Guess What? Celebrity Advertising Just Doesn't Work

beyonce_pepsi_bigPhoto: Courtesy Pepsi Co.
Honestly, we enjoy seeing the Full House dads and Queen Bey in TV spots for yogurt, soft drinks, and the like. Still, we've always sorta suspected that they weren't actually all that good for selling units. Surprise, surprise — the numbers prove that little hunch of ours.
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According to a study from the television analytics firm Ace Metrix cited in Forbes today, celebrity advertising is just not worth the big, big money companies are paying out to top-flight talent. Matter of fact, comparing 1,200 celeb-centered ads versus a total of 30,000 spots analyzed in their survey, Ace Metrix found that star-powered commercials are actually less effective than ones featuring your average Joes and Janes. Given that people like ScarJo, David Beckham, and others can pull in over $1 million for a series of 30-second spots, it seems like a lot of perfectly good cash is being flushed down some solid-gold toilets.
According to Ace Metrix's press release, "Celebrities fail to provide any meaningful impact in terms of effectiveness, as viewers often struggle with the relevance of the connection." Basically, Beyoncé may look good slinging Pepsi and the world loves her, but that doesn't really make people care about the product. What does work? "Investing in strong creative, compelling ideas." So, yeah, all them crazy Old Spice and Skittles ads are doing what Bey, Jay Z, and Emma Stone just can't (sorry, guys).
Forbes, for its part, doesn't think this study will change anything. Advertisers seem as entranced by star power as consumers, regardless of effectiveness. Useless or not, we can expect to see celebs hawking pretty much everything for years to come. (Forbes)
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