While celebrity endorsements are now a common marketing tool, there is no trustworthy metric in the country to evaluate their relative success, impact or influence in the consumer’s life. What is lacking is not just a commonly accepted measure of celebrity popularity but also the image fit of a celebrity with a brand, or their relative level of influence on the consumer for that brand. Questions such as over-exposure on too many brand endorsements often are seldom answered empirically. The question becomes even bigger when the budget or availability constraint rule out the top few stars and the choice needs to be made from the next tier of celebrities.
In a bid to fill in the gap, Alchemist Talent Solutions and Hansa Research partner to launch CelebScore. “For any medium to grow beyond threshold, measurement and accountability is a must. In a Rs 1000 crore plus and rapidly growing celebrity endorsement industry, there was no unified and neutral currency. That often came in the way of the CMO taking a prudent decision on celebrity usage. In fact, celebrity choices for endorsements were hitherto being done largely on gut or anecdotal learning. CelebScore will provide itself as the neutral and objective currency, and is being welcomed as one,” said Manish Porwal, Managing Director, Alchemist.
The research assigns a CelebScore to 400+ celebrities from various walks – cinema, television, cricket, other sports and music – based on in-depth, objective and face-to-face interviews of a large sample size across urban India. CelebScore aims to be industry currency and a metric for the entertainment marketing industry.
According to the Alchemist and Hansa Research, CelebScore can be used by marketers to match their brand’s image with that of the celebrities, filter them through a minimum popularity cut-off, and then evaluate them basis their power of persuasion for their category (e.g. fitness, luxury, convenience). With three levels of filters possible, this can also be done for a specific geography over a defined audience segment.
This kind of relative measure provides a rationale for estimating relative endorsement or association fees of the celebrities.
Alchemist and Hansa Research also announced the results of round one of CelebScore. This round is already subscribed by top companies such as Unilever, Aircel, Pepsi, Kelloggs, USL and seven others are considering it to help them choose and monitor their brand endorsers or their usage
“For a fraction of the sum clients spend on celebrity engagement and then media, they can subscribe to the research and be assured of a hypothesis or rationalise the premium they want to pay for one star over another. The research could also be used to figure which geography and target audience to use the star, if they are using her for local area activation,” said V Sudarshan, AVP, Hansa Research.
Topline Results of Round 1, All India
Announcing the result of CelebScore Round 1, Anujita Jain, COO, Alchemist Talent Solutions comments “CelebScoreTM throws up some predictable and some interesting results. The ‘young’ India still gets persuaded to buy products advocated by stable and long term celebrities, especially when they are women celebs. With eight of the top 10 places and 33 of the Top 50, men rule the roost in celeb power. TV and other sports celebrities debut as late as the 50th rank. Within the toss-up between Film and Cricket, the two religions of our country – cricketers are no lesser Gods when it comes to persuasion power.”
Few key take-outs
Two of the top 10 are cricketers and other eight are actors
Ranbir Kapoor, the youth heart-throb, yet to make it to Top 10
Aishwarya leads women primarily due to south push that other female actors don’t have
Seven out of the Top 10 Female Actors are beyond their prime
None other than Rajnikanth makes it from the South amongst All India Top 10 Males
Except cricket, no other genre but Bollywood makes it in the top 10
Saina Nehwal is the top non-cricket sports-star at Rank 51, sandwiched between Ishant Sharma and R P Singh, two level 3 cricketers
Traditional image attributes dominated by older female actors, looks by the younger ones
Only 17 women make it in the All India Top 50, and only 2 in the top 10
4 Cricketers pull up in the top 10 when it comes to power to persuade consumers to buy. Virat Kohli is one of them
“CelebScore is poised to become the single, standard and only comprehensive rating of celebrity power in a consumer’s life. Since celebrities are now a medium by themselves, CelebScore will be to a celebrity what TRPs are to TV and Readership numbers are to newspapers,” added Ashok Das, Managing Director at Hansa Research, the research partner amongst the two companies bringing CelebScore to life.
Sample and methodology construct
CelebScore = Popularity score + Image scores + Persuasion score – Overexposure score
The above four scores are pre-weighted to give the final CelebScore a gold standard in celebrity rating
The research is an on-going track, with findings reported twice a year.
The specs of Round 1 included a sample size of 3300+ people of 15-50 years, SEC ABC and coverage of 28 cities representing almost all of urban India. The celebrities tracked include 400+ representing various genres of films, TV, fashion, sports and entertainment.