Thus, if the advertiser most desires brand name and advertisement recall, then a celebrity endorser is appropriate. If, on the other hand believability of the endorsement, overall attitude toward the advertised product, and initial intent to purchase the advertised product are desired celebrities may be best when the product purchase involves psychological or social risk. When the product involves financial, performance and/or physical risk, the advertiser might utilize an export endorser. For products with little inherent risk, a typical consumer endorser should be chosen.
Marketers who use celebrities in their advertising must be careful to follow certain regulations. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guideline require, for instance, that celebrity or expert endorses must actually use the product if the advertisements represent that they do and that the copy must represent the endorser’s honest view of the product with product claims substantiated.
Because of the potential problems of using celebrities (cost, death, scandal, and the like) companies often create characters to star in their ads with some achieving highly effective results. Maytag’s Old Lonely, Charmin’s Mr Whipple, Folger’s Mrs Olson and even animated characters such as Pillsbury’s Doughboy and Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger provide instant identification for the company’s products and set them apart from the competition. Maytag’s Old Lonely commercials regularly score twice as high as other appliance commercials in consumer awareness surveys. Mr Whipple often cited in surveys as one of the most obnoxious characters in TV ads, nevertheless has made Charmin the top selling toilet paper. Sometimes it may be better to be noticed and disliked than not to be noticed to all.
The success of the testimonial approach depends on several things, therefore. First, the customers must believe that the speaker is talking to the interviewer spontaneously and disinterestedly (that is, the speaker is not simply being paid to speak about a product). Second the speaker needs a believable relationship to the product. Third, the language which is used must sound authentic. In any event it has been claimed that the use of a testimonial can increase advertising recall by 18 percent, while a celebrity’s testimonial will boost it 75 percent.
A final approach to simulating opinion leadership is to use a company’s chief executive as the spokesperson for the product or service. It is claimed that commercials featuring company spokespersons generate three times the response of those using factors. Examples of this practice abound in the media. Consider the following recent stars Lee Iacocca (Chrysler) Dave Thomas (Wendy’s) Frank Perdue (Perdue Farms Chicken) and Victor Kiam (Remington Products). More major companies are featuring bosses as pitchmen because the public tends to believe them. They can also be good motivators of the sales force, distributors and employees around the country. Although credibility can be a major plus, the drawback is that the public may also perceive the company to be in bad financial or other shape. The ads may be seen as spreading unfavorable personal influence, because many corporations put their chief executives on the air when they are fighting an image problem. As the famous advertiser David Ogilvy advised. Only in the gravest cases should you show the clients faces.
Stimulating Opinion Leadership
This strategy is designed to get people to talk about the product and thereby exert personal influence. One way this may be encouraged is by using a teaser promotional campaign. Such a technique provides only enough information about the new item to pique the customer’s curiosity.
A second advertising strategy is to develop such highly entertaining or emotional campaigns that consumers engage in discussions about the product and its advertising. A recent campaign for California raisins – Heard It through the Grapevine – was an outstanding success in this regard. The Absolutely Positively commercials for Federal express created a whole new school of advertising. Most importantly people looked forward to each new commercial. Some advertisers are even successful in having their slogans become adopted as part of the everyday language, such as Alka Seltzer’s I can’t believe I ate whole thing and Miller’s its Miller Time. The increase in zany TV commercials by regional businesses trying to peddle their products with goofy, whimsical and sometimes downright obnoxious approaches is an attempt to get people to talk about and shop at these stores for their electronics waterbeds appliances and autos.
Other advertising strategies encourage consumers to talk about the product. For example, Firestone’s ads prompt the reader to ask a friend about Firestone. This attempts to instigate personal influence through having users disseminate product information and potential users request product information. Obviously, the marketer would desire only favorable word of mouth communications to be imparted about the product. This suggests that a monitoring system is needed to find out what present and potential customers are saying about the product and to help in the formulation of advertising strategies designed to react to word-of-mouth communication.
A final strategy is for the marketer to secure high visibility of the item .One approach is to use in store demonstrations and displays at favorable locations. For example, Fiber-fab kit cars are displayed fully assembled in selected airports around the country. Another approach is to have the product placed in a movie or television show. The use of brand name products in movies comes about in several ways: producers may simply use a product without contacting the manufacturer; companies may solicit studios and pay for on screen plugs, studios may solicit manufacturers for use of the product for a fee or for free; or brokers may try to get products of the companies they represent used on screen. The result of such usage and the implied endorsement that it represents can have a startling impact the success of the product.