Celebrities Failing to Drive Product
By Tom Ryan
A new survey by AdWeekMedia found
that fewer than one in ten respondents claimed that their purchases were
swayed by celebrity endorsements of products.
When respondents in the survey were asked whether
the presence of a celebrity in an ad makes them more or less likely to buy
the product, nearly 8 in 10 (78 percent) said it doesn’t influence them one
way or the other, according to an article in AdWeek. Only eight percent
said the presence of a celebrity spokesperson makes them more likely to buy
a product. This compares with a 12 percent who actually say it makes them
less likely to buy a product.
Among the findings by demographic group:
- Older respondents were more likely to reject
celebrities as endorsers. Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of those ages
55+ say seeing a celeb in an ad makes them less likely to buy a product,
vs. just 4 percent saying it makes them more likely to buy.
- Men (15 percent) are slightly more likely
than women (11) to say a celeb deters them from buying a product.
- Among “business owners,” 20 percent said
the presence of celebs in ads makes them less likely to buy. That compares
with 11 percent of people with jobs in the “management” category.
- Among those respondents with “creative” jobs,
19 percent said a celeb in an ad makes them less likely to buy. This compares
with eight percent saying it makes them more likely.
Questioning whether the respondents were actually
being truthful, the AdWeek article
noted that many respondents were skeptical of their answers in comments posted
along with their votes. One respondent said, “Most of us would rather die
than admit to being ‘swayed by glamour’ in a purchase decision.” Another
commented, “We know that our subconscious will automatically add a bit of
credibility if a celeb is in an ad (whether we believe this on a conscious
level or not).”
The survey was conducted online in July among
a sample of 4,778 LinkedIn users.
On August 21, AdWeek released a list
of the top-ten celebrity endorsement deals:
1. Catherine Zeta-Jones, T-Mobile: $20 million
2. Angelina Jolie, St. John: $12+ million
3. Nicole Kidman, Chanel No. 5: $12 million
4. Jessica Simpson, Guthy-Renker: $7.5 million
5. Gwyneth Paltrow, Estèe Lauder: $6+ million
6. Charlize Theron, Dior: $6 million
7. Julia Roberts, Gianfranco Ferrè: $5 million
8. Brad Pitt, Heineken: $4 million
9. Scarlett Johansson, L’Oreal: $4 million
10. Penelope Cruz, L’Oreal: $4 million
Is Madison Avenue overestimating the power of celebrities to support
product or is this another case of survey respondents saying one thing
and doing another? Can you name any categories where celebrity endorsements
are probably wasteful spending?
- Most Claim to Be Unswayed by Celebrities
in Ads – AdWeek
- Full Poll Results (Requires a LinkedIn account)