Shortly after being drafted, Lebron James signed a seven-year, $90 million endorsement deal with Nike. In 2006, Tiger Woods earned $20 million from Nike for promoting their golf division and that deal was just one small portion of their $1.7 billion advertising budget – that year, they spent $476 million on endorsements. And, in 2009, Catherine Zeta-Jones will earn $20 million for encouraging us to undergo a mobile makeover with T-Mobile.
Considering society’s fascination with celebrities, this doesn’t seem strange. After all, when Michael Jackson passed away, Twitter, and even Google, temporarily crashed. People can’t get enough of their favorite celebrities. But do we care enough about them to buy what they tell us to? According to a recent study, not really.
Only 8% of respondents said seeing a celebrity in an ad made them more likely to buy; conversely, 12% said seeing a celebrity made them less likely to buy. Women and people in management positions are slightly more willing to make a purchase based on a celebrity endorsement, with only 11% saying a celebrity is a deterrent. The majority of other demographic groups, however, are less receptive to celebrity endorsements with respondents over 55 being least receptive with 24% saying that seeing a celebrity in an ad makes them less likely to buy.
So, don’t have the money to pay Lebron James to endorse your product? Fortunately, an endorsement from James down the street might be just as influential.