The cult of celebrity has reached a crossroads - according to a new report from Datamonitor, consumers are tiring of celebrity marketing, with over exposed celebrities having saturated the market and aging populations meaning that the growth audience is shrinking.
Marketers must pursue new tactics to avoid the pitfalls associated with celebrity-backed campaigns or celebrity-branded consumer packaged goods, according to The Cult of Celebrity: Exploring the Implications for Effective Consumer Packaged Goods Branding.
It goes on to say that consumer cynicism is piqued by celebrities endorsing too many disparate products, while failing celebrity brand equity and scandals can directly hit endorsed brands' fortunes and, sometimes, celebrity endorser's own personal brand strength can overshadow that of the brand they are meant to be promoting.
Instead, the report says that products are emerging as the next generation of celebrities. For example, Apple's iPod and iPhone (pictured) have gone past mere product status and become iconic, with globally recognised identities and personalities of their own.
Richard Parker, consumer markets senior analyst at Datamonitor, said: "Consumers' relationships with these celebrity-like branded products are based heavily on participationn and interaction, two behaviours that are desired, but rarely achieved by everyday people in their relationships with actual celebrity idols."
Datamonitor concludes that for celebrity branding to remain effective, marketers must be sure that celebrity campaigns are underpinned by a strong brand message or story, while credibility and authenticity are also key.
Avoiding the craze for 'nonebrities' - those famous for being famous, such as reality TV stars, for example - is also crucial for brands looking to achieve longevity and avoid looking opportunistic or short-term in their strategic positioning.