Celebrity Power and Its Influence on Global Consumer Behaviour

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Mar 2014

Celebrities are playing an ever greater role in modern culture and consumption patterns, serving as arbiters of taste, style and public opinion the world over. Their endorsement and creative input enables them to bring attention, credibility and other intangible benefits to a brand in a way that no other type of advertising can. This new global report analyses the ways in which marketers are exploiting celebrity power to create an emotional bond with the consumer and thus increase sales.

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Celebrity Power and Its Influence on Global Consumer Behaviour

Celebrities have come to play a major part in modern culture

For many people, film and TV stars, athletes, pop stars, the royal family, chefs and business tycoons serve as arbiters of taste, morality and public opinion, thus impacting on buying behaviour.

Celebrities range from globally renowned A-listers to reality TV stars, who sometimes become an overnight success through appearing in shows such as The X Factor, Big Brother, Masterchef or on MTV.

The phenomenal growth of social networking has also spawned a plethora of self-styled celebrities, who have made a name for themselves on video-sharing websites; sometimes without any discernible talent.

Companies exploit the power of celebrities and employ them to advertise just about everything. As famous people are instantly recognisable and attract consumer interest, they can bring attention to a brand in a way that no other type of advertising can.

As long as the celebrity is authentic, he or she can help to lend credibility to a brand and influence the way it is perceived. Many consumers believe that if a product is good enough for a star, it is good enough for them.

While most apparent among the younger generation, celebrity influence exists across all age groups. Tweens and teens idolise the icons of the moment (eg Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift or One Direction), whereas adults tend to admire older, more enduring celebrities.

According to Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list, the most powerful global celebrities of 2013 were show host Oprah Winfrey, singer Lady Gaga, film director Steven Spielberg and singers Beyoncé Knowles and Madonna.

The level of celebrity influence is difficult to gauge. However, it is estimated that while as many as one in four advertisements feature celebrities in the US, the percentage is much lower in Europe. In Germany, for example, the rate is around 16%.

The celebrity culture is widespread in Asia. In both South Korea and Japan, it is thought that as many as 70% of commercials now feature a celebrity. The phenomenon is newer in China and India, where it has gained momentum in a relatively short space of time.

In South Korea, entertainment companies work hand-in-hand with the advertising industry in a unique way. Hundreds of “K-pop” stars are trained from a young age not only to sing and perform in concerts, but also to endorse products and promote corporate brands.

China, as a collectivist society, has in the past put its trust in leaders and elders for guidance. However, under the new socialist market economy model, it is celebrities rather than military heroes who now symbolise knowledge, trust and aspiration in the eyes of consumers.

The actress Fan Bingbing is said to be the most influential celebrity in China, followed by singers Jay Chou and Andy Lau. Savvy Western businesses are also increasingly employing Chinese celebrities to help sell their products in this potentially lucrative market.

Celebrity power has also taken off in a big way in India, and companies are clamouring to secure contracts with the big Bollywood actors, such as Katrina Kaif, Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor.

What this report includes

  • Top-level strategic analysis of how major consumer trends will influence global markets
  • Consumer insight
  • Impact across all relevant consumer markets
  • Unique graphics and case studies
  • Key market snapshots
  • Accompanying presentation to synthesise main findings

Why buy this report

  • Identify factors driving change now and in the future
  • Understand motivation
  • Forward-looking outlook
  • Briefings and presentation should provoke lively discussion at senior level
  • Take a step back from micro trends
  • Get up to date estimates and comment

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This report also includes a PowerPoint executive summary document.

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Celebrity Power and Its Influence on Global Consumer Behaviour


Overview of celebrity culture
Types of celebrity marketing
Summary 1 Types of Celebrity Marketing, 2014
Consumer market trends
Chart 1 Global Sales in Selected Categories 2007/2012
Consumer attitudes
Outlook and recommendations


The evolution of celebrity culture
The birth of celebrity magazines
MTV brought glamour to the pop world
The emergence of the DIY celebrity
Most powerful celebrities
Celebrities for all ages
Oprah Winfrey in number one spot
Table 1 The World’s 20 Most Powerful Celebrities in 2013
Celebrity chefs
Cooking shows spawn culinary experts
Chinese chefs keep a low profile
Brazil’s first celebrity chef
Summary 2 Celebrity Chefs by Country 2013
The emergence of celebrity culture in China
A collective society
Fan Bingbing held in high regard
Table 2 China’s Most Influential Celebrities in 2013


