Don’t Hire Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong For Your Ad Campaign

Tiger Woods is not very good at selling products anymore.

Celebrity endorsements aren’t what they used to be.

According to a study by Ace Metrix in  Ad Age, celebrities do nothing to help sell a product, sometimes they can even hurt sales.

… today’s consumer is more likely to be influenced by someone in their social network than a weak celebrity connection. Today’s consumer is informed, time-compressed, and difficult to impress, and they are only influenced by ads that are relevant and provide information. They don’t want to have products pushed at them, even from a celebrity.

Ace Metrix studied every celebrity ad from the first 11 months of 2010 and found that one-fifth of the ads had a negative impact on advertising effectiveness.

Tiger Woods, unsurprisingly, did the most damage. His Nike ad “Did You Learn Anything” was 30% less effective. Ad Age suggests part of the problem was that Nike focused on what Woods had done wrong instead of on any specific Nike products.

Lance Armstrong was also considered highly ineffective for his Radio Shack ad “No Emoticons.” Other celebrities who hurt ad effectiveness: Kenny Mayne, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Donald Trump.

If the report inspires companies to cut back on using so many celebrities in their ads, it could really put a crimp in the earning power of many of the members of our Celebrity 100 list. People like Scarlett Johannson and David Beckham can sometimes earn as much from endorsements as they can from their day jobs.

By DOROTHY POMERANTZ (Forbes)
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