Persuasive (or Not) as Celebrity Endorsers

With the Federal Trade Commission having recently tightened its rules on the veracity of celebrity endorsements in ads (and elsewhere), marketers will be paying closer attention to ensuring that such ads are truthful. But truthfulness is no guarantee of persuasiveness, and an AdweekMedia/Harris Poll finds wide variations in the likelihood viewers will find different kinds of celebs convincing in the role of endorser.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Respondents were asked to say which of five types of celebrities they find "most persuasive" and which they find "least persuasive" as endorsers of products in ads. Business leaders had the highest "most persuasive" vote (37 percent), followed by athletes (21 percent), TV/movie stars (18 percent), singers/musicians (14 percent) and former political figures (10 percent). The former politicians were in a class by themselves when it came to the "least persuasive" vote, getting 39 percent of it. TV/movie stars were the runners-up for this dubious honor (23 percent), followed by business leaders (14 percent), athletes (13 percent) and singers/musicians (11 percent).<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> The "most persuasive" tally for business leaders was vastly higher among the poll's 55-and-older cohort (46 percent) than it was among the 18-34-year-olds (28 percent). Athletes won their best score among the 18-34s, getting 24 percent of that age group's "most persuasive" vote and 12 percent of its "least persuasive" mentions.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> The poll's 35-44-year-olds were most likely to deem former political figures the least persuasive as endorsers in ads (45 percent), though that opinion was shared by pluralities of all age groups in the survey. TV/movie stars had a higher "least persuasive" than "most persuasive" tally, as the chart indicates. But that's largely thanks to skepticism among the 45-54-year-olds (24 percent rated them "least persuasive" and 15 percent "most persuasive") and the 55-plusers (26 percent "least persuasive," 15 percent "most persuasive").<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Singers/musicians could congratulate themselves on getting the lowest "least persuasive" total in the poll, which was fielded in September. However, they also got the second-lowest "most persuasive" vote. Taken together, those showings might indicate that singers and musicians make relatively little impression as celeb endorsers. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <a href="" target="_blank">&#x2014; Nielsen Business Media</a>