Creativity vs Celebrity : What sells in advertising?

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 4156 , Published on 06 July 2011

Advertising is the art of showcasing the products and services of a brand to the consumer market. TV commercials, print advertisement, out of home (OOH) media, internet advertising, billboards etc all fall under advertising. These days advertising has not only become a medium of reaching out to the target audience but it is also essential to be a top of the mind brand by increasing visibility. Advertising budgets form a core element in the marketing budget of any company. However, one thing related to advertising which still remains a challenge as well as a dilemma for advertisers is that out of creative campaigns and celebrities, which one has more impact.



Celebrity brand endorsements

Advertisements have to be catchy with a tagline or a jingle and should be portrayed in such a fashion so that it goes well with the perception of the target group. Advertisements targeted towards the youth should be colorful, vibrant, and energetic. Similarly, corporate advertising should show credibility, maturity and strength in the brand. Thus, advertising is an art because through visuals, advertisements have to leave a prominent mark on the minds of the customer and helps creating brand equity for a company.


Some creative ad campaigns which have taken advertising to a new level are the advertising campaigns of adhesive maker Fevicol. Fevicol has had advertisement campaigns which have shown their product being used in a humorous and creative set up. Such brilliant were the ad campaigns, that people still recollect old ad campaigns of Fevicol clearly.


Amul, India's leading dairy product manufacturer, has also left a great impression on the customer's mind by its creative advertisements which shows the current world affairs in a humorous way. From sports to politics to movies, Amul butter's advertisement always manages to stop the traffic. Until recently, Cadbury's Dairy milk too believed in creativity and innovation in advertising.


However, after conducting ad campaign evaluations, it is found that most of the advertisements are not able to stimulate the mind of the customer because they lack creativity, conviction and don’t attract the customer. This is where brands decide to have associations with celebrities so that it helps the brand having more visibility.


Soft drink giants Coca cola and Pepsi have always been involved in a war by pitching celebrities against each other. From movie stars to sportsmen, both the brands make sure they rope in the youth icons so as to attract their young target market.  In fact, various other types of products like electronics, food products etc rope in celebrities as people associate themselves with their idols. Moreover, advertisement with celebrities becomes a topic of gossip and create a buzz by word of mouth, thereby increasing the brand visibility.


The dilemma between creativity versus celebrities can be understood by considering the advertisement of the players in the Indian telecom market. Telecom giants Airtel and Idea have signed movie celebrities as their brand ambassadors. The ads featuring these celebrities is more an impulse fad and they quickly go out of the customer's mind. On the other hand, Vodafone created a huge buzz in the world of advertising where the creative adorable Zoo Zoo characters managed to leave a positive everlasting impact on the mind of the customer. Thus, in the Indian telecom sector, creativity won the battle against celebrities.


Companies are always looking for out of the box solutions to attract more and more number of customers. But in the field of advertising, there is no single method of emerging successful. While celebrities ensure brand personality and instant visibility, creativity ensures direct stimulus and long-lasting impression in the minds of the customer. Advertisers would always continue to try to attract people by their campaigns. But again, the battle between creativity and celebrity would always cause a dilemma.


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