It's not a good time to be a celebrity looking to shill a product. Mainly because teenagers, who are the future — the very chest in which American capitalism stores its hopes and dreams — are not impressed. Which is not to say they still can't be beguiled by the flash of a screen or the flip of some hair. It's just that they prefer YouTube stars over traditional TV and film celebrities.
Variety conducted a study of 1,500 U.S teens, ages 13 to 17, to rank well-known names, both in Hollywood and the Internet, in terms of key factors of influence — particularly authenticity and approachability. Each was then assigned a score and ranked. And, it seems the star power of Jennifer Lawrence, Daniel Radcliffe, and Leonardo DiCaprio is no match for the virility of Internet fame, because not one big name broke the top five.
Viral stars like comedy duo Smosh (ranked number one) were perceived as more authentic, relatable, engaging, and even extraordinary. And, while that probably means there's going to be a lot less Hollywood in our advertisements, there is good new for shoppers who rely on endorsements to tell them what to buy: Mainstream celebrities are still seen as smarter, more reliable, and equally as sexy.
So, for now anyway, the future of celebrity endorsements is not totally bleak. We might even say it's as bright as Target, where your cart will remain full and celeb-approved. (Variety)