Are celebrities useless?

The debate about using celebrities as a brand/product/service spokesperson has been with us for a long time. A recent Advertising Age article looks at some new research … conducted by the authors. Their research suggests that the use of celebrities is not valuable much of the time … the Tiger Woods debacle being an extreme example. (The fact they replaced Tiger with a surfing elephant may suggest something.)

I noted the following from the article, which supports my Super Bowl ad review philosophy, “Just because an ad is incredibly popular, funny and/or viral, that doesn’t mean that it is effective with consumers. The same rule goes for celebrities. Just because a celebrity is incredibly popular and achieves fabulous box-office returns and critical accolades does not mean they will provide a similar boon to brands in advertising.”

However, in reading the article I suggest you consider this: Is it the celebrity usage that is ineffective or how the celebrity is being used? I doubt Tiger Woods caused new clients to select (or even consider) Accenture. However, access to Tiger Woods for their best clients may have been all Accenture was really buying anyway.

What results are you looking for? That is the way to evaluate outcomes, celebrity sponsored or otherwise.


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