Celebrity Endorsements: Deal or No Deal?

Famous faces take over beauty advertisements

Jessica for Revlon, Rihanna for Cover Girl, Kristin for Ahava, and now Kellie Pickler (American Idol) and Cheryl Burke (Dancing with the Stars) have recently signed on to be the new faces of Sexy Hair Products.  Even lesser known reality TV stars are getting in on the endorsement action!  More than ever, cosmetic and beauty brands are putting a lot of faith (and money!) into celebrity endorsers.  In theory, celebrity endorsement should positively affect consumers' purchasing behaviors.  Celebrities increase brand awareness and likeability for certain products and move people to buy those brands. In particular for beauty brands, celebrities act as a way to differentiate brands that are otherwise very similar.

You're Endorsed by a Celeb... Well, So Are We.

But do celebrity endorsements actually work?  Celebrities in beauty advertisements (well, in most advertisements it seems) are so commonplace that consumers may not even take notices.  This constant use of celebrity endorsers could confuse consumers and instead helping them.   One study actually found that celebrity ads are actually less likely to convince people to buy products than ones showing "ordinary people."  Skeptics argue that celebs provide a short-term increase in sales for a company, but they rarely help in the long term.

Celebrity Endorsements can Backfire

Rihanna's recent scandal with Chris Brown has led many to wonder if Rihanna will be dropped from her various endorsement deals.  There was a huge media buzz after the most recent Cover Girl advertisement, which was an ad for their new mascara, which features Rihanna with a tag line that reads, "light up your eyes."  Rumors that Rihanna had reconciled with the rapper who allegedly hit her has led to even more speculation about her contract with Cover Girl.  David Reeder, the VP of GreenLight (a branding agency) told E! News, "I don't believe brands will use a reunion with Chris Brown as the sole basis for disengaging from her...More likely, brands will let consumers voice their opinionon the resumption of her relationship."  Regardless of what happens in Rihanna's case, brands who choose to sign on celebrities as endorsers have to be extremely careful of who they choose to represent them.  Any bad press or publicity not only hurts the star's rep, but by association, can hurt the brand.

What do you think?

Are you more likely to buy a product when you see a celebrity featured in the print ad or commercial?  Has the scandal between Chris Brown and Rihanna altered your opinion of Cover Girl simply because Rihanna is a spokesperson?  Do you think that brands should drop Rihanna from their branding because of the scandal?  Have there been celebrity endorsements that you think have been successful?

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