Print advertisements that feature celebrities garner higher responses than those that do not, according to a study released this week by Starch Advertising Research.
Even as some advertisers prefer not to utilize the endorsements of famous cultural figures due to the fear of poor public relations, the study of more than 81,000 ads found celebrity spots earned a 9.4 percent higher readership than those without.
Additionally, print ads featuring entertainment celebrities gathered a 15.1 percent higher readership rate, while sports celebrities were only 7.5 percent higher.
"In general, very few consumers will admit that a celebrity endorsement influences their decision to buy a product," said Anne Marie Kelly, senior vice president of marketing and strategic planning at research firm GfK MRI. "However, in terms of helping with the first task in filling up the purchase funnel – getting consumers to read your ad – these data show that a celebrity endorsement moves the readership needle in magazines."
The study ties into another recent survey by BtoB magazine, which found more than half of respondents plan on boosting their marketing budgeters this year. Interestingly, a mere 19 percent plan to focus their new spending on print media.