Branding- Celebrity Endorsement in Nigeria

You’re driving and you see a billboard showcasing a product with only texts sprinkled around the ad. Next time you drive along that road, the ad has had a slight tweak. There’s a smiling face added to the product image and text. Couple days pass by and you commute through that road. This time, the smiling face is replaced with none other than Davido’s face.
Which of these scenarios is bound to resonate more with you?
Promoting brands via the use of celebrities is becoming popular amongst our Nigerian organizations. It used to be a move solely used by telecommunication outfits but everyone seems to want a piece of the pie these days.
Musicians are promoting sodas, actors and actresses are now brand ambassadors for food seasonings, the list is endless.
It is true Nigerian celebrities have some sort of influence on the masses and can play a major role in reaping huge rewards for a brand but then, it is also true that celebrity endorsement can be a waste of funds as past campaigns with celebrities at the fore-front have failed woefully.
I mean Banky W might have been able to persuade me with the catchy ‘0809ja’ tune to get you to buy a 9mobile(previously known as Etisalat) sim but that Tiwa Savage drinks Pepsi doesn’t mean I’ll change my preference from coke.
Like everything in life, there are two sides to a coin. Celebrity branding has its pros and cons and we discuss some of these factors below.
Going back to the initial scenario, let’s be the real, 99% of individuals will warm up to an ad with Davido on it. People like to see familiar faces on the products they intend to buy or use. Seeing a popular face evokes emotions in an individual and this can help implant the ad and product into the memory of the individual. We’ve concluded that people are prone to patronize products when they see familiar faces on its ads also people assume these products are of high quality since celebrities use it, No fan would think their favorite media personalities will use a sub-par product. Furthermore, using celebrities in your ads open up new demographics for your products. These celebrities have fans ranging from 13-65 or even younger and this will most likely benefit your brand in the long-run.
As we’ve seen above, engaging your target market through celebrity endorsement can be beneficial for your business however, there can be some underlying risks. Some of which are that ‘images change.’ These celebrities are humans and as humans, they too are prone to mistakes. Some of these blunders are minor and are easily forgotten but when they are drastic (which is the case most times) they affect the brand they endorse. Also, celebrities may overshadow the brand. This in turn destroys the whole purpose of the endorsement in the first place- increase in sales! Consumers may begin to pay more attention to the individual rather than the product.
Using celebrities to appeal to your target market has its perks. With the right celebrity you can build trust and credibility for your brand and also build brand equity through the use of name recognition. On the other hand, there’s the fact that endorsements are quite expensive and you’re better off investing in digital marketing, skill acquisition projects, scholarships or other CSR endeavors to boost awareness of your brand and sales of your products.
So does celebrity endorsement work in Nigeria?
Truth is, it’s not a bad idea but then it’s not even close to being full-proof – it’s a potential minefield for advertisers.
Need help branding your company, call 08061210261 or mail DIGIBUTTERFLY today!

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