by Bettina Fetzer, Vice President of Marketing she said the following: “With the Weeknd as the creative director and performer we are addressing young and digital target groups to a greater extent a perfect combination for this unique Mercedes moment on the road to an electric future.” (https://tinyurl.com/qu7uwju)

Celebrity endorsement seeks to create a form of familiarity in order to establish a relationship that will grab the consumers attention. When it comes to celebrity endorsement it is vital that the brand chooses the correct celebrity to represent them. According to Forbes, “Studies have shown that advertisements that use a celebrity, about whom many people already have positive feelings and impulses, grab an audience’s attention more easily than a standard ad.” (https://tinyurl.com/vfgxjzb)  Dua Lipa won the Solo Artist of the Year Award for the GQ Awards 2018, Lipa was also the most streamed female artist in the United Kingdom and the second-most streamed female artist in the United States. 2018 was a really great year for Lipa she had the opportunity to collaborate with Jaguar. The I-Pace campaign brought both music and technology together. The new “innovative” technology allowed for consumers to be able to recreate different versions of Lipa’s track “Want to”. This is a creative way to get the intended audience to be intrigued with the idea of being able to be more like Dua Lipa if they get a Jaguar because, they will be able to create music just like she does. Also, the car being electric represents a revolutionary change in the future of cars. Using a popular artist to announce a brand-new type of Jaguar adds even more popularity to both the music and the car.   The official commercial “Want to” had 34 Million Views and 1,774 comments. The majority from young adults however, there was still a variety in age groups who loved the commercial. A Jaguar commercial for the I-Pace, Electrical Storm featuring Eva Green, only had 63 thousand views. This commercial was released October 15, 2018, and had only 56 comments and did not attract as many young viewers compared to the collaboration Jaguar had with Dua Lipa. 

In the innovative world of celebrity endorsements there are several ways that this can be done. A celebrity can give a testimonial and speak on behalf of the brand. Another method is for a celebrity to perform in a role that relates to the viewers while using the product. There is also an additional form of innovation where both the celebrity and the brand come up with a unique strategy to market the product. Potentially there could also be instances where in a commercial a celebrity is making comments about the brand and speaks about the product being worth the investment. The last form that could be used for celebrity endorsement could be integrating the image of the celebrity into a product. 

According to Troha, the use of upbeat music with its ad campaigns for Mitusubishi Motors did the following: “In three years, brand awareness grew from 14 percent to 60 percent, and sales increased 70 percent”.(https://tinyurl.com/tqrxggs)  The Mitsubishi Eclipse, “Days Go By” commercial has 621,384 views on YouTube. The commercial managed to catch the eye of many young viewers because of its “catchy” dance moves and the “upbeat” music. The song “Days Go By” won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. Pairing a popular song to a car commercial has been a game changer in the ad industry. A study by Neurosight found that:”Music in Tv ads becomes more memorable when it drives the action of the ad.” (https://tinyurl.com/rgh3ydy) This helps understand the correlation between the increase of sales when combining a trendy song to a new car release. 

Derek Jeter is a Major League Baseball Player for the New York Yankees and is part of the 3,000 hit club. Jeter became the 28th player in Major League Baseball history to rack up 3,000 hits. In the 2012 Ford Mustang commercial, Jeter got the opportunity to be a part of a project that was specifically geared towards New Yorkers. The song “Empire State of Mind”, by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys plays in the background. The music video, also features various locations in New York. The video on YouTube received 9,216,294 views. (https://tinyurl.com/3s38fhr) Celebrity endorsement in this case proved that finding a celebrity that is very popular at the moment and is also relatable will attract more consumers. 

According to strategic marketing content, “Since by now we know that consumers are prone to buying a product when they see a familiar face in the ads, most also assume that it must be a high-quality product because they see some credentials.”  (https://tinyurl.com/sbodpkl) This can explain the reason to why people are more likely to spend their money on something all because they recognize a face that they admire.

 Gigi Hadid is a model who has made over 35 appearances on international Vogue magazine covers and has nearly 50 million Instagram followers. BMW teamed up with Gigi to promote the new BMW M2. In the video they use Gigi beauty to capture the concept to “keep our eyes” on the model. In the video Gigi is wearing a red dress that stands out from everything in the background however, the ad causes confusion because it keeps the audience engaged by having them guess which car Gigi is in. The endorsement of Gigi partnering with BMW was only beneficial to the car company but also, to the model because in order to find out the correct answer as to which car Gigi is in you had to go to her website. This becomes a mutual thing where both the model and car company get publicity for their brand. It is very often that brands use attractive celebrities to make their product seem more desirable. 

According to a research, “Although physical appearance is major important in gender, beauty is generally defined as the most important contribution to feminine attribute and according to Ivy and Backlund (2004) which related with celebrity appearance is seen as part of the feminine personalities(Maran,2012)”.(https://tinyurl.com/seenpfn)  This explains why many luxurious products endorse celebrities that are women and happen to be very attractive in the public’s eye. It creates the illusion that an average person could appear to be as attractive as a celebrity, but it also gives the impression that the lifestyle you live is closely related in one way to that of the star.  The research also, states the following “In the era of pop culture, apparently the viewers or potential customer focus more on women’s appearance which consists the beauty and body features of the celebrity endorser and less on the product.” The actual product itself is not as important, assuming that the endorser is a celebrity that catches the intended audience attention. 

The world of celebrity endorsement is transforming and becoming bigger than what it has been in the past. Celebrities are not only helping a brand get promoted but at the same time they are looking for brands that will help them promote themselves and sell more. An artist is looking to sell more albums, athlete could be looking to sell more merchandise, and a model could be looking to get more publicity. 


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