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Background to the Study

   Models or celebrities’ endorsement or celebrity branding is a form of an advertising campaign or marketing strategy used by brands, companies, or a non-profit organization which involves celebrities or a well-known person using their social status or their fame to help promote a product, service or even raise awareness on environmental or social matters. In this study model and celebrity will be used interchangeably as the two connote the same thing in this as far as this study is a concern.

            Marketers use popular models endorsers in hopes that the positive images of the celebrity endorser of the brand will also be passed on to the products or the brand image associated with the celebrities. Many companies and brands do this but most notable ones among them include but not limited to Genevieve Nnaji’s used by Etisalat,  Lux, Cintrion Energy drink, Range Rover Evogue, Etisalat, Polo and Amstel Malta,   P Square by Etisalat, Funke Akindele by Vita Foam,Globacom,,, Klin detergent, OMO, Wizkid by MTN, Pepsi, Guinness, Mr Ibu by Sports Betting company (MerryBet), GoTv. Also, Saka by Etisalat, MTN, Soulmate hair cream and many more (Olayinka, 2016).

            Celebrity branding is also known as celebrity endorsement, and is a form of publication by portraying a well recognized sports or entertainment celebrity to be a brand ambassador for a company or firm, and by using their social status to promote a service or product (Udo, Nwulu, & Stella, 2015).

            Marketers spend enormous amounts of money annually on celebrity endorsement contracts based on the belief that celebrities are effective spokespeople for their products or brands (Katyal, 2007). Celebrity Endorsement is viewed as a billion dollar industry in today’s era. Various companies are signing deals with celebrities in the hope that by using celebrities they can accomplish a unique and relevant position in the minds of the consumers. Celebrity endorsement is increasingly being employed across various industries regardless of the product type. It is known to be playing the role of a signaling strategy (Mustafa, 2005). Also According to Reynolds (2000), celebrity endorsement can give a brand a touch of glamour.

            Models are the use of well-known persons face helping promote a product or service often through radio, television, newspaper, magazine, billboard, digital platforms, online etc. It also involves celebrities appearances at events of Pepsi such as launching, get together. It may involve celebrity use of display the product in the public with the intention to boost sales volume and have a positive impact on the product.

            However, one of the brands that use models lots in its advertisement and other marketing means is Pepsi as a means of competing with other brands in the marketing. One of the many reasons for introducing celebrities in an advertisement by Pepsi include but not limited to the following:

Pepsi has coke as the main competitor in those days and even up to date
Pepsi is among the three most popular soft drink in Nigeria and many countries
Pepsi wants to generate more publicity
Pepsi wants to remind consumers more in a different way

            Thus, during the 1960s, Joanie Sommers sang two popular commercial songs (“It’s Pepsi, for those who think young” and “Now you see it, now you don’t, oh, Diet Pepsi”) for Pepsi-Cola that were run in commercials and for which she came to be often referred to as “The Pepsi Girl” in 1974 Joseph Nicoletti, then of Brooklyn N.Y. now music-film consultant, Laguna Beach, California, sung and produced the theme “You’re Drinking Diet Pepsi and it Shows.

Also, 1984, Michael Jackson endorsed Pepsi with the launching of an advert called “The New Generation” with the objective to make Pepsi look young and coke look old. Jackson continued to endorse Pepsi with a series of adverts over 9 years. In short, it was Michael Jackson who started the whole Pepsi-celebrity tradition. In 1983, he and the cola brand inked a $5 million advertising deal, which at the time was an advertising record. Michael Jackson was the undisputed King of Pop and at the time, the most recognizable face in the world. Pepsi leveraged this popularity for its “New Generation” rebranding campaign when they completely overhauled Pepsi’s old image and positioned itself as a hip, young alternative to stodgy, old-fashioned Coke. The campaign went down in the annals of advertising for a number of reasons: For many, it was the first time they had ever seen an ad with such high production value rivaling that of a top-budget Hollywood movie. Furthermore, Jackson was intimately involved in the choreography and entire look of the ad. Ever since then, several other models and celebrities had been used include by not limited to the followings:

Ray Charles’ 1990-1993 ads for Diet Pepsi in “You Got the Right One, Baby, Uh Huh,”   as “Uh Huh”.
Also, Kendall Jenner a reality television star and fashion model was a Pepsi 24-hour wonder in April, she starred in a new PepsiCo. (PEP) “Live for Moments Anthem”  ad campaign.
Beyonce Knowles: The artist formerly known as Destiny got $50 million for a multi-ad contract with Pepsi in 2012, which still ranks as one of the most lucrative celebrity endorsements of all time. In 2004, she appeared in a Superbowl Pepsi ad alongside    Britney Spears and Pink.
Britney Spears in 2001 “Joy of Pepsi” ads were provocative and showed her in the glory of her prime. They also hilariously featured former Senator Bob Dole, who plays himself viewing the ad on his TV and saying “Down boy,” ostensibly to his dog.

            In Nigeria, lots of celebrities especially sport and music pop stars have to endorse Pepsi at one time or the others while many have even featured in it  advertisement campaigns, the list includes but not limited to the following: Davido, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Tekno, Seyi Shey, DJ Spinall, DJ Xclusive, DJ Obi, and DJ Cuppy etc. it is against this background that the study examines the trends in the use of models in the Nigeria advertising industry particularly of Pepsi and how much influence it has on the buying and consumption habit of the audience.

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