YAB Member Reports: Selling Millennials on Celebrity Endorsement

Millennials have grown up as paparazzi culture has reached a fevered pitch. They are well used to tabloids and blogs touting celebrities as being "just like us!" while simultaneously looking for scandals and failings to broadcast to fans. For this generation, there is no mystery to their "idols," and as a result actually idolizing celebrities is a dying sentiment. Their unique experience with celebrity culture brings into question the effectiveness of traditional celebrity endorsement. How believable is a seal of approval from a celebrity when Millennials know more about their personalities and preferences than ever before? Add to this the fact that Millennials might just be the most media savvy generation to date, with full awareness of the machinery at work behind brands and their efforts to lure in consumers. They are a more critical audience, and to reach them, finding the right pairing of brand and celebrity is imperative. Today Youth Advisory Board member Maddie Flager is giving her first-hand Millennial perspective on when celebrity endorsement works and when it falls flat.

 

Selling Millennials on Celebrity Endorsement

There is a fine line between a well-placed celebrity endorsement and one that simply fails to connect. Here are two of the biggest factors Millennials use to judge celebrity-endorsement marketing.

1) Do the Celeb and Brand Personalities Match?

Perhaps the biggest factor in producing a successful celebrity ad campaign is choosing the right person: how well do the icon and the product fit together? Personally, I often find that the less an ad is outright about buying the product and instead features an idea, feeling or attitude that the product evokes the more I will pay attention to it.

Feels Right: Pepsi has matched celebrity with brand perfectly…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “There was a travel commercial where the mother was stressed and daydreaming about laying on the beach escaping it all and then told the benefits and specials of the travel company. I felt like this commercial made parenting look like a chore and children something to be escaped.” –Female, 32, MA

It’s only April, but talk of prom is already buzzing. Promposals are a trend we highlighted last year, and as they become increasingly popular, they’re also becoming increasingly pricey. According to a Visa survey, this year the creative, out there, and publicized prom invites are costing an average of $324. Although these numbers are only predictions of what will be spent, they illustrate the popularity and growing importance of the new custom. On average, the promposal makes up about a third of the total cost of prom, which for 2015 is said to be $919 for everything including clothes, limos, tickets, flowers, and so on—down 6% from last year. (Washington Post)

Need some midweek inspiration? Well, this will either make you feel motivated or extremely jealous: These 12 teens are probably making more money than you, and if they aren’t now, they will be soon. The list includes a 17-year-old who has made millions with her jewelry company, app developers, self-published authors, and YouTube stars—all “beacons of multi-tasking excellence” who founded their companies while simultaneously going to school, applying to college, and just trying to do normal teenage things. (Inc.)

Here’s another Millennial name to keep an eye on: Olajide “KSI” Olatunji is a 21-year-old YouTube star who has used gaming, vlogging, and his online experience to become a self-made millionaire. KSI is being featured in Vice’s e-sports documentary series, and is reportedly the second most watched YouTube channel in the UK, with almost 9 million subscribers, and 1.5 billion video views. Fans tune in for his “boisterous” personality and energetic gameplay. While some companies have severed ties with the rising star thanks to some NSFW antics, he is continuing to expand his brand to include merchandising, music, and acting. His fame could continue to grow as young e-sports stars become more mainstream figures. (Business Insider)

Grocery shopping: It might not be glamorous, but it is a regular part of most consumers’ lives—including Millennials. As supermarkets struggle, they’re working to win over this generation of shoppers by stocking more of the foods they want, like “local, craft and fermented foods, and big international flavors (i.e., kimchi).” Experts also advise making grocery shopping an experience rather than a chore by hosting seasonal events, tastings, and cooking demos, to foster the “connection and community” Millennials want. Finally, eliminating store visits altogether might be necessary, as the “food tech sector is booming” and young consumers want everyday chores cut out of their schedules. (NPR)

Gender targeting isn’t just an issue in the toy aisle; it’s also extremely common on the mobile apps the next generation is spending a lot of their time on. But some parents don’t want their kids to feel excluded from certain games, or play in spaces where pink is only for girls and only boys can play with cars. Popular app developer Toca Boca recently announced that they’re actively focusing on creating gender neutral content to make all of their games more inclusive. Their Toca Hair Salon app has male, female, and androgynous characters, and the Toca Cars game features a brother and sister who are equally good at driving their cars. From the colors used in a science lab to the shape of robots, the developer works to create “gender balance” and make apps that appeal to boys and girls equally. (coolmomtechToca Boca)

Who has time to sift through data? If you do, please let us know your secret. For those of you who don’t, we have good news. Ypulse regularly publishes informative Infographic Snapshots to make even complex data easy to understand and quick to digest. These infographics are data visualizations that take our proprietary monthly survey stats and synthesize them to tell a story about this generation’s behaviors and views. (Ypulse)

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