ABSTRACT: The study investigated perception of students in the use of celebrity endorsement in Nigeria advertising industry. The use of celebrity endorser strategy now frequently used by corporate organization like GLO or individual marketers to get exposure for their brands/product and for consumers to patronize what they have to offer. The study was anchored Perception Theory and Mental Model. The research used survey method coupled with questionnaire as a data collection instrument. One hundred (100) respondents were accidentally selected while only 90 copies were correctly filled and returned for analysis. The data collected were analysed and discussed in descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage method). Finding also shows that many of the respondents (77.7%) admitted that they saw celebs in Glo advertising campaigns many times. On whether celebrities featured on Glo adverts have impact on the respondents, 61% of the respondents stressed that featuring celebs have little or no impact on them. Findings show that many of the respondents (53.3%) partially agreed that the use of celebrities by the Glo placed the company as market leaders. Majority of the respondents (70%) were of the views that the celebrities used in the advertising campaigns and other marketing means partially or have no impact on their buying, usage and even recommendations of Glo. It was safe to conclude that seductive women image should be used with caution because some culture and religion negate it use while the body saddled with the responsibility to control and see to what and how the advertising business operates (APCON) should be thorough in the discharge of their duties.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Celebrities’ endorsement or celebrity branding is a form of advertising campaign or marketing strategy used by brands, companies, or a non-profit organization which involves celebrities or a well-known person using their social status or their fame to help promote a product, service or even raise awareness on environmental or social matters. In this study model and celebrity will be used interchangeably as the two connote the same thing in this as far as this study is concern.
Marketers use popular models endorsers in hopes that the positive images of the celebrity endorser of the brand will also be passed on to the products or the brand image associated with the celebrities. May companies and brands do this but most notable ones among them include but not limited to Genevieve Nnaji’s used by Etisalat, Lux, Cintrion Energy drink, Range Rover Evogue, Etisalat, Polo and Amstel Malta, P Square by Etisalat, Funke Akindele by Vita Foam,Globacom,Jobberman.com, Qlichy.com, Klin detergent, OMO, Wizkid by MTN, Pepsi, Guinness, Mr Ibu by Sports Betting company (MerryBet), GoTv. Also, Saka by Etisalat, MTN, Soulmate hair cream and many more (Olayinka, 2016).
Celebrity branding is also known as celebrity endorsement, and is a form of publication by portraying a well recognized sports or entertainment celebrity to be a brand ambassador for a company or firm, and by using their social status to promote a service or product (Pughazhendi, Baskaran, Prakash and Balamurugan, 2012).
Marketers spend enormous amounts of money annually on celebrity endorsement contracts based on the belief that celebrities are effective spokespeople for their products or brands (Pughazhendi, Baskaran, Prakash and Balamurugan, 2012). Celebrity Endorsement is viewed as a billion dollar industry in today’s era. Various companies are signing deals with celebrities in the hope that by using celebrities they can accomplish a unique and relevant position in the minds of the consumers. Celebrity endorsement is increasingly being employed across various industries regardless of the product type. It is known to be playing the role of a signaling strategy (Biswas, Hussain, and O’Donnell, 2009). Also, celebrity endorsement can give a brand a touch of glamour.
Models are the use of well known persons face to help promote a product or service often through radio, television, newspaper, magazine, billboard, digial platforms, online etc. It also involves celebrities appearances at events of Pepsi such as launching, get together. It may involve celebrity use of display the product in the public with the intention to boost sales volume and have positive impact on the product.
However, though, lots of brands and companies are using celebrities to promote their brand and one of such foremost companies is Globalcom otherwise called GLO. Globacom Limited is a Nigeria Multinational Telecommunication Company. Glo is a privately owned telecommunication company that started operations on the 29th August, 2003 in Nigeria. Globacom is privately owned by Mike Adenuga Group which consists of Equitorial Trust Bank, Conoil Plc., and a petroleum marketing company producing a crude exploration company.
The sole aim of introducing and lunching Globacom in Nigeria on the 29th of August, 2003 was to provide telecommunication service to the people of Nigeria as a means of solving the problem of inadequate communication flow.
Although, Glo Mobile was the fourth telecommunication operator in Nigeria, within seven years of the company’s operation, its subscriber base has grown to over 25 million. Glo has an estimate of over 25 million subscribers. It has a reputation as one of the fastest growing multinational carrier in the world and the vision for Glo is to be the biggest and best carries in Africa. Globacom currently operates in four countries in West Africa namely Republic of Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. Its Headquarter is in Lagos, Nigeria because it is 100 percent a Nigerian owned company.
