Yet Another Study Claims Celebrity Endorsements Are A Waste of Money
In the Things We Already Knew But Will Never Change department, another study has concluded that - shocker! - celebrity endorsements don't help sell product and are a waste of money. Alloy Media + Marketing said this back in 2006 and AdWeek concluded the same in a poll conducted just last Fall.
The Ace Metrix study found fewer that 12 percent of ads that incorporated celebrities exceeded a ten percent lift and one fifth had a negative impact. Reaction to the study among those in the industry is mixed. Some claim celebrities have never been good at selling a product. Others claim bad ads are just that: bad ads. And there are plenty of celebrity-fueled bad ads. And lets' not overlook the not unimportant fact the study only examined television ads. Oh and the fact, given the opportunity, any creative given the choice of using a celebrity or not is always going to opt to use one. After all, who doesn't want that in their book? No matter what brand they have to force feed the celebrity into.
And one commenter trashed the general methodology of the study, writing, "However, speaking of bad procedure, the methodology of this study (and yes, I have read the entire white paper, not just the article) is completely laughable. One of the first things you learn when you study consumer behavior and marketing research is that consumers are atrociously bad predictors of their own future behavior. So asking someone how they 'feel' about an ad or whether it will influence their decisions to purchase something later is roughly like asking the rat if the experiment is working. Totally useless, and no reflection on the effectiveness of the work. The idea of 'lift' in this context is nonsense, and not a measure of any kind of effectiveness."
The real problem here is that most celebrity-based ads are just bad. And bad ads never work no matter how much star power you throw at them.