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Eikona Connect: PR usage by Celebrity Brand Endorsement Industry dips by 33% in last two years

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Eikona Connect: PR usage by Celebrity Brand Endorsement Industry dips by 33% in last two years and Eikona, the Neutral, Earned Media Planning, Audit & Advisory Service, jointly bring to you an infographic fortnightly series called EIKONA connect. This series will focus on quick interesting nuggets of PR / Earned Media Trends and dynamics faced by the Professionals of Corporate Communications & PR Firms. The objective is to create and inculcate informed opinion about PR and aid towards Scientific Decision Making Process.  

The fact that Celebrity Endorsement continues to add brand saliency and break clutter is a known fact. However, the core question is whether a brand is actually benefitting holistically by associating itself with a celebrity. While the marketers continue with their emphasis on the use of celebrity endorsements for Advertisements and Promotional Activities, for some reason, it has still not realized the benefit it could accrue by parallely using PR. During the last three calendar years, on an average, about 800 brands have taken advantage of advertising celebrity associations from a pool of 200+ Bollywood & TV Celebrities.               

However, we see a dip in Celebrity Brand Endorsement Industry leveraging or using PR. In the chart below, Eikona data for 2013, 2014 and 2015 shows that there is a noticeable dip in the use of PR by the Brand Celebrity Endorsement Industry.

What could the possible scenarios for this dip be?

·         First, Marketers and Celebrity Endorsement Industry may not be well informed or oriented about the fact that PR will fortify the ROI score card.

·         Even if the Marketers & Ad Agencies are informed, the other reason probably could be the lack of involvement of the PR Industry in the complete cycle of Pre-During-Post Planning phase. It is largely the “During” or “Announcement” phase that they expect PR Industry to support them. The fact that brand saliency and clutter can be fortified wonderfully in Pre and Post phase probably does not resonate with them.

·         Third possibility could be that the Marketer’s or the Agency’s agreement contract with the Celebrity is non-compliant towards ensuring that Celebrities deliver to the needs of the PR Industry. There have been cases where Marketers and the Celebrity have simply not given the PR Machinery their time commitment.

·         Who handles the Celebrity’s PR mandate often has some influence on the outcome. It is well known that Celebrities have been working more with Spin Doctors, and not really with a professional PR Agency/Firm. The approach brought in by the latter vs the former might create a world of difference.

The Celebrity Brand Endorsement Industry involves quite a few stakeholders – Marketers, Creative Ad Agencies, Media Planning Agencies, Celebrity Management Agencies etc. Coordinating with them and making them aware about a single ROI based objective is tough but an achievable task, but the question remains--- Who will take the onus?

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