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Currently, increasing number of advertisements and commercials are using celebrity endorsers in order to improve their effectiveness and raise sales of goods or services. There is a lot of literature that encompasses both empirical and theoretical studies of celebrity endorsement effectiveness in marketing. A number of studies have found that consumers are more favourable in their advertisements’ reviews, as well as product evaluations (Dean & Biswas 2001) in cases when companies are using celebrity endorsers in their promotion campaigns. At the same time, those companies experience increased financial returns (Erdogan 2001).
A viable role of celebrity endorsement in the advertisement industry can be explained in different ways. One of the arguments of celebrity endorsers’ success that is extensively supported in the literature is their perceived trustworthiness, persuasive and believable manner of presenting a product to the public (Freiden 1984). Another possible explanation of advertisements’ effectiveness, that embody celebrities, is genuine affection of the celebrity towards a product offered, and, thus, making the rest of the consumers believe that it is worth being bought (Atkin & Block 1983).
In the meantime, it is clear that effectiveness of celebrity endorsers in different advertisements varies, depending on numerous factors, including matching of celebrity with the product promoted, sphere of celebrity expertise, etc.
The fashion industry is exclusively peculiar industry that encompasses quite a few products. One of the major peculiarities of the fashion industry is that its markets are constantly and relatively changing. As a result, business success or failure of companies that operate in the fashion industry largely depends on their flexibility and openness to all necessary transformations that are required by the market. Currently, the fashion industry has become essential element of the global economy. According to Easey (2008), the world fashion industry has generated more than $1.3 billion in 2008. In 2011, this number is estimated to be around 0.68 trillion of Euros, and by 2020, it is estimated to increase by 50% more (Apax Partners 2011)
One of the most important points in the success of the fashion industry is paying attention to the resources that are used by the companies to obtain competitive advantage in the market. In order to secure sustainable growth of any industry, particularly the fashion industry, it is highly essential to provide global appeal of its products. Therefore, companies that operate in the fashion industry are learning consumers’ needs, as well as structure of their choices and preferences in order to develop the most effective promotion campaign. The latter is inevitable in the fashion industry without celebrity endorsement (Erdogan 2001).
Fashion industries vary across countries capturing their own peculiarities. Even though there are basic common features for the successful celebrity endorsement in the fashion industries across countries, still promotional campaigns in the fashion industries of the UK and China require the application of knowledge of cultural differences, norms and practices that are specific to every country. It is well established that Chinese culture is more collectivistic in its nature; therefore, advertisements of products are more oriented on the collectivist character of their ideology. Consumers in the United Kingdom are more interested in the individualistic approach.