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Ad Testing Reveals Power of Celebrity in Unlikely Space

Because we seem to be inundated with ‘celebrity’ images, news and reality tv it is easy to assume that many prospective buyers are tuned out or turned off by the traditional celebrity spokesperson approach to advertising. Many of us believe this to be especially true for buyers in certain categories like technology products or office productivity tools where specifications, performance and price are often called out by buyers as the most important factors in the buying decision. Ask potential buyers in these spaces about the potential influence of a celebrity endorser and some actually take offense – they are ‘too smart’ to be swayed by such nonsense.

But a recent project taught us once again the importance of not making assumptions, asking the right questions and really understanding the messages that are being received by a target audience when watching an advertisement. A client in the office automation space wanted to know if their current ad executions featuring a celebrity endorser were connecting with their target audience. Quick-turn ad testing using a light-weight online platform captured spontaneous viewer reactions and comments as they watched the ad while also prompting consumers to address key questions and take a short post-viewing survey.

The results were surprising – viewers not only found the celebrity spokesperson to be a humanizing element in what would generally be considered a sterile product category but they also identified multiple personal traits of the celebrity that reinforced the overall positioning of the product. They got it and they liked it. Even those who insisted they had zero interest in a celebrity endorser still felt that the choice made sense. The ad was working!

Why wonder whether or not your ad is working when it’s easy, quick and cost-effective to actually find out!


Chuck Mallory

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