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The Handbook of International Advertising Research by Hong Cheng

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18

Celebrity Endorsement and International Advertising

Wei-Na Lee and Nam-Hyun Um

Introduction

In 2010, amidst the still-struggling US economy, NBA superstar LeBron James signed a 7-year, $93-million endorsement deal with Nike. Tiger Woods, before his scandal, was making millions of dollars endorsing Nike equipment, Titleist golf balls, Gillette razors, Gatorade sports drink, American Express card, Tag Heuer watch, and Buick. Kobe Bryant, who had never visited Turkey, signed a 2-year endorsement deal with Turkish Airlines to help promote its business in the United States and beyond in 2009. Just a year earlier, he agreed to a blog deal with sina.com, a Chinese web company, to ride the wave of his popularity in China. The 83rd Annual Academy Awards in 2011 saw a 500% increase over its 2010 show in ads with celebrity endorsement. A similar upward trend was also observed for the 2011 Grammy Award show where the Black Eyed Peas can be seen endorsing Target and Eric Clapton tried to persuade us to switch to T-Mobile. Meanwhile, a multi-year endorsement deal touts Lady Gaga as the “creative director” for a new line of Polaroid imaging products in an effort to avert the company’s downward performance. It seems that regardless of the economy, scandals, or geographic boundaries, celebrity endorsement is a partnership that companies are eager to embrace.

Celebrity endorsement has long been a staple in advertising practice. As a form of persuasive communication, celebrity endorsement has been ...

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