February 07, 2014 at 14:00 PM EST
Are Celebrity Endorsements Worth The Cost?
One expert states, “If a product is really strong, you don’t need a celebrity to sell it to consumers.” Which can be

One expert states, “If a product is really strong, you don’t need a celebrity to sell it to consumers.” Which can be true

According to a study that appeared in the Social Influence journal, celebrity endorsements are just not worth the cost. Rather than spend too much time and way too much money on Beyonce or Justin Bieber to sing the praises of your product you’d be far better served to invest that money back into your company.

Celebrity endorsements are commonly used to increase a brand’s visibility. However, a University of Colorado Boulder study determined the tactic does not always work the way star-struck marketers envision. “The overall message to marketers is be careful, because all of us, celebrities or not, have positives and negatives to our personalities, and those negatives can easily transfer to a brand,” said research leader Margaret C. Campbell, who teaches at CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.

There’s no denying that Justin Bieber is a pop superstar who’s sold a shipload of records. But just imagine if you just plunked down big bucks on a marketing campaign that revolved around Bieber and his love of cars. Then you awake on the morning of January 24 and discover your celebrity endorser had been arrested and charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license.

Let’s just say that campaign would be a crash and burn.

Then, you’re suddenly faced with this reality: an endorsed brand tends to take on the same negative traits as the celebrity. Scandal may sell tabloids, but it doesn’t often sell products.

PolicyMic.com recently listed the 5 Ridiculous Celebrity Endorsements That Went Way Wrong. The five missteps include Kim Kardashian and the QuickTrim weight loss product.

The featured noted: “QuickTrim bottles featured Kim’s appearance with an endorsement about the effectiveness of the product. She went on a tour around Australia promoting the weight loss pill, as well. However, the pill was found to be unhealthy, dangerous and ineffective. They were then banned in Australia. A class action lawsuit in New York aimed at Kim and Khloe for their endorsement of the product both on the bottle and on social media.”

Celebrity Beyonce in Pepsi adA final example involves Beyonce and Pepsi.

“At first glance, Queen Bey’s Pepsi endorsement is no big deal. After all, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Nicki Minaj have all endorsed the soda brand.

“But Beyoncé was called out for blatant hypocrisy given that before she signed the $50 million promotional deal with Pepsi, she was part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move fitness campaign.”

Here’s something you can bank on: A celebrity only becomes worthwhile when the celebrity is essentially the product.

Using a celebrity in your advertising or promotion can draw huge attention to your product or service, but it comes at a cost.

Celebrities usually get a hefty fee up front plus points on the back end. They only travel first class, they expect to be put up in a five-star hotel, and to be driven everywhere in a limousine.

Celebrities can make a product, but they can also break the bank of your company.

As you look back on the Super Bowl commercials, did you watch any ads which featured celebrity endorsers, knowing that for every touchdown there will be plenty of costly fumbles?

For the record, the price of a 30-second Super Bowl ad runs about $4 million – and that doesn’t include the cost of hiring a celebrity or shooting a memorable commercial.

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Original article courtesy of Forbes.com.

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