Celebrity spokespeople such as Lance Armstrong can lose their hero status. Advertisers such as Nike then race to drop them. However, that does not mean that the marketing mix will no longer include a celebrity presence.
Sure, there is a risk that the sports icon or film star will become involved in a scandal. However, their instant ability to draw attention to a brand, product, service, or cause is too powerful to overlook.
It was artist Andy Warhol who connected the dots. Warhol saw that society had come to frame experience in terms of familiar images such as Jackie Kennedy. Marketers took it from there. They recognized that even hinting at one of those familiar images in their promotions would get the right kinds of attention.
No, celebrity spokespeople are not going away. Instead marketers likely will construct campaigns in which there are also other props such as fictional characters, contests, special events, and partnerships. That “hedges” their promotional investments in case the celebrity falls from grace.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you for a complimentary consultation for Marketing, Partnerships, Public Relations, Special Events, and Social Media firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.