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Return to book index Chapter 29 : Study and Test-Taking Skills
ANALYZING MEDIA: Celebrity Endorsements

ANALYZING MEDIA: Celebrity Endorsements

We want to be like them.
Some celebrities you admire for their athletic talents, others for their good looks and still others for their intelligence or sense of humor. When actress Sarah Michelle Gellar appears in a TV ad for Maybelline makeup products, you may be persuaded to buy those products. Why? Maybe because you think she's likeable and pretty. Or maybe because you think you may look more like Gellar if you wear Maybelline products too. Similarly, world-famous golfer Tiger Woods wears everything Nike. Young athletes who admire Woods may associate Nike products with serious athletes. These young consumers may buy Nike products with the hope of being more like Woods.

Celebrities sell.
Many advertisers know this and use celebrity endorsements in their TV commercials and print ads to help promote their products. A celebrity can help create an image for a product. Advertisers who employ this persuasive technique think carefully about which celebrities best fit the desired image of the product. They also consider which celebrities are most popular with the target audience.

You're in charge.
Imagine that you are the advertiser in charge of creating commercials for the two products below. You and your coworkers have already decided to use celebrity endorsements in both ads. Which celebrity would you choose for each product and why?

Read the descriptions for the two products in the Product Profiles box below. Then choose a celebrity to promote each product based on what you know about the product and the target audience. You may wish to use the sites below to help you find information about various celebrities. List the celebrities you choose, and write your reasons for choosing them. You also might want to describe what the celebrity will say in each commercial and what images and sounds will be seen.

Celebrity Endorsements
A persuasive technique used in advertising. In a celebrity endorsement ad, a popular celebrity promotes a product. The intended effect is to make viewers of the ad associate the product with the celebrity. Viewers may also transfer the respect or admiration they feel for the celebrity to the product.

Target Audience
The group of people advertisers aim their pitch at. The members of a target audience often share certain characteristics, such as age, gender, ethnicity, values, or lifestyle.