We asked 1000 13-33-year-olds to tell us their favorite celebrity (and why) and compared the top celebs for males, females, teens, and older Millennials…
Though young consumers today might have completely different entertainment preferences and consumption habits, one thing remains true: they still pay attention to celebrity. One need look no further than the success of the Kardashian’s apps and emojis, Taylor Swift’s social media following, and the YouTube view counts for award show clips to see that it’s true. In our most recent monthly survey, we explored 13-33-year-olds’ entertainment spending, and took the opportunity to find out who their favorite celebrities are right now. This was an open end question to allow us to capture the full range of Millennials and teens’ favorite celebrities—which these days can mean not only TV and movie celebrities, musicians, and athletes but online celebrities and influencers. The responses that we received showed the full fragmentation of fame today—politicians, scientists, vloggers, reality stars, models and more were all named. (We also asked them to tell us specifically their favorite Hollywood celebrity, online celebrity, and music celebrity, so keep an eye open for those future articles.)
But when it comes to those celebrities that rank at the top of their overall favorites list, those TV, movie, and music stars still seem to dominate. So who ranks as the most popular celebrities with 13-33-year-olds right now? Here’s a look at the top 10 responses for 13-33-year-olds overall:
As we saw last year, Taylor Swift comes in at the top of the list, continuing to dominate as young consumers’ favorite celebrity. Both her talent and personality were mentioned as reasons for why she’s a favorite. But her relationship with her fans was also noticed by several. One 21-year-old male told us, “She’s such a sweet person and she never hides herself. She’s not afraid to be herself. She’s hardworking and cares about her fans,” while a 21-year-old female explained, “She’s extremely grateful and appreciative of her fans. Some celebrities (Justin Bieber) forget how they got to where they are now. Taylor is more than generous to her fans, always willing to take pictures it appears, and she reaches out on social media as well. I also look up to her as a songwriter, as she’s just an amazing wordsmith.” These mentions highlight some of the major changes we’ve seen in the fame industry—celebrities are expected to have a connection with fans online, to let them into their lives. Taylor is arguably one of the best at giving young consumers the access to her that they want.
But of course, males and females don’t always agree on the celebrities they love, and we saw some significant difference in their favorite celebrities when comparing answers by gender. Here’s a look at the male and female top ten lists:
While Taylor came in at the top of both lists, males were more likely to name male celebrities as their favorite, while females were more likely to name female celebrities. We should also note that males’ responses were far more fragmented than females, with fewer agreement on favorite celebrities overall within male respondents. Males’ second-most-mentioned celebrity, Robert Downey Jr. was chosen because of his humor and roles (Iron Man). For females’ second pick, Jennifer Lawrence, relatability was a major draw. One 24-year-old female said she named Lawrence because, “She seems real. She doesn’t act perfect.” Being “real” and “down-to-earth” were positive attributes that many males and females mentioned of their favorite celebrities, showing once again that they prize authenticity.
Age also impacts young consumers’ favorite celebrities, and several famous names who made the top five list for teens didn’t appear on the top five for older Millennials:
Demi Lovato made the top five list for 13-17-year-olds, and her role on the Disney channel is still impacting their view of her. A 16-year-old female tells us, “She has stayed true to herself and fans throughout her timeline of being famous. She remains to be a role model for her fans while inspiring them as well as giving them the strength they may need,” and a 17-year-old female explained, “Demi is so down to Earth, her vocals are incredible, and I’ve followed her from the time she was on Disney Channel.” Feeling a prolonged connection with their favorite celebrity, despite their young age, helps to give Demi a boost with teens, but her outspoken nature was also a frequent mention.
We should take a minute to note that only one celebrity besides T. Swift made the top five list for males, females, teens, and older Millennials: Emma Watson is a Millennial crowd-pleaser. While Watson’s looks and talent were of course mentioned, it says quite a lot that across age and gender, respondents mentioned her ability to do good, her values, and her role as a activist as major reasons they love the actress. One 17-year-old female wrote, “She is a proud feminist and human rights activist alongside being immensely talented as an actor,” and a 25-year-old male told us he named Watson because, “She is using her notoriety to better society.”
*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of Millennials and teens’ favorite celebrities. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind, and those that are actually most desired. The top lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred.
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