Justin Bieber wants YOU to adopt an animal.

We all know that celebrities play a huge role in the commercial and marketing industry. We have all seen the Proactiv commercials featuring a long list of celebrities that struggle with acne or a commercial like the one featured in yesterday’s post with Pauly D. In fact, according to the International Journal of Advertising about 25% of all US advertisements use celebrity endorsements and whether we want to admit it or not (ahem…third person media effect), what celebrities do or buy does have an effect on us. But that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. What about when a celeb uses their influence and power for the greater good? When they help draw attention to a social problem?

Oprah Winfrey is probably one of the most famous philanthropic celebrities of our time. She has used her show to shed light on many social issues and world issues as well raise millions of dollars for charities across the globe. Her influence is so high that economists at the University of Maryland stated that when she publicly endorsed Obama in the 2008 election, she may have brought in up to one million votes with her. That’s a lot of power. Other celebrities have also started to take a public stance on social issues in order to gain public interest. Jennifer Aniston along with many  other celebrities do commercials for St. Jude’s or in support of animal adoption.  Or as seen in the picture, Justin Bieber has joined with PETA in an effort to get people to adopt animals from their local shelters. The list could go on and on.

So there’s some food for thought. Although we usually discuss celebrity endorsements with an air of negativity, we should also look at how they help organizations and causes that we, as the general public, might not have noticed without them.

-Alaethea Hensley, Jessica Kingman, & Lauren Phelps

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14 thoughts on “Justin Bieber wants YOU to adopt an animal.

  1. I actually really like this post a lot because I’ve always had the same opinion. There are countless products out there being pushed by celebrities. I don’t know about anyone else, but when it comes to some things, I can’t help but think “wow, this is a terrible product that no one would normally buy, but because a popular or favorable celebrity is backing it, it will sell.” I think a lot of people like to focus on the negative aspects of celebrity backings because it is so superficial and materialistic. But like this post points out, no one really ever says anything about the positive influence celebs can have. I know I’ve noticed that really only in the last few years (since Twitter became popular) that celebrities have been using their fame for great causes and not just for selling a stupid product. Oprah is a great example because of how hugely famous she is, but even celebrities on the smaller scale like Ian Somerhalder or Sophia Bush are getting their message out there now. Personally, I think celebrities can do a lot of stupid stuff and use their fame for some pretty immoral things, but using it for something greater in life is probably the best thing they can do with their fame.

  2. I think the media likes to accentuate the negative and seldom focuses on the positive. That being said, it’s a nice change to see and hear about celebrities doing things to benefit society. The fact of the matter is that these celebrities donate money to charity on a regular basis, but it’s rare that they go out of their way to be the face of a campaign. In Justin Bieber’s case, I think it’s great that he is encouraging people to help dogs at shelters. In Oprah Winfrey’s case, I wish people could think for themselves and not be swayed to vote for Barack Obama just because Oprah supports him. Even so, Oprah is rolling in money, and it’s great to see her donate a portion of her fortune to benefit society. In a world that likes to eat up the celebrity gossip and bad things in the world, we need more positive stories to help us stay optimistic and influence others to do nice deeds.

  3. I think that we have saturated the market with celebrities to the point where is is not believable any more. Now instead of cheesy ads where a celebrity can merely say “I love this product” we have gotten to the point where we have to find a way to grab the viewer’s attention through guilt (animal cruelty commercial above) or humor. I like how the old spice commercials have made a mockery of traditional ads. They will have a guy come on there with 14 abs and beautiful women and gold coins all around them as if to sarcastically hint that old spice will get you these things. Twitter has also revolutionized advertising because it is like the consumers believe that it is coming from the heart of the celebrity if they are tweeting it. I have unfollowed several celebrities because they flood my newsfeed with cheesy spam-like ads that i know are being regurgitated from the pr department of whatever organization they are speaking of

  4. I believe celebrity endorsements play a large role in gaining consumer attention for products. Although I currently have not found my self swayed by a celebrity endorsement I can remember having my attention caught by several as a child before I could accurately interpret and analyze the information being presented to me. I agree with the statements made about Oprah supporting Obama and gaining votes for his party. Although I don’t morally agree with using Justin Bieber as the face for the PETA advertisement I think it is an intelligent approach to get kids to tell their parents they want to adopt a pet because Justin Bieber says you should because they “can make you smile.” Even though this ad disgusts me, I think the ad will accomplish the results desired by PETA. I believe the Sarah McLachlan advertisement has also achieved similar results by showing images of abused and neglected pets accompanied by an emotional musical track of McLachlan’s. I don’t like this commercial though, because I believe that in a way it makes you feel guilty if you don’t adopt an abused or neglected animal. I think most celebrity endorsements are successful when carefully coordinated and applied to the right audience. I think in some cases celebrities help get information out about products or services that would not otherwise be noticed by consumers. I do personally believe there should be some moral obligation on the decision making process of these advertisements.

  5. I actually like when celebrities use their power for the greater good. It’s a refreshing change to see them support good charities instead of a brand new lipstick by Covergirl. It shows that they really care about something and want to use their money for good. I think using celebrites definently helps increase sales, or adoptions in this case. It shows that celebrities can be just like you and want to adopt pets too. On the other hand, with Justin Beiber leading the PETA pack and telling you to adopt an animal, a lot of his followers will now want to. Also, a lot of his followers are tweens or little kids who are going to go up to their parents and beg them to adopt a new kitten or puppy. Overall, though, its definently a good thing that celebrities, along with advertising, can use their “celebrity” for the greater good.

