We are well aware of the excellent help that celebrities provide when the need is there — whether the help is for PR purposes or not, or whether other celebrities actively try to discourage you from helping, the help is there and can make the difference between a charity receiving hundreds of dollars versus hundreds of thousands of dollars — even if most of the money ends up coming directly from the celebrities themselves!

When it comes to the celebrity endorsement of commercial products, on the other hand, I have regularly wondered to what extent it helps them when a celebrity endorses their product. For example, whenever I think of diabetes I immediately think of Wilford Brimley and his Liberty Mutual Fireside Chats

That being said, I don’t think that it is necessarily Mr. Brimley’s sterling endorsement of Liberty Mutual that will ultimately lead me to consider using their services, should that time ever come. That is more or less the idea behind a poll that was taken recently by Forbes — just because a celebrity is endorsing something does not mean the people buying it are doing so because of the celebrity endorsement.

For example, when I am considering whether or not I would like to purchase a pair of shoes and which sort of shoes I am interested in buying, the fact that Kim Kardashian is a spokesperson for Skechers has no bearing on my decision. If anything, it might even steer me away from them.

The problem with the poll, as the article very well states, is that people are rarely so hyperaware of the precise reasons why they are purchasing something. On the other hand, there is also not often one deciding factor in purchasing something. When I was looking around at shoes and trying to find a new pair to wear and ultimately arrived at the Vegan Saucony Jazz Sneaker a number of thoughts went into the decision. First and foremost was that I wanted a pair of vegan sneakers, as I was trying to cut animal products out of my life to the best of my ability. Secondly, I wanted something comfortable and durable. Thirdly, I had seen some advertising in the newsletter that I got from my vinyl record store.

Which one of these weighed the most? Hard to say. Would I have been inclined to purchase another pair of sneakers had, say, Neil Patrick Harris blogged about how much he loved those shoes instead? That’s a distinct possibility — but only because I do love the great work of Neil Patrick Harris.

Considering this, I believe that it can be a rather personal thing. I will leave you with this story from my youth. I was in a garage getting my car fixed and I asked one of the mechanics, who was wearing a NASCAR shirt, whether the fans of the sport really cared about the brands on the car and the jackets of the racers. He told me that the really big fans of the sport will swear their allegiance to whatever product is being advertised on the car of the driver they favor. I suppose for them, Celebrity endorsements mean the world!

4 Comments

    1. Thanks, David. Good point — though endorsements can be hit or miss and when they fail, sometimes things go even better for the company thanks to the “Barbara Streisand” effect — she filed a lawsuit against a person who had a photo of her home on his web site among thousands of other photos taken from a plane of the coastline. Barely anyone knew about it until the lawsuit and suddenly, many people were looking at the picture she didn’t want anyone to see! Reminds me of when certain companies dropped Tiger Woods as their endorser — plenty of people were aware of the company because they dropped him, not that they knew they had him beforehand! 🙂

  1. So, come to think of it, Doogie had to have been the ‘original blogger’ (mind wanders wa-y-y-y back to the DOS unit he blogged on)
    Can’t say as celebrity endorsements do a whole bunch for me. As you mentioned, said celebrity’s endorsement just may make me go elsewhere. 🙂
    I’ve pondered that question myself. Makes me think of http://wordpunk.com/2012/06/15/the-demise-of-american-thought-recorded-in-google-hot-trends/