Percept Talent Management (PTM) and Hansa Research, a full service market research agency, on Wednesday, April 1, 2009, unveiled the first six-monthly wave result, CelebTrack, in Mumbai. CelebTrack aims to ensuring that clients get worth their money when they use celebrities to endorse their brands, especially at a time when everyone is looking for accountability and everybody wants better ROI.
Celebrity endorsement has usually depended a lot on gut feel, however, now brands are undertaking extensive research to see if a celebrity is in sync with the brand. For instance, before roping in actor Aamir Khan, Tata Sky had studied all those attributes that the actor stood for and whether they were in sync with the Tata Sky brand, and only then appointing him as the brand ambassador.
The PTM and Hansa Research aims to break the gut feel syndrome of the brands, and with CelebTrack, it wants to create a currency similar to the likes of TAM, RAM and IRS. CelebTrack will give insights to brands that extensively use celebrities from films, sports and television.
CelebTrack will be released twice a year and will measure star power not only in terms of popularity (which includes likeability and recognition of the star) but, image attributes, overexposure – positive or negative, power of persuasion, and media presence – quality of exposure.
The joint research tool tracked over 150 celebrities from each market. It was a quantitative primary research, that is, a face-to-face interview, and gathered data from over 10,800 respondents (urban, all adults, SEC ABCD and 15-50 years) across India in a period of two waves annually. For round one, the data gathered was from 6,000 respondents across 39 towns, nine markets and 14 reporting units.
In a prepared statement, Manish Porwal, CEO, Percept Talent Management, said, “CelebTrack is a handy tool which gives celebrities and brands a competitive edge, allowing each to demand a value they have rightfully earned. Being the largest widest and deepest research on celebrities and being a track, it is set to become a currency of evaluating star power. Our endeavour is to provide a professional and yet affordable model, which will allow one to make informed profitable choice.”
Ashok Das, MD, Hansa Research, said, “We believe that the almost Rs 1,000 crore endorsements market is more than ready to identify its celebrity endorsers through hard facts collected over a huge sample base, rather than on perception of a few or on anecdotal learning.”
Does the industry need a currency for talent management?
So, does celebrity endorsement really run on gut feel, and are brands ready and willing for a credible measurement system in the field of talent management too? Is it high time that there was accountability in this field too? exchange4media finds out.
According to Vikram Mehra, CMO, Tata Sky, “The usual thought is to go by the popularity of a celebrity. But I believe that the most important criteria is whether the celebrity stands for the same attributes that the brand stands for. The bigger decision that every marketer has to take right now is to find out more about what the celebrity stands for and it is an evolving thing. Celebrities live in constant media glare and what they stand for keeps shifting.”
He further said, “There is a lot of scientific work that happens before you rope in a celebrity, but at the end of the day, it does happen on a gut call. A particular channel may make sense for a particular kind of a product, similarly, for a particular brand, a particular celebrity might make sense, but not for another brand.”
Mansoor Siddiqi, Director - Integrated Marketing Communication, Coca Cola India, noted, “Any measurement system will be good for this industry, nevertheless it should be helpful in valuating your brands assets. However, the problem is that you will have to have a rating system to keep up with the velocity of Bollywood or cricket as their value will keep fluctuating. We welcome any such metrics as long as it is qualitative and subjective, which can only be addressed by doing large consumer samples.”
Jyoti Shekhar, Vice President, Videocon, too, felt that there was a need for a currency that was a credible one in the field of talent management, too, and welcomed any such move to bring about this tool.