  6. The role that celebrities play in our society is a pivotal one. They provide us with a figure to look up to and goals that we wish to reach. They are scrutinized for their mistakes and worshiped for their achievements. I hate Sarah McLachlan’s campaign. Those commercials are so blatantly manipulative. However, they are not asking the viewer to go volunteer or adopt a pet, the are asking for money. The motives behind that commercial don’t seem to be very honorable. However, in most cases I prefer to see celebrities using the products I buy. They make me feel secure in my purchases and feel like I’m not so different from that super star.

  7. I agree that celebrities play a huge role in the commercial and marketing industry. Celebrities have the ability to sway and influence their audience with more grace than the ordinary Joe next door. As mentioned in the bog we normally discuss celebrity endorsements in a negative tone. However, I gain more respect for Jennifer Aniston, Sarah McLachlan, and now Justin Bieber when they show their support for issues that matter and use their power of influence for the greater good. Not only can it help raise awareness about the specific problem, but also supports their personal brand. Therefore, instead of only branding themselves and their own products to increase profit (ahem…Kardashians), celebrities should use their power for a greater good, which many do.

  8. Celebrities have the power to market anything they personally want to, but I appreciate how some choose to market organizations that do things for the greater good. Justin Bieber is an icon to many, and this ad probably could convince many young girls to adopt animals, or at least constantly badger their parents into doing so because “Justin Bieber said so!!” The other celebrities mentioned have done great work for the organizations they are associated with. I personally can not watch the Sarah McLachlan commercials because they had such a strong emotional impact on me, but I know that is exactly what the organization was trying to do. Through celebrity endorsement and use of the appeals, these organizations know exactly how to touch the right people.

  9. The problem with celebrity endorsement is that we as consumers forget that these “celebrities” are regular people that we have promoted to a higher status. If you sing and you’re good, great, you probably deserve some recognition for your musical talent. Should you be telling me which shampoo to buy? Probably not. As celebrities become more popular, they become less recognized as people and more recognized as fiction characters. I may as well have Mickey Mouse or Batman telling me what to do (and they do, by the way). Justin Beiber probably doesn’t stand for everything that Peta does. Does he care? Probably not. Do the millions of preteen girls in the nation care about what Peta believes? No, and why should they? Justin Beiber is telling them to get a puppy. Case closed.

  10. I completely agree with this post. I think a lot of companies find it strategic and beneficial to use celebrities to endorse products or campaigns. I know in particular I can name over five different celebrity spokesmen for proactiv. It’s all ways to make more revenue and it’s a great way to sucker in customers. I think for the most part celebrators are a great way to advertise a product or idea.

  11. Interestingly, many of us don’t want to admit the truth to this blog. I myself found myself doubting the image of Justin Beiber on the front of the Peta advertisement the moment I looked at this post. But the truth of the matter is that media is the center of American society, and A-listers have major influences on us as a whole. A simple example would be Oprah’s lists of favorite things. People are influenced to purchase, read, and involve themselves with items just because she labels it as one of her favorites. Because Oprah believes in it, it is enough incentive for the masses to believe in it as well. People buy labels just because a celebrities name is stamped on it, for example the Kardashian Collection at Kohl’s. Yes, some may find the fashion appealing, but the name related to the clothes increases sales and interest.

  12. I never really viewed celebrity contributions to products as a bad thing. I mean, I knew that they were definitely benefiting the organization or product, but I guess I always figured that most people did. On the other hand, I never quite realized how their participation could be seen as a good thing. Your blog makes a good point when bringing to light how some celebrities have the power to make great change, aka Oprah. I mean, I think it is extremely smart by the organizations to bring in widely known figures to endorse their products, especially if the cause is positive, such as St. Jude’s and the ASPCA commercials. Celebrities are going to be influential in many ways, so why not use them to promote good?

  13. I really agree with what Nicole and Holly said even though both are a tad different. Celebrities really do use their power, whether for good or for bad. I think its silly when I see the proactive commercials because obviously they don’t use acne treatments for 20$ they probably get quicker faster medication prescribed by a dermatologist for a higher price because its more efficient and works better with their time. However Justin Bieber is a toss up. He is a teenage heartthrob for the ages. Girls from 3- college students want him! His image and advertising is dangerous because he can influence just about anything with his name on it.

  14. The fact that celebrity endorsements exist within one fourth of our country’s advertisements is new information to me. However, that number is surprisingly low in my opinion. I cannot recall seeing many recent advertisements at all that have not been endorsed by a popular figure in one way or another. I also understand your premise that these endorsements do not have to be a negative thing. However, I do think that the statement is giving some celebrities too much credit. It depends on his or her intention. Some stars like Angelina Jolie could have charity work as one of their hobbies. Others on the other hand, could be using affiliation with non-profits as a tool to improve their ethos. The more selfless acts that are publicized, the more admiration they receive from the public eye. In my opinion, the benefits of celebrity endorsements are dependent on each individual situation.

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