Careless Celebrity Endorsement Bad For Brands

Boston Red Sox Player Curt Schilling, one of the higher profile players, sells his fame to marketers just as all celebrities do. This is a perfectly acceptable direction for any popular celebrity or sports figure to take except when they are aligned with so many different brands, consumers suffer brand disillusionment and confusion. Whether they do it for the money, the notoriety or for charity, celebrity and sports figures don't know the damage they are doing to brands when they shill for multiple marketers. However, brand marketer do or should know better and should not let it happen.

Schilling has appeared in ads for Reebok, Dunkin' Donuts and New England Ford Dealers all in roughly the same time period. Is it any wonder brands are having a difficult time embedding their position in consumer's minds when they can't tell the difference between three marketers who use the same spokesperson?

To be sure, the spokesperson is just one element of a brand's position but it's a mightily visible one that has great impact on brand recall. Does Dunkin' Donuts want consumers thinking of their neighborhood car dealer or sneakers when they see Schilling in an ad? We think not.

by Steve Hall    Jun-13-04    

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