Is it always beneficial for a brand to use celebrities in advertising?

May 22, 2013

Many people might think that using celebrities in advertising can help boost their sales and promote their brand name. The truth is that this does not always happen. In fact, studies show that over the course of last year, time and time again we observed incredibly low effectiveness scores of TV ads starring celebrities. After a study conducted in 2010 the results showed that fewer than 12% of ads using celebrities exceeded a 10% lift, and one-fifth of celebrity ads had a negative impact on advertising effectiveness.

From Tiger Woods to Donald Trump, we found that with rare exception, celebrity endorsements were largely ineffective and failed to produce the benefits that the brand was promised. It has been shown that in today’s world, people’s perspective on what they would like to follow, or look up upon as their “idol” is not the same as what it was 5 years ago.
There are suggestions stating that today’s consumer is more likely to be influenced by someone in their social network, than a celebrity that is rarely relevant to them. Today’s consumer is informed, time-compressed, and difficult to impress, and they are only influenced by ads that they are able to see some similarities with their own life style.

One huge mistake that big brands are making when endorsing celebrities or athletes, is when they focus more on their own personal problem, than the actual message the brands supposed to communicate the audience. In 2010 Tiger Woods sponsors chose to address his “mistakes” in their ads rather than the products that he was supposed to be selling.
After the whole situation he had gone through with his wife, his actual message caused more of a “confusion” on the product being sold than the product the celebrity was endorsing.

The Same situation happened with Lance Armstrong with the “No Emoticons” ad for Radio Shack which was another example of this. The ad never actually mentions “Radio Shack” by name, and people’s responses were that they did not know what the TV ad was trying to sell until the Radio Shack sign came up at the end.
Celebrities and athletes on TV ads, radio spots or magazines can be beneficial when representing a brand. Times are changing, and the messages that had a strong influence before might not be as strong anymore, due to technology or the ways we are communicating across the globe.

By: Camilo Calderon