Madhuri Mania
"A sign of a celebrity is that his name is often worth more than his services. He is an omnipresent feature of society, blazing lasting impressions in the memories of all who cross its path."

Celebrity endorsements are solely for the purpose of uplifting the image of a product or a brand. The celebrity can be a public figure or a locally famous personality. The endorsements can be either testimonials, TVCs, mentions etc. Celebrity endorsement if used effectively, makes the brand stand out, galvanizes brand recall and facilitates instant awareness. To achieve this, the marketer needs to be really disciplined in choice of a celebrity. Hence the right use of celebrity can escalate the Unique Selling Proposition of a brand to new heights; but a cursory orientation of a celebrity with a brand may prove to be claustrophobic for the brand. A celebrity is a means to an end, and not an end in himself / herself.
To know in depth about the Celebrity Endorsements and it's effect on consumer buying pattern, which also was my topic of research for Consumer Behavior, I got a chance to interview one of Bollywood`s Greatest Actress, Madhuri Dixit.
Transcript of the Interview:

1. What are the different brands and products you have endorsed?
- At the moment I'm endorsing Neesa Rice, Expert Detergent Bar, Comfort liquid conditioner as well as I'm the Brand Ambassador for Sanjeev Kapoor`s FOOD FOOD channel.

2. While selecting a product, do you take into consideration the brand image or the product image?
- While selecting a product to endorse I think both are necessary. You should see whether the brand you endorse goes with your image. It also depends on what the product is and what the brand standing is. If it's something that is really good has a good reputation and whether it suits your kind of standards. Because the ads of brands that you endorse also make your brand image as a celebrity.

3. Do you think when a celeb endorses a product; they should take responsibility for the product if anything goes wrong?
- It is the products responsibility; we can only be there so much. We cannot go and test the product as we are not the scientists. There is a kind of trust for the brand in the people and that is the brands responsibility.

4. Do you think celebs should research about a product before endorsing them as they are the public faces for the brand? Do you do that?
- A little bit of research is required. You should know whether the company that you are working with is of some standard and they have done good products before. You should see the track record. Because if the product that you endorse has been negatively looked upon in the market before it may affect your image as well. That is what I do and then decide whether to endorse a product or no.

5. Do you use the products that you endorse?
- Yes we do. We use the products that we endorse. Most of the times we select products that will fit into our lifestyles and our image. If it suits us then only we can appeal to the audience to use it. Otherwise it would be cheating on our part. As celebrities or as opinion leaders, we do have some moral responsibilities Apart from money and at the same time you need to find a brand that is fit for you. If it's something I won't try myself, then I wouldn't want to endorse it.

6. What are your criteria's for selecting a product?
- A lot of different things. What the quality is, what the brand standing is. Also depends on how many days of ours they require and whether I'll be able to give that much time. All these and a lot more of issues that we have to decide on before we take up the product.

7. Do you think consumer behaviour changes because of brand ambassadors?
- I think that consumers associate a certain face with the product and so consumers buy the product also because of that association. A celebrity enjoys a large fan base. As a brand you are not going to go with an unfamiliar face, but a face people all over the country and internationally will recognize. If an actor has a big name he can take a mediocre product and raise the level. This is why you see a lot of banyan ads done by SRK and others. Otherwise normally a banyan would be considered a middle class product, but because it is endorsed by such a big celeb, it automatically raises the sales level.But at the end it all depends on the quality of the product and the standing of the brand is the final reason whether they will buy it or not buy.

8. Do multiple brand ambassadors for a certain product affect the consumer behaviour?
- It is the product and if the product is good and the brand under which the product is has a good standing it will definitely catch on and people will buy. Again multiple celebrities while portray that brand is famous amongst celebs and the brand image will automatically turn in "Glamorous". For eg Lux soap. The initial sale of the product can be because of the association of the celebrity with the product but finally the product has to work.

Source: (Contributed by Ronika Shah)
9/3/2011 03:15:39 pm

absolutely right madhuri u r brilliant awesome mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmuah


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