Endorsers often create tremendous value for the companies that rely on their services – that is why the best endorsers are so richly compensated, and why most top athletes in America make more money from sponsorships than from salary or winnings.  If you put a face to a name, the more likely consumers will be to remember that product.

Take me for example. A few past and present celebrity endorsements that instantly stick out in my mind are Michael Jordan (Hanes, Nike, Gatorade), Peyton Manning (Gatorade, Wheaties, MasterCard), David Beckham (Armani), and Charles Barkley (Weight Watchers). In the New England area, I always think of Tedy Bruschi (Shields MRI) and Dustin Pedroia (Dunkin Donuts).

By using celebrities, companies have a larger chance to lure viewers in and convince them to use their product. We view thousands of commercial images a day and the appearance of celebrities helps companies cut through advertising clutter. They help them tap into new market segments, increase brand recognition, create long-term product loyalty and ultimately boost sales.

However, the recent headlines about Oscar Pistorius, Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o made me question if in light of the risks, is the celebrity endorsement deal still worth it? After all, celebrities are only human and often make mistakes no matter how much we want to put them on a pedestal.

Unfortunately, those errors can reflect poorly on the products they endorse and result in bad press for companies. Therefore, Nike immediately pulled Pistouris’ ad campaign when news broke he was under arrest for the murder of his girlfriend. Armstrong’s campaign was also dropped by Nike in 2012 after years-long doping scandal.

Ultimately, celebrity endorsements are always worth investing in if you have the right person. And, the rewards of relying on endorsers far outweigh the risks. However, if you are thinking about using a New Hampshire celebrity in an upcoming campaign you may want to have a public relations plan in place just in case.

To learn more about the pros and cons of endorsements, check out the stories below:

7 Controversial Celebrity Endorsements

Celebrity Endorsements: 15 Minutes of Fame…Or Shame?

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