Move over Kim Kardashian: Nearly a third (30%) of consumers are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger than a celebrity, according to a report from marketing firm Collective Bias. Among them, 70% of millennials had the strongest preference for such “peer” endorsements.
Just 3% of consumers surveyed say they’d consider buying a product endorsed by a celebrity. Other traditional marketing vehicles fared nearly as poorly: Shoppers rated television (7.4%), print (4.7%) and digital (4.5%) advertising as the least influential forms of communication when shopping for products in-store.
Blogs and social media, often seen on mobile, are emerging as more effective alternative marketing modes, the study found. Nearly 60 % of those surveyed said they’ve taken a blog review or social media post viewed on a smartphone or tablet into consideration while shopping in-store. Facebook (19%) and YouTube (18%) were the most persuasive channels.
Collective Bias, which surveyed 14,000 adults earlier this month, says these results show that traditional advertising is becoming ineffective and that brands need to embrace alternative forms of marketing, like blogs and social media, to drive sales.
CEO Bill Sussman says that ad-blocking is interfering with traditional advertising approaches as well.
"With little data available on the current state of influencer marketing, the findings of this report strongly indicate that consumers are less engaged with advertisements and seemingly disingenuous celebrity endorsements," Sussman said in a statement. "As ad blocking continues to grow, it only further threatens the effectiveness of traditional ad techniques to deliver ROI, meaning brand marketers will need to turn to more effective alternatives such as influencer content."
It’s not really clear what the respondents to the company’s survey may have thought of when they were asked about “celebrities.” Celebrities these days are everywhere, sometimes in advertising but other times getting taken down a peg by tabloids, and there may be some amount of “celebrity fatigue” in our culture. Plus, as Bill Cosby and Lance Armstrong have shown, there is a risk to advertising campaigns built around celebrities because the stars can fall and bring brands down with them.
Still, perhaps it’s a matter of picking the right celebrity with the right product. To consider the power of a star athlete’s endorsement deal consider that sales of Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry's signature basketball shoe for Under Armour were are up 350% since the start of this year. That tops the sales of all of Nike signature shoes except one: Michael Jordan’s.