On one of my past blogs, a fellow blogger asked me, "What are your views are on using celebrities for building brand recognition; do you think it's played an effective role in getting even more of a consumer base?"
While I personally believe that celebrities are great "tools" for building brand recognition, celebrities can also direct certain audiences against a brand. One of my favorite celebrities today is Ellen Degeneres. To me, Ellen is a sincerely generous, kind and downright likable human being. She recently became the new spokesperson for JC Penney. However, because of her sexual orientation, a conservative group called One Million Moms is bashing the department store for choosing Degeneres as the face of the brand. Despite your own personal opinion on this subject, we have to remember there are various diverse target audiences in this world with different views and morals. Perhaps having Degeneres as the new spokesperson will cause JC Penney to lose some groups of customers; on the other hand, perhaps JC Penney will gain a new group of customers.
It all comes down to company morals. According to Us Weekly, JC Penney's CEO Ron Johnson stated "Our company was founded 110 years ago on The Golden Rule, which is about treating people fair and square, just like you would like to be treated yourself. And we think Ellen represents the values of our company and the values that we share."
Here is a clip of Degeneres addressing the issue on her show: