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What Is the Effect of Celebrity Endorsements in Advertising?

By Alex Terris
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are a number of reasons why celebrity endorsements in advertising are so common. A celebrity endorsement can help build trust with current and potential customers, increase the chances of the brand being remembered, and attract a new type of audience. Endorsements also may increase the consumer's desire for a product. This is often achieved by implying that the particular celebrity is successful, talented, or attractive at least partly because of the product.

Endorsements are a common tool among manufacturers of retail products. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the most important is credibility and trust. Many people hold certain celebrities in high regard, so an endorsement of a product instantly increases the amount of trust the consumer has in the brand. This can sometimes work against the brand, however, if the celebrity starts to receive negative press.

Another important reason why celebrity endorsements are so common in advertising is brand recall. There are a huge number of products being marketed to consumers all the time, so it’s essential for a brand to find a way to stand out in the crowd and be remembered. If a customer sees an advertisement involving his or her favorite celebrity endorsing a particular product, then his or her chances of remembering that product are greatly increased.

Celebrity endorsements also are useful for attracting new customers to a brand that otherwise may not have held any interest for the consumer. If, for example, a product has traditionally been marketed to elderly people, then people in other age brackets may be reluctant to try it. A brand can try to rectify this problem by using a celebrity who is associated with a particular age group or demographic.

Many people idolize certain celebrities for their sporting achievements, appearance, or other talents. Advertisers often use this to sell products that claim to have a particular effect. Skin care products, for example, are commonly endorsed by an attractive celebrity with seemingly perfect skin.

There are a variety of other effects of celebrity endorsements in advertising. A brand that gains a high-profile celebrity's endorsement may, for example, receive greater media coverage than if it had run a standard advertising campaign. A celebrity endorsement also can help to bring an older product, perhaps with consistently decreasing sales, into the modern day. Endorsements don’t always have a positive effect, however, which is why it’s essential to choose a celebrity who is likely to have the desired effect on the product’s target audience.

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Discussion Comments
By StarJo — On Apr 22, 2012

@wavy58 – I believe that women long for products that will have these sorts of results, and companies that use celebrity endorsements are feeding into that desire. My big weakness has always been hair ads, because my hair is thin and fragile.

Hair product ads use the celebrities with the best, shiniest, thickest hair imaginable. They always say that this shampoo or conditioner added so much volume and strength to their locks, and it made it so much shinier.

Always hoping it is true, I try these new hair products all the time. I don't suddenly develop a head of hair that rivals that of a celebrity, but sometimes, I do get good results. I think that I am just feeding my need to achieve unrealistic beauty.

By wavy58 — On Apr 21, 2012

For cosmetics companies, nothing works better than getting a gorgeous celebrity to endorse your product. Many anti-aging product ads feature famous models or actresses who are in their forties, and their skin looks to be twenty years old. This is great advertisement, because it appeals to so many women.

Also, getting a celebrity with flawless skin to appear in an ad for foundation is a great plan. The company claims that its foundation covers age spots or uneven skin tone, when what the public is actually seeing is someone with perfect skin that needs no correcting wearing the product, so of course, it looks amazing.

By cloudel — On Apr 21, 2012

I would think that a celebrity would need to be careful when choosing which products to endorse. If something bad happened to several people because they used the product, then the celebrity's reputation could also be tarnished.

Certain ingredients in cosmetics or medications are frequently found to have bad effects on people. If health conditions are caused by these products, then the celebrities endorsing them could take some of the blame.

I think that if I were a celebrity, I would only endorse something that I had been using every day for years. That is the only way to be certain that it isn't harmful or defective.

By seag47 — On Apr 20, 2012

I can think of several incidences in which companies have pulled ads featuring celebrities because they suddenly exhibited bad behavior. The most extreme are cases where a celebrity has said something against a certain race or gender. No company wants their name associated with prejudice, and this will get a celebrity ad pulled faster than anything else.

There was also a case in which a celebrity endorsing a product beat his girlfriend. As soon as this news went public, the company canceled all ads featuring this guy. They couldn't afford to be associated with him, because they would undoubtedly lose business.

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