We see it everyday watching television or reading a magazine. Companies acquire celebrities to endorse a product, which then bears a token of accreditation of the product. Think about all the well known products today that we see on tv and I bet that all or most have been endorsed by a celebrity. Gatorade has recently gotten RG3, the previous years Heisman Trophy winner, to work out while he’s drinking Gatorade. What triggers in our heads when we as an audience view the commercial is the idea that if RG3 drinks Gatorade then it must be great because he got to where he is today by drinking Gatorade. Similarly, Peyton Manning has been endorsing Buick cars. I view this commercial and think that Buick must be a great car because Peyton is one of the best NFL quarterbacks. In reality, all our assumptions about a product based off who endorses them is skewed and honestly false. Yes Gatorade is a great drink and of course Buick is a great car, but the fact that specially picked celebrities endorse one product rather than another creates a false reality surrounding the product.
Is this type of media manipulation always effective? It varies. The use of celebrities in commercials and advertisements has been around for decades. I am influenced by them and I am sure they influence you as well. If your childhood favorite sports star endorses a product you will notice it and possibly even buy it. But sometimes it can be ineffective. For instance, if Kobe Bryant begins doing commercials for Gucci women’s dresses, the ad will be ineffective in getting women to buy more dresses because it makes no sense why Kobe would endorse that product. The celebrity has to match what the product is selling. If the product is for athletes then an athletic celebrity should endorse it or a new food dish would require a professional chef. If the celebrity and product don’t match then it won’t work.
If the audience understands the simple fact that companies will stop at nothing to sell to you even if it means using a childhood favorite sports star to convince you to buy their good then you can become immune to their strategies. Once viewers understand the relentless and ceaseless strategy of marketers trying to sell to you, then people can be immune. But if a celebrity begins endorsing a good that you would have never brought in the past and you go out and buy it then you know you are not immune and need to seek help.