Remember John Stamos and the Yogurt Commercial? Whose Yogurt Is It?

Quick.  Gorgeous man. Eating yogurt.

What do you think of?

If you didn't think of John Stamos, they're right.  A new study says we tend to remember products when the celebrities endorsing them are clearly associated with the item.

But if I'd said, Novak Djokovic and Wilson or Dunlop, chances are you'd remember the racquets.

The Web site reports that Katie Kelting, a marketing researcher at the University of Arkansas, found that when consumers are shown two ads featuring the same celebrity, they are more likely to forget information when the celebrity is endorsing a product that is only moderately associated with the celebrity’s fame. When a product is either a really good -- or really bad -- fit with the reason for the celebrity’s fame, consumers are more likely to remember the information.

But what happens when there is a low fit or match, such as LeBron James starring in a fast-food commercial? James is one of the world’s premier athletes. This would be a low match because of the perception that one does not reach peak physical condition by eating frequently at McDonald’s, newswise notes.

“The same thing happens with high and low matches,” the Web site quotes Kelting, assistant professor of marketing in the Sam M. Walton College of Business. “A low match is just weird enough for people to remember. It may not make sense to them, and they may not feel particularly good about it, but they will remember it, more so than LeBron James endorsing an insurance company.”

Kelting said this experiment demonstrates how brands in a celebrity’s “endorsement portfolio” compete with each other when consumers use the celebrity as a retrieval cue for information contained in an ad at "Brands that have either a high or low match, based on the celebrity’s expertise or reason for being famous, win the battle of retrieval and actually inhibit consumers’ ability to accurately recall information in ads that were only a moderate match with the celebrity," she tells the Web site.

The importance of the findings is that most studies examining celebrity advertising have focused on consumer attitudes to gauge effectiveness, Kelting said. But attitude and memory do not always predict effectiveness the same way. For example, the Energizer bunny – one of the most famous ad campaigns – initially backfired because the consumers could not remember which brand the campaign was tied to. When Energizer batteries introduced the campaign, consumers responded favorably, but when asked later what brand it represented, they said Duracell, because, at that time, Duracell dominated the battery market. But it was an easy fix.  Energizer placed the bunny on its packaging.

I don't know about you but I don't remember the brand of yogurt Stamos was endorsing, so I guess the commercial failed. But I still like looking at his cute face.  


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