According to Globacom Annual Report (2009). In August, 2003, Glo Mobile was launched in Nigeria and it introduced lower tariffs, pay per second billing and along other value added services. Glo Mobile is a subsidiary of Glo, its Glo Mobile Network Unit. Globacom is aiming to become the best telecommunication company in Africa and all over the world is due to the strategies they designed in order to carry out their business smoothly. The company in 2006 introduced BlackBerry (A) which is the leading wireless solution that keeps mobile professionals around the world connected to people and information. In 2009, Globacom launched Blackberry prepaid service which gives subscribers options to pay daily, weekly or monthly for the service
The company now provides coverage to over 85 cities and towns as well over 5000 communities and villages spinning every geo-political zone and 36 of Nigeria’s States. Under the chairmanship of Otunba Michael Adeniyi Ishola Adenuga Jr., Globacom has turned out to become the giant telecommunication industry in West Africa (Globacom Annual Report, 2009).
To this end, the study examines the perception of UNIOSUN students in the use of celebrity endorsement in Nigeria advertising industry with a specific focus on Globalcom who often refers to its celebrity as ambassadors i.e Glo Ambassadors.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Celebrities endorsement has been one of the main advertising strategies to persuade and get sales. In a study conducted by Hsinkuang, Huery, Shih and Yi (2011) show that consumers show greater recall of products that have been endorsed by celebrities regardless of whether they are actual fans or not. The human brain recognizes celebrities quicker to how it recognizes people we actually know (Okoli, 2016). They added that if consumers happen to be fans, they place a higher value on products that celebrities are endorsing it is as if they are receiving advice from a valued friend.
Also, critics have identified the use of celebrities vouching for or promoting products, brands as deceptive form of marketing as some consumers may consume product or use a brand because its sport lord has been used to advertise it.
Although, lots of studies have been conducted on the use of models and celebrities but most of them are conducted in abroad which there findings cannot be replicated in Nigeria even where they exist they often focus on brands generally, unlike this study that focus only on the perception of Osun State University students in the use of celebrity endorsement by GLO. It is against this backdrop that the study investigates perception of Osun State University students in the use of celebrity endorsement in Nigeria advertising industry with a particular focus on Globacom Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
Although, the primary objectives of the study is to the trends in the use of models in the Nigeria advertising industry particularly in Globalcom Limited. Other specific objectives are:
- To examine the extent to which UNIOSUN students are exposing to Glo advertisements.
- To determine whether brands that are using celebrities are perceived as market leaders within their product category.
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent are UNIOSUN students exposed to celebrities in Glo advertisement?
- Are brands using celebrities perceived as market leaders within their product category?
1.5 Significance of Study
This research finding will contribute significantly to the existing body of knowledge in the area of mass communication, advertising and marketing in general.
The advertisers will through this study realized and understand the true impact of various strategies particularly the use of models/celebrities in promoting their brands, products and other services especially in the era of competing brands. Also, the kind of music and celebrities use contribute significantly to motivate customers.
Media such as radio, television, digital platforms including advertising agencies may gain from this study as it will uncover what consumers wants and how they want it in order to design an appeal and strategies to gain more audience to their clients
All government and other stakeholder that are saddled with the responsibility of ensuring fair and suitable commercial may equally benefit from this study as it serves as an eye opening by monitoring the kind of celebrities, models, lyrics and other strategies and appeal combine in other to prevent obscene, respect for the mirror and religion among others by enforcing truthfulness, fairness and non- deceit campaign that may persuade or lure audience to buy less quality products as critics once said model use in advert is more of deceit.
Researchers from advertising, marketing, mass communication and other related field may who may be interested in conducting similar or related one shall find this study relevant as it offers them empirical opportunity to see what has been done while it will serve as a reference materials for them, thus fill some gaps in musical advertising and how it works especially in this era where music is gaining more momentum in the society.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The research which examines the perception of UNIOSUN students in the use of celebrity endorsement in Nigeria advertising industry particularly on GLO brand has been narrowed in scope to Osun State University, Osogbo students due to the proximity of the institution to the researcher. The brand (is picked because it is one of the most obvious brands that use lots of models/celebrities to promote its brand) while UNIOSUN students were also selected because they often expose to Glo brand ambassadors at different shows.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Perception: This is the views and attitude of UNIOSUN students towards celebrities featuring in commercials of GLO and other brands.
Use of Celebrities: This means when a brand like Glo seek a celerity such as Musicians like Wizkid or footballer like Osasi Odenwingie to use their product in public, promote it or appear in their important event such as launching etc
Celebrity: They are star or role used in adverting products or services, it could be television stars, actors actresses, sport figures or entertainers whose appearance in the advertisement of such goods or services sustains the interest of his /her audience on the goods or services so advertised.
Advertising: It is the process of disseminating persuasive information to the public through a non-personal medium like radio, television, magazine, newspaper, billboard and online with the aim to lure them to buy or use Pepsi especially with the use of model as a part of its strategy.
UNIOSUN Students: These are the students of who have tendency to have exposed or seen models in advertisement especially a model showcasing Glo brand on television, radio, billboards, social media and newspapers/ magazines etc