The use of celebrities or famous people by corporate bodies as corporate brand ambassadors has become a strong marketing tool in Ghana’s showbiz industry for some years now; with telecommunication network operators taking the lead.
As a journalist with a svelte marketing background, I’ve analyzed the concept of corporate brand ambassadorial concept critically and have come to conclusion that the concept is actually targeted mostly at the downtrodden, illiterates and semi-literates.
Without any prejudice against illiterates and semi-literates, I must state forthright that such people don’t do critical analysis, assessments, evaluations and appraisal before identifying with or patronizing the products/services of corporate bodies. Just a hand few of them are hypercritical.
For instance, the fact that a telecommunication company packs many celebrities on its billboards or features them in its well shot commercials does not mean the well educated will patronize its services. Such billboards will hardly lure the educated thinker into subscribing a Telco’s network.
The educated will subscribe to the services of a Telco by comparing the call rate per minute, the quickness with which the fellow’s recipient receives text, easiness in reaching help lines for assistance, discount services, etc. The educated will analyze all the above before subscribing to a network, but the illiterate is most likely to let it pass.
Taking products for instance – fruit juices, biscuits, drinks, books, computers, bags, etc. the educated will look out for standardization of the product with respect to: quality, color, size, taste, texture, and the general package – branding of the product before buying.
The educated who can read between the lines does not care even if the President of America or the most famous person in this world is used to endorse a product, because, the former’s image does not determine the sweetness or bitterness or quality of a product.
If your product or service is bad, branding it with Jesus Christ will never make it better. You would rather delude the public and end up incurring their wrath for selling a total sham disguised with a Holy character.
Most illiterates or semi-literates think or believe once a highly heralded or respected celebrity is used to market or brand something, then that thing is more credible and is of paramount quality. Due to that, they exercise patronage. That is precisely the psychology in the corporate brand ambassadorial concept, but, it does not work on the literates or educated.
I’m of a strong conviction that the corporate brand ambassadorial concept in Ghana will not stay long at all, because, some of the corporate bodies who lure the innocent illiterates with celebrities or stars have poor products and services; the Telcos to be precise. Their products and services are indeed bad!
Those corporate bodies who don’t use or employ corporate brand ambassador concept as a marketing tool, even deliver better products and services than those who do. No wonder the Akans say “Adepa na 3ton ne ho” – literary meaning, “a quality thing sells itself without much advertisement.”
With the high pace at which the average Ghanaian is becoming enlightened, very soon, they will regard this brand endorsement thing as a mere decoy. That will be when the brand ambassador concept will die off or decline drastically.
The corporate bodies can do themselves a lot of good if they rather pump more monies into improving their products and services rather of investing colossal sums of monies into paying celebrities or stars in the name of corporate brand endorsement.
Using a celebrity to brand a product is far different from it (quality) being of high quality. The earlier corporate bodies recognize this, the better it will be for them. Nonetheless, I still maintain that, corporate brand ambassadorial concept is meant for illiterates or semi-literates.
Do you agree with me? Well, if you happen to be a corporate marketing savvy reading this piece and do not agree with me, please feel free and let’s share in a sound intellectual discourse. Until then…..MOTWUM!!