Pop star and actress, Selena Gomez, signed a contract with Coach to design her own line and become the face of the brand. She has a very large fan base and is the most followed account on Instagram with 129 million followers. Coach has seen a spike in sales and social media interaction. Whenever Selena posts a photo of her with a Coach bag, the brand’s social media pages have shown a dramatic increase in activity. An analysis by assessment management firm Piper Jaffray, reported that since partnering with Selena, Coach has seen an increase of roughly fifty percent in followers. Her promotion of the products has helped increase sales; on the same day Coach and Selena launched their fall collaboration collection, the brand’s stock rose by 2%. It is a marketing tactic to have celebrities promote products in order to influence the consumer’s mind about it. The goal is to convince consumers that the merchandise is worth buying. This is persuasion, the process by which a message induces change in beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors.
Celebrity endorsements and promoting products on their social media page is a peripheral route to persuasion. This occurs when people are influenced by incidental cues like a speaker’s attractiveness. The audience/consumer was able to focus on the very famous pop star/actress who has a huge following on social media which triggered automatic acceptance without much thinking involved. Associating a product with celebrities and their fame and attractiveness allows these visual images to become peripheral cues. Peripheral route processing builds implicit attitudes, through repeated associations between an attitude object and emotion. This means that people unconsciously formed attitudes through the repeated connection between their
feelings and judgement of Selena Gomez in the ad. This is different from central route to persuasion where the audience focuses on the content of the message. If the ad or photo had facts about the kind of material used for the Coach bag and said the quality was the best, then the audience can be convinced by the arguments presented and not by peripheral cues.
Credibility of the speaker in an advertisement is important in the persuasion of the consumer. Selena Gomez has the perceived trustworthiness and expertise necessary to make her promotion of the merchandise believable. A lot of times celebrities get caught up in scandals like inappropriate behavior and drug abuse. Selena Gomez has never been involved with any kind of scandals and is seen as a person with a good reputation. She’s worked with many charities and foundations and rose to fame due to her starring role in a popular kid’s television show. Gomez is very involved in the fashion world so she has lots of experience with clothing brands. It makes sense why there are so many athlete endorsement deals. There’s more credibility if an Olympic gold medalist were to be in a sneaker advertisement than if it were just any ordinary person. A credible person makes consumers believe that they can trust the speaker because they are experts in what they are promoting. So, next time you see an ad, ask yourself did you really like that product or did you like who was promoting it?
Velasco, P. (2017, October 09). Did Selena Gomez Boost Coach’s Insta-Popularity? Retrieved November 06, 2017, from http://people.com/chica/selena-gomez-boosts-coach-instagram-success/
– Hilary Concepcion