The Science Behind Celebrity Endorsements

Celebrity endorsements are an excellent way to associate your brand image with a more knowledgeable one; this way, the brand itself will be connected to a successful, glamorous atmosphere, allowing you to increase its notoriety and visibility. 

The history of celebrity endorsements

Celebrity endorsements are a well-known technique with a long history, and it could be said that it’s as old as marketing itself; the very first known example of a celebrity endorsement dates back to the 1760s, when royal endorsements were used as celebrity branding to promote advertised items. 

A more famous example, anyway, is Babe Ruth’s Red Rock Cola in 1930. Nowadays, celebrity endorsements are getting popular more than ever and have become an established part of advertising: nearly 67% of marketing and communications professionals declared to engage with celebrities for better content promotion and increased target audience. And it’s proven to skyrocket ROI like nothing before.

But, why? Why are celebrity endorsements so effective to influence brand success in a positive way? The key answer can be found deep in the human brain.

The effectiveness of celebrity endorsements

First theories willing to explain the science behind celebrity endorsements date back to the 90s, and plenty of research has been conducted in the meantime to refine marketing techniques and ensure they are effective and up-to-date. Researchers seem to agree on a fact: celebrity endorsements work so well because they affect the human mind on three different levels: affective, cognitive, and behavioral. Let’s look at them in more detail.

Affective level

The human brain is wired to respond to visual familiarity, especially when it comes to faces. This happens because human beings evolved to associate familiar objects with positive and pleasant feelings since those familiar objects most likely represented survival to our ancestors, in the case they have to determine an ally from an enemy while immersed into an unknown environment. 

Because of these antique neural mechanisms,  when a familiar face promotes a product – it instantly appears trustworthy to the customers’ eyes. No matter if they actually never engaged with the celebrity in the first person, they will feel like a trustable, real-life source and make the product itself more trustworthy too. 

Cognitive level

Once a celebrity endorsement grabs the attention of potential customers, they will become more interested in the advertised objects compared with a non-endorsed is. This happens specifically because celebrities own inherent value caused by their celebrity status. The inherent value will be then transferred to the product.

What happens then? Since celebrities are generally well-liked, consumers’ minds will also tend to be more motivated to cognitively assess what kind of object a celebrity is endorsing. As a result, this neural process will ensure that the endorsed product will be remembered more and better than any other non-endorsed product!

Behavioral level

According to the famous theory of planned behavior, human actions are strongly influenced by intention; and intention, on a deeper level, is strongly influenced by social norms and social pressure. How does this apply to celebrity endorsements? 

Well, people will be more likely to act as customers when they are motivated by celebrities’ influence. In this case, celebrities act as role models, while engaging with the endorsed product becomes a subconscious social norm to be followed. 

ConclusionsCelebrity endorsements allow the positive image and characteristics of a celebrity or a social media influencer to be transferred onto your brand to make it viral, and it’s a powerful phenomenon not to be missed out on. If you need an effective way to create brand awareness, stand out from your competition, and increase your ROI, Hollywood Celebrity PR can assist you – and do even more.

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