Hire a popular celebrity spokesperson to promote or sell something, and teens will follow in droves, right? Not so fast. Many factors impact the relevance and positive impact a spokesperson has on perception and behavior, including credibility, relevance, appeal, trustworthiness and expertise. Marketers often make the mistake of connecting their brand to the latest celebrity trendsetter without ensuring that their spokesperson of choice naturally and seamlessly fits with the brand’s personality and objectives. This, combined with the mistake of ignoring a multitude of influential factors outside of paid endorsements, can lead to unfocused efforts and wasted marketing dollars. Truth
It’s true that celebrities can help build awareness of a product or brand at a rapid rate, but celebrity endorsements rarely affect the bottom line. A 2011 Harris Interactive Poll of teens 13-18 revealed that only 1-3% say that celebrity endorsements influence their purchase decisions. And once that initial spokesperson-fueled luster wears off, other factors such as product quality and price begin to play a vital role in converting awareness to preference and purchase. In fact, when teens are identifying their favorite brands, decision-makers such as price, recommendations from friends, advertising, a brand’s website and third-party online reviews all significantly trump celebrity endorsements. The bottom line: teens are savvy enough to rely upon multiple sources of information — and if they don’t like your product, it won’t sell.
Again, celebrities do serve the purpose of attracting significant attention to a new product launch or brand, but it’s critical to ensure the partnership is the right fit. When teens embrace a product endorsed by a celebrity, it’s because they relate to them, aspire to be them and/or see them as a credible and reliable source. Therefore, it’s important to tap celebrities that align with the target audience’s goals, aspirations, wants and needs....
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