Star Power Doesn’t Mean Stellar Results
Ace Metrix published a study on the effectiveness of celebrities in video advertisements. A few key findings from the report:
- Celebrity ads, in aggregate, underperform ads without celebrities as measured by average Ace Scores (514 with celebrities vs. 527 without celebrities)
- Pairing a celebrity who delivers a substantive message and who has a strong connection to the brand or product can yield a highly effective ad; however, finding the right balance proves elusive for most celebrity creative executions.
- Among the “top performers” the actual benefit brought about by the particular celebrity is not very large. Of celebrities that drew an above average score, the vast majority did so with a 20-point or less increase in Ace Score, which is akin to approximately a 2% increase in advertising effectiveness.
- Nonetheless, some celebrities are able to consistently perform above the celebrity average. In particular, Ellen DeGeneres (JC Penney), Dean Winters (Allstate), and Ray Lewis with Paul Rudd (EA Video Games) are three examples of celebrities whose portfolio of ads significantly outperformed within their respective target demographics.
Food for thought for advertisers hoping leverage the popularity of celebrities to bolster their brand. Their money would be better spent in crafting compelling ideas and a cohesive brand story.