Do celebrity endorsements of products influence adult decision-making?

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Research has demonstrated that adult decision-making with regard to purchasing certain items is influenced by celebrity endorsements of those products.  By associating popular or well-respected celebrities or public figures with a particular product can create a positive image in the minds of many consumers.  While these endorsements are important to a product’s success, however, they are not the sole determinant of that success, and are not a substitute for what one researcher calls “the comprehensive brand building process.” [See https://usdr.us/usdrinc/downloads/Celebrity-Endorsements.pdf]

There are a number of factors that are involved in gauging the value of a particular celebrity to the marketing efforts in support of a line of products or services.  The celebrity’s popularity needs to be a peak, or at least at a high level, when he or she is appearing in an advertisement.  Some marketing campaigns, Old Navy, for example, were successful in recruiting celebrities from earlier eras whose recognizability was clearly limited to adult viewers, but that kind of successful advertising campaign is rare and risky given the target demographic for many products. 

In addition to his or her recognition factor, the celebrity needs to be free of emotional or political baggage so as to not alienate the very consumers the business in question is trying to attract.  While many celebrities, especially actors and actresses, have a national appeal, some, especially athletes and local television and radio personalities, may be limited to certain small markets.  In either case, consumer surveys have supported the notion that celebrity endorsements do influence adult decisions.  Celebrity endorsements create a positive image of the product in the minds of consumers, and do increase purchases of the product in question when the right celebrity is used for the intended demographic.  [See also “Effect of Celebrity Endorsements on Consumer Purchase Intentions: Advertising Effect and Advertising Appeal as Mediators,” Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing and Service Industries, Vol. 23, Issue 5, September/October 2013]

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