Celebrity endorsement: To celeb or not to celeb?

Hamish Pringle

Misbehaving or over-exposed celebrities and public cynicism can make celebrity endorsement a costly mistake. But get the brand fit and the back story right and it can be a powerful communication.

The use of celebrities in advertising does not guarantee success, but can do so when the technique is used properly. Millward Brown data reveals that celebrity-based commercials are no more or less likely to be successful than any other executional type. While celebrity ads are considered more 'impactful', they are also perceived to be a little less 'persuasive'. So, on this basis, using a star is not always the answer.

To celeb or not to celeb?' that is the question. It's a 'yes' if you have a powerful brand communications idea, based on a clever strategic insight, and a great fit with a star who resonates with the target audience. It's a 'no' if there's a mere association, borrowed interest, or loose link with a famous person.