The persuasive power of celebrity endorsement
How can you argue against a particular product when it is endorsed by someone you admire, trust and love? All things considered, it is hard not to like a toothpaste, a shampoo or a pair of shoes when that “someone” happens to be the celebrity you admire, and he or she is looking at you, and telling you to buy it. Celebrity endorsement is like a trusted friend telling us whatever new thing they’ve discovered and then urging us to go for it as well. And since we have no reason to doubt a trusted friend, or a celebrity for that matter, we take such suggestions or recommendations without even thinking about it. Of course, we realize that a celebrity endorsement isn’t a one-on-one proposition but a “one-to-many kind” of thing. A celebrity is therefore like a huge mirror that reflects back to us our own needs, wants and desires. That is the persuasive power of celebrity endorsement. This photograph of famous Filipino movie star Lorna Tolentino is an outtake from one of the many studio sessions I conducted with her. Through the years, I’ve photographed Lorna for a string of successful endorsements for a beauty treatment, a bakery chain, a bottled mineral water, a brand of cosmetics, and a fashion designer’s couture collection. In each pictorial, and working with a professional team composed of fashion designers, hair-and-makeup artists, fashion stylists, among others, I strive to create a particular look and transform her image to fit into the theme or the concept of the campaign. The image being projected for each endorsement is dependent on the nature and inherent characteristic of the product as well as the focus on a target market. This kind of photography is something that doesn’t happen. It is not something that is found. It is created.