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GroupM brings accountability in celebrity endorsement space with CelebZ

11 January, 2007

GroupM has launched CelebZ, a powerful tool that allows marketers to zero in on the celebrities who have the strongest appeal within their specific target segment and the best fit with their brands.

Covering 86 celebrities ranging across varied fields, straddling the North, West, East, TN, AP and coupled with 22 product categories encompassing 140 brands, CelebZ is the first and most comprehensive study of its kind not only in India, but across the Asia Pacific. Fieldwork done by IMRB across a sample of 2800 across 14 cities in India, gives a thorough representation of the entire country. Fusion of data from 3D/TGI onto the CelebZ database provides a wealth of attitudinal, lifestyle and media information further increasing the magnitude of possibilities emerging out of it.

The study measures the overall size and nature of the relationship that consumers have with a celeb and thereby creates his or her equity pyramid. The top most level of the pyramid, the ‘mScore’, conclusively determines the strength of the celeb’s pull in the consumer’s mind.

6 dimensions from human personality & research tests conducted by Millward Brown form the basis for creating the persona of the celebrities in terms of 12 positive & 12 negative traits. This helps identify ‘fits’ between brands and celebrities.

In a press conference held in Mumbai on 11th Jan, 07, GroupM shared a sampler of the power of CelebZ by sharing some very insightful answers to some key strategic questions niggling marketers in the celeb endorsement space.

On the basis of mScores, CelebZ classifies celebrities into Platinum, Gold and Silver. Expectedly the highest mScores lie more in the top film and cricket stars. GroupM clarifies that the 5 Platinum celebs constitute about 40% of the industry’s current celeb endorsement value. If we include the 17 Gold celebs, the top celeb endorsement value goes up 80%.

However, brands looking at more focused audiences and specific brand tasks would do better by looking at the remaining Silver stars who, span across small screen, other sports and varied fields along with film and cricket. In fact, there are many stars who, though in the Silver category actually outdo the Platinum stars on specific Persona traits. Taking them as the brand endorsers would address the brand’s need far more effectively, than picking up the Platinum / Gold celebs.

This study throws up some surprises. Some stars who have arguably been out of the limelight still carry residual star power. GroupM also demonstrated that the choice of celebs for brands with niche audiences and highly differentiated imagery would be very different from that of mass brands. Further this tool has the potential to throw light on how celeb usage can be optimized creatively.

With over Rs 250 crores being spent in the celeb endorsement space, coupled with the huge cost of media using the celebrity endorsed communication, CelebZ will prove to be a much needed weapon for marketers.

Furthermore, the 86 Bollywood & South film celebs, sports, small screen & other varied fields celebs and their endorsement companies will also benefit from this study as it will give them a much needed currency to value their market potential, and the brands they can contribute most to.

Said Vikram Sakhuja, COO, GroupM, South Asia,

"Brand building is becoming more challenging by the day. Celebrities have the potential to grow brands in a discontinuous manner. Unfortunately this important space is being handled in an ad hoc manner today. CelebZ is an important step towards bringing science and accountability to this space. I believe this will help brands not only select celebrities more intelligently, but also harness their star power better for their brands.

The study was championed by MindShare’s Insights division, whose challenge is to unearth fresh and unique insights which bring significant improvement in communication planning for our brands. 3D, our proprietary research, is already a currency amongst our clients. We believe CelebZ will be one more important tool to deliver more insightful solutions."

Acrobat Document GroupM_PressRelease_CelebZ_Jan07_guidbaf560ee40cd4.pdf

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