Marketers May Turn to Business Leaders and Athletes to Endorse Products

Marketers use multiple strategies to get consumers to notice their products and services. One such strategy, celebrity endorsement, has been used for many years.  Should a marketer select a 458554_runner_-_meetingspecific type of celebrity to promote its products? A recent Harris Interactive poll found that consumers have specific responses to the types of celebrities they see promoting products.

Here are the types of celebrities found to be most persuasive by the general public:

  • Business leaders 37%
  • Athletes 21%
  • TV or movie stars 18%

Celebrity types that are least persuasive include:

  • Former politicians 39%
  • Movie stars 23%
  • Business leaders 14%

Interestingly, the poll revealed differences based on the age of respondents. For example,  46% of consumers over age 55 are persuaded by business leaders while only 28% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 say the same. Younger consumers, especially those who are between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely to be persuaded by TV or movie stars (23%) than consumers over age 55 (15%).

When it comes to deciding which celebrity to sign into an endorsement contract,  marketers targeting the general public would do well to choose a business leader. More people appear to trust business leaders and only 14%  of survey respondents found them least persuasive. In addition, athletes scored consistently well across all age groups for about 1 in 5 consumers. Further, only 13% of all respondents indicated that athletes are least persuasive.

[Source: Business Leaders Considered Most Persuasive in Ad Endorsement, The Harris Poll, 11.04.09]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.