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Home Entertainment Celebrity endorsement v/s influencer marketing – What should brands choose

Celebrity endorsement v/s influencer marketing – What should brands choose

With the world moving from OOH, offline marketing to online and social media marketing, a big question stands in front of marketers… Celebrity endorsements or Influencer Marketing. What is better? Which method has a better ROI? Which is more sustainable? What can attract more customers towards you?


Celebrity endorsements look something like that are very recent. With the expansion of television access across the globe and internet expansion, one may think that TV Ads are a modern age product. But if you’ll dig a little deeper, you’ll realize that these go back 100s of years.

Back in the 1760s English potter Josiah Wedgwood, founder of the company with the same brand name, was the first one who promoted the brand using a celebrity. He used his position as a supplier to the royal household of the UK to promote his wares.

As the years went by, as the money started growing good, we have seen actors, sportspeople, authors all have joined the club of celebrity endorsements. Entering into the new millennium slowly the ways of marketing changed. A new approach came – of being the influencer. With social media hitting the new heights of opportunities, the new age celebs saw millions of followers. They were like reach magnets for the brands, and brands started harnessing their potential. It has become a new and hot marketing avenue.

Influencer marketing has boomed and has gone mainstream. Although, the effectiveness is now in question. As per a report by InfluencerDB, published in 2019, there has been a decline in the influence put by the influence marketers. The engagement rate for sponsored posts fell to 2.4 %in Q1 2019 from 4 %three years earlier. The slide in non-sponsored posts saw more drama, plummeting from 4.5 % to 1.9 % in the same period.

Let’s try to gauge the cause of these shifts. When everything was going good, influencers having reach in millions, billions of people being on social media, this shouldn’t have been an ideal situation.

What Happened??
  1. Oversaturation: Every gig economy has a bandwidth of people who can be there. We saw it with Ola and Uber as well. There were people who earned a lot of money by working for regular hours, and after the market was saturated, income started to drop.
  2. Lack of Innovation: Like easy algorithms for coders, for influencers innovation is the key. When you start copying a style, of when the chakra of a style comes to halt, it’s time for you to be more innovative.
  3. Resultant disenchantment with the field as a whole

Whatever the reason may be, it is very evident that the influencers cannot command clout for a longer period of time. Along with marketers who are constantly looking for changes in communicating with the public, it may be the correct time to reconsider celeb endorsements in the modern ecosystem.

Let us look at what advantages Celebrities endorsements have over the influencer marketing:

Scope, Reputation & Professionalism 


When it comes to scope, the scope of a top influencer would still be less than a celebrity who is still a minor. While an Influencer having more than 100,000 followers would rank in the top echelons of his field, but a minor celebrity would have a reach to millions of people across his various social media platforms.

Celebrities bring massive fan following, a pre-existing fan base with them. Along with, one of the most important thing, i.e. visibility across borders and nationalities. The star power they bring boosts the public’s awareness about a particular brand massively.

Even for a mundane thing as washing powder, the reach with help of celebrity endorsement can be in millions. For example, Ariel roped in celebrities like Mahesh Babu, Ranveer Singh & Ravi Ashwin for their latest #ShareTheLoad campaign, and it saw over 2.5 million collective likes.

Apart from the social handles, the constant media spotlight that is there on a celebrity on a day to day basis helps the brands a lot. A celebrity frequently using an item constantly, outside of the array of their in-house promotions, generates more media mentions. ROI POSITIVE always. Ranveer Singh wearing Puma sneakers every time he’s out will generate more sales for Puma that his offset cost.


For every celebrity, their reputation is their most powerful asset, and they obviously are aware of it. They work on their reputation for years and years, it’s like a baby. You have to work hard and smart to build your reputation, and association with the wrong brand can kill it in a minute. And the public knows this very well. Hence, seeing a celebrity with a particular brand builds a kind of confidence in them. That if he/she has associated themselves with a brand, it has to be good.

A recent campaign, #feedrealfeedclean, by pet foods brand, Drool saw this principle to the effect. With the help and association of Pooja Hegde, Rakul Preet, and Anita Hassanandani, they saw a tremendous reach for their campaign.

When it comes to aspirational categories such as fashion, jewelry, travel, and automobiles, where the ticket price is much higher, this concept works like a charm. A prominent celebrity identifying them with a particular brand of clothing like can turn that Tee shirt into a style statement.


The industry is demanding, probably one of the most demanding industry to work with. The glitz and glamour of it usually blind people to the demanding nature. From the actors to directors to producers to the writers, a professional TV or film setup requires a tremendous amount of work and dedication. Hence, the most successful people are the ones with the best work ethics, who have a professional mindset and a positive attitude.

Hence, these celebrities are the perfect fit when it comes to delivering a common message swiftly and skillfully, as the traits match. Now, the same cannot be said for the influencers who post on off-brand topics and are impulsive.

A recent collaboration between actress Kalyani Priyadarshan and Nescafé India is a brilliant example of the benefits of working with an industry professional. In one of her Instagram clip, Priyadarshan posted a video of herself making Dalgona coffee, with Nescafe Sunrise. Her smooth delivery along with the high production value saw a huge engagement, 1.3 million views.

Although for some brands, influencer marketing can be a go-to way to attract the eyes, the star power of celebrities and their structured approach attracts the hearts.

Let us know in the comments who ‘influences’ your purchases more. The “influencers” or celebrities.


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