Monday, April 12, 2010

Do Celebrities or Words in Advertisements Sell the Product?

Are you a Nike, Adidas or Under Armour fan or are you a Derek Jeter, David Beckham or Michael Phelps fan?

In the same order, these companies sponsor those professional athletes and use their notoriety to help sell the products they advertise in the media.  But when it comes to buying the products they sell, what really makes you want to buy the product?

The art of advertising uses professioanl athletes or celebrities and action words, phrases and logos to persuade customers into buying their products.

Using professional athletes or celebrities in an advertisement helps people associate that product with a name or face so they will be able to remember it.  Studies have been done on this issue and one study was related to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

In this study, researchers surveyed 38 French university students, male and female, between the ages of 18 and 27 to find out if Zinedine Zidane, a retired professional soccer player who played for the French National Team in 2006, had any impact on Adidas products he sponsored.  The results of the study indicated that Zidane's sponsorship with Adidas had an impact on how people purchased products that Adidas sold. 

Advertisements may use pictures of professional athletes or celebrities, but the presentation of the product and the wording associated with the product can be an even stronger way to get people to buy your product.

Companies target people of all ages using verbs, phrases and logos to help customers remember their products.  Nike uses the "swoosh", Under Armour uses their slogan "Protect this House" and Adidas uses their slogan "Impossible is Nothing" to help people remember who they are.  A research study was done in England to see how effective brand logos are in advertising.

The research study selected 237 children from ages 7 to 10 from 5 different schools in England.  The children were shown products and were required to draw collages of things associated with Nike, Reebok, and Adidas.  The collages showed the Nike "swoosh", the Reebok symbol and the Adidas symbol.

Do the words and symbols in Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour advertisements make you want to buy the product or is it the professional athletes and celebrities affiliated with the advertisement that makes you want to buy the product?

Leave a comment and voice your opinion about what really sells products in advertisements.  Do you believe their are more ways companies use advertisements to sell their products?




  1. I know that Air Jordans made me a Nike lover for life! My opinion is that we see athletes and famous people that we idolize, and we want to identify with them. So companies get them to represent the products that are made, so that we buy that product. After that product is bought, if it has good value and is a quality product, then the trademark or logo will help the consumer recognize future purchases.

  2. I don't think anything can be attributed to a single attribute. Of course phrases and sponsorships can help increase a product's marketing and validity, but I think it just has to be more. I buy shoes that I like, but it has to look good, be comfortable, and have high quality.

    I did see Reebok Zigtechs, which happens to be sponsored by a lot of NFL players (especially Chad Ochocinco), and I'm kind of interested in getting some, mainly because I need a pair of running/performance shoes. The NFL players' sponsorship does help because it says, "Hey, professional athletes wear these." But I will never take a sponsorship above my own evaluation of a product (except maybe Usain Bolt, I kid).

    As for Nike, Adidas, etc., they are brands that try to differentiate from their competitors. Catch phrases being a part of them, but I go by quality over any particular brand.

  3. Interesting--you listed the phrases the different companies use, but I couldn't have named either Under Armour or Adidas'.

    One other related marketing issue is that the companies will have huge contracts with universities to provide apparel. This creates brand recognition and also forces a huge number of student athletes and athletic personnel into buying only that brand, which could lead to brand loyalty.

    As for athlete-spokespeople, I don't think they have too much influence on me. One area where they might have more influence is bringing recognition to a newer brand or product--such as Michael Phelps with Rosetta Stone or Fifty Cent with Vitamin Water.

  4. Maybe to some weak minded wana-b's.... Honestly I could give a crap less who wears what or who uses this or that. Try on a shoe, if it feels good buy it, I mean us old school folks use too wear buster browns or trax,(oh yeah I went there). Just because someone with star power says you should do this or wear that doesn't mean that everyone should follow,(if everyone did do what they say we would all be in trouble!!!). Just remember that they get a lot of money to tell us those things, and they are far from being experts on the products they endorse. Oh almost forgot, there will always be catchy songs or sayings but all that does it make me hum along not buy stuff! Peace, Love, and Happiness!!

  5. It usually affects what I 'DON'T' buy... for instance we refuse to buy a lot of these brands due to their labor policies. So when we see a commercial or ad we tend to say 'too bad you have child labor...' and then don't buy the product. So maybe the news affects us more than advertising?

  6. I think it is safe to say that most advertisers use athletes in advertisements only for the gratification of the buyer. Kobe plays with these shoes, so they must be good. Advertisers do target people that have the aptitude to think that actual products will make them look better and play better, but that is what big business is all about. When I personally am considering buying lets say shoes or something, I care more about my personal feel for the product and previous experience with the product. I mean if Adrian Peterson trains with these shoes, great, that doesn't help me in any way though. I guess it all comes down to is if when people buy these products are they taking into consideration that Nike is paying Lebron millions of dollars so you will buy their shoe, or if the shoe fits your foot and you like the shoe.