Building brand empires
Fingers in all pies
The all-mighty Oprah
Summary 3 Leading Celebrity Brands 2013
Celebrity endorsement
Fame sells
Lending credibility
Controversial endorsements
Europe lags behind US
Pop group AKB48 dominates Japanese endorsements
Summary 4 Leading Japanese Celebrities by Number of Companies Endorsed in 2012
South Korea’s K-pop stars
Chinese embrace consumerism via celebrities
Western companies enlist Chinese stars
Summary 5 Leading Celebrity Endorsers in China, 2013
The power of Bollywood
Summary 6 Leading Bollywood Endorsers in India, 2013
Commercial opportunities for athletes
Nike leads the way
Tiger Woods remains on top of the game
Usain Bolt stands by his leading sponsor
Summary 7 Athletes’ Earnings from Endorsements 2013
The fallout from celebrity scandals
Riding out the storm
Hitting the bottom line
Commercial opportunities for celebrity chefs
Building empires
Summary 8 Leading Celebrity Chefs by Net Worth 2013
TV shows
Image is all-important
Chefs behaving badly
Cookbooks are best-sellers
Impact of merchandising deals
Working with the food industry
Influence on eating habits
Use of social media
Tapping into online fan bases
Global pop stars have the most followers
Chart 2 Top Celebrity Tweeters in February 2014
# is this an ad?
Tweets for cash
China’s celebrity tweeters
Sponsoring self-made celebrities
Celebrity-branded products
Celebs become more involved
Fragrances offer lucrative margins
Tweens and teens want to buy into their idols
Summary 9 New Celebrity Fragrance Launches 2012-2014
Launch of beauty lines
Summary 10 Celebrity Beauty Lines, 2014
Celebrity owned fashion labels
Summary 11 Celebrity Fashion Labels 2014
Celebrity chefs launch kitchen lines
Collaborating with brands
The growth of the “celebrepreneur”
Creative directorships
Ad symbiosis
Celebrities as fashion gurus
Department stores fight back
Celebrity collections take off in India
Summary 12 Recent Fashion Retailer Collaborations 2014
Leveraging celebrity voices
Celebrities promoting causes
Summary 13 Celebrity Charity Involvement 2014


Beauty and personal care
Self-image becomes ever more important
Impact on beauty market
Teen brands
Table 3 The Global Market for Colour Cosmetics 2007/2012
Slowing down the ageing process
Anti-ageing skin care
Summary 14 Recent Use of Celebrities as Anti-Ageing Brand Ambassadors
Anti-ageing products continue to boom
Men’s grooming performs well
Table 4 The Global Market for Selected Beauty Products 2007/2012
Celebrity fragrances
Improving quality
Antonio Banderas leads in global sales
Table 5 Leading Celebrity Fragrances by Global Sales 2012
Cosmetic surgery
Homogenised beauty
Rise in procedures
Asians seek beauty over youth
Italy leads Europe
Teen toxing
Table 6 Number of Aesthetic Procedures: Top 20 Countries 2011
The baby market
Celebrity mums grab headlines
Royal baby fever
Star strollers
Celebrity brands
Baby wear market driven by emerging markets
Table 7 Leading National Markets for Baby and Toddler Wear 2007/2012


Global Consumer Trends Survey 2013
Role models
Celebrities are main inspiration for 10% of consumers
Chart 3 Attitudes to Celebrity Role Models by Gender 2011
Chart 4 Attitudes to Celebrity Role Models by Age 2011
Chinese consumers most influenced by celebrities
Chart 5 Attitudes to Celebrity Role Models by Country 2011
Most won’t pay more for celebrity-endorsed beauty
Chart 6 Willingness to Pay More for Celebrity-endorsed Beauty Products, by Gender 2013
Chart 7 Willingness to Pay More for Celebrity-endorsed Beauty Products, by Age 2013
Celebrity stamp worth more to Indians
Chart 8 Willingness to Pay More for Celebrity-endorsed Beauty Products, by Country 2013
Attitudes towards celebrity endorsements in social media
Attitudes towards celebrity causes
Publicity works both ways
Chart 9 Celebrities Deemed Most Effective in Raising Awareness of a Cause 2013


Trends to watch
Consumers will continue to be seduced by fame
Celebrity roles will evolve
Benchmarking measures will add meaning to endorsements
Global sporting events will provide more marketing opportunities...
...But brands may downsize endorsements
Beauty and fashion will continue to thrive
Men’s grooming products offer potential for celebrity branding
Chart 10 Forecast Sales in Selected Beauty and Clothing Categories 2012/2017
Backlash against idealised images
Campaigning for “real beauty”
More stringent regulations
Celebrity chefs will continue to influence eating habits
Recommendations to marketers
Achieving the right balance
Creating an emotional tie
Authenticity is key
Safeguarding against scandals
Benefits to celebrities
Summary 15 Recommendations and Opportunities