For the use of a term testimonial in sport is sometimes used (especially football) see testimonial match
Testimonial match
A testimonial match or testimonial game, often referred to simply as a testimonial, is a practice in some sports, notably football and especially in the United Kingdom, where a club puts on a match in honour of a player for service to the club....


In promotion
Promotion (marketing)
Promotion is one of the four elements of marketing mix . It is the communication link between sellers and buyers for the purpose of influencing, informing, or persuading a potential buyer's purchasing decision....

 and of advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

, a testimonial or show consists of a written or spoken statement, sometimes from a person figure, sometimes from a private citizen, extolling the virtue of some product
Product (business)
In general, the product is defined as a "thing produced by labor or effort" or the "result of an act or a process", and stems from the verb produce, from the Latin prōdūce ' lead or bring forth'. Since 1575, the word "product" has referred to anything produced...

. The term "testimonial
Celebrity branding
Celebrity branding is a type of branding, or advertising, in which a celebrity uses his or her status in society to promote a product, service or charity...

" most commonly applies to the sales-pitch
Sales pitch
In selling technique, a sales pitch is a line of talk that attempts to persuade someone or something, with a planned sales presentation strategy of a product or service designed to initiate and close a sale of the product or service....

es attributed to ordinary citizens, whereas "endorsement" usually applies to pitches by celebrities
A celebrity, also referred to as a celeb in popular culture, is a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media...

. See also Testify, Testimony
In law and in religion, testimony is a solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter. All testimonies should be well thought out and truthful. It was the custom in Ancient Rome for the men to place their right hand on a Bible when taking an oath...

, for historical context and etymology. Testimonials can be part of communal marketing
Communal marketing
Communal marketing refers to a marketing practice that incorporates public involvement in the development of an advertising/marketing campaign. A "communal advertising" campaign invites consumers to share their ideas or express their articulation of what the brand means to them through their own...


Measuring the use of celebrities in marketing programs

Advertisers have attempted to quantify and qualify the use of celebrities in their marketing
Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments...

 campaigns by evaluating their awareness, appeal, and relevance to a brand's image and the celebrity's influence on consumer
Consumer is a broad label for any individuals or households that use goods generated within the economy. The concept of a consumer occurs in different contexts, so that the usage and significance of the term may vary.-Economics and marketing:...

 buying behavior.

For example, Omnicom agency Davie Brown Entertainment has created an independent index for brand marketers and advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 agencies that determines a celebrity’s ability to influence brand affinity and consumer purchase intent. According to the Wall Street Journal, the so-called " Davie-Brown Index
Davie-Brown Index (DBI)
The Davie Brown Index is an independent index for brand marketers and agencies that quantifies consumer perceptions of more than 2,900 celebrities, including TV and film stars, musical artists, reality TV stars, news personalities, politicians, athletes, and business leaders.Developed by the...

" will "enable advertisers and ad-agency personnel to determine if a particular public figure will motivate consumers who see them in an ad to purchase the product advertised."

Celebrity endorsements have proven very successful in China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 where, due to increasing consumerism, it is considered a status symbol to purchase an endorsed product. On August 1, 2007 laws were passed banning healthcare professionals and public figures such as movie stars or pop singers from appearing in advertisements for drugs
A pharmaceutical drug, also referred to as medicine, medication or medicament, can be loosely defined as any chemical substance intended for use in the medical diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease.- Classification :...

 or nutritional supplements
Dietary supplement
A dietary supplement, also known as food supplement or nutritional supplement, is a preparation intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, that may be missing or may not be consumed in sufficient quantities in a person's diet...

. A spokesperson stated: "A celebrity appearing in drug advertising is more likely to mislead consumers, therefore, the state must consider controlling medical advertisements and strengthen the management of national celebrities appearing in medical advertisements."

Non-Celebrity Testimonials

Testimonials from customers who are not famous have been effectively used in marketing for as long as marketing has existed. A past or current customer will present a formal "word of mouth" testimonial that a business can use in marketing and to build trust with future customers. Though testimonials are incredibly effective when believed true, a challenge lays in having the audience believe that testimonials presented by a business are given by real people, and not fabricated by the business itself. Even so, testimonials, reviews, and case studies are still considered by most marketing experts to be the most effective means of marketing and gaining brand trust by small- and medium-sized businesses.

The Legality of Testimonials

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in fact found that in US businesses an alarming number of testimonials were in fact fictitious and misleading that in Dec of 2009 they introduced a new set of rules governing testimonials. (They have set up an FAQ about this on their website here.) In essence it is now illegal to use testimonials that "...mislead consumers and affect consumers' behavior or decisions about the product or service." However, despite new regulations, online consumers often view testimonials with a high degree of skepticism. Companies from the private sector have begun to offer testimonial verification services to help consumers verify the authenticity of displayed testimonials.
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