BrandArena: Celebrity Brand Ambassadors: Does It Make Any Impact on Consumers?

Monday 14 November 2011

Celebrity Brand Ambassadors: Does It Make Any Impact on Consumers?

With telecommunication giant, Globacom having over 20 Nollywood artistes as its Ambassadors being paid multi-million naira. It is quite interesting to see the rate at which endorsement is growing in the country as more brands adopt the promotional tool too lately.

According to report on Nigeria films, Ramsey Nouah and Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha earns N15 million, while Ini Edo, Rita Dominic, Uche Jombo, Mike Ezuruonye, Funke Akindele being paid N14.5 million, N13 million, N13 million, N12 million; Monalisa Chinda and the two newly appointed a Glo ambassador too, Kunle Afolayan, Odunlade Adekola are paid N10 million.

Before now Chivita, Guinness, Airtel, LG among others leverage on brand endorsement as a promotional model tool by seeking A-List actors, actresses and musicians with the aim of creating increase in product awareness, providing product information, creating an association in the consumer’s mind between the brand and a particular idea as well as handing items to consumers, such as a sample of the product itself, a small gift, or printed information.

This year, the trend was hugely embarked on by more brands, adopting brand ambassadors as part of their way of preserving status and prestige in the competitive world of business. Early in the year, Sasha and Banky became Brand Ambassadors of Samsung, while Ikechukwu, Durella, D’bang, Kingley (former KC Presh), Stephanie Okereke, Agbani Darego also became Brand Ambassadors for Sminoff, Chevalier Brandy, Chris Aire, Grant of London, Kanekalon, Arik Air Nigeria with Kel and Mo’chedda also endorsing Soulmate hair cream respectively.

On the world scene, David Beckham, a man that needs no introduction was signed up by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd to act as its global brand ambassador. The market leader in consumer electronics and the Worldwide Olympic Partner for Wireless Communications Equipment announced an exclusive agreement with David Beckham to be its global brand ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Beckham began his ambassador role with immediate effect and presently playing a key part in raising awareness of Samsung’s sponsorship of London 2012 as a Worldwide Olympic Partner.

According to Wikipedia, a Brand Ambassador is an official representative of a brand, a product or a company. His duty is usually to help customers, answer their questions and motivate them to purchases. Brand ambassadors contribute to building brand-awareness, help to customer service and direct promotion. Brand ambassadors are usually paid external employees selected from community of loyal customers or people who know the market and customer needs well.

A Brand Ambassador(s) is someone who embodies the brand he or she is endorsing and most times are personality, employed to provide credible, trustworthy promotion and visibility to a brand with a give and take with her and the brand. Just like they represent the brand’s product, values, style and personality; the brand must reflect the Ambassador’s character as well. This often is an enthusiastic customer who is not hired by the brand but her positive reviews provide grassroots exposure.

No doubt, the whole battle between brands is the war of relevance. The challenge of the marketer is to find a hook that will hold the subject’s attention and gain more market share. Like every other promotional tools, the use of brand endorsement in Nigeria have recorded a huge increase this year.

The question is, does it really have any impact on the customers? While speaking with some consumers in Lagos, many agreed that it sometimes affect there purchase decision making and by this means, have made them to buy more of some of the brands over time.

Dare Oluwole, a Sociologist, believes many brands are seeking for other alternative to be unique in their way of reaching out to their target prospect and thereby leveraging on brand endorsement as a tool to further get them into the mind of their target market.

His words: “The modern world is filled with advertisements, and it is hard to get noticed. Differentiation is difficult to set and so is to get the viewer’s attention. The various marketing tools like magazines, newspapers, billboards, websites, radio and television etc. are all cuddled up to steal even the customer’s smallest fraction of time, so that they can blabber out everything attractive about their product. I think brand ambassador(s) help to extend the awareness of the brands and its working for the brands in Nigeria.”

“I think it is working, if not more companies will not be following the trend and pay so much to have a Brand Ambassador. Personality appeal is an element of advertising that help create a good promotion and patronage from the customer because of the confidence people have in celebrities and always wanting to emulate them”, stated Ishola Adebowale, an Economist.

Felix Chukwu agreed with Adebowale, stating that most youth of today paying attention to most of the top celebrities who are mostly found at latest parties, events, concerts, and movie premieres, hence want to be like them. “Sometimes I found out that I buy some things that I do not really need them and I found out that I buy most of them because I saw them on my role models in the entertainment industry most especially the top artistes like D’Bang, Tuface, Psquare and the likes”, he claimed.

“As for me, I believe it’s not everyone that can be bought over by a brand through endorsement by celebrities. Moreover, some of those celebrities do not use the products at times; they only pretend to be a good customer too - all in the name of brand ambassadors. I don’t see the reason why I would fall for that and go for such products” said, Ugo Daniel, a Business Analyst.

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