Each of the companies has announced a celebrity endorser to shill their products during Sunday’s (Feb. 6) Super Bowl broadcast on Fox, but according to recent research by two University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire professors, they may be wasting their money.
NY Sports Journalism reports that a study by Dr. Chuck Tomkovick and Dr. Rama Yelkur including all 538 Super Bowl ads airing from 2000-09, suggests that celebrities are no longer the quick and easy way to influence consumers.
“In the past, including a celebrity in your ad was a no-brainer,” Tomkovick says. “For years the use of celebrities was among the top predictors of popular Super Bowl ads. But our most recent research shows that’s no longer true. Celebrities have lost their influence when it comes to popular Super Bowl ads.”
So what does make for a successful ad during the big game?
“Humor, animals and product category have endured for 20 years as high predictors of popularity,” Tomkovick continues. “New to the list are children and limiting the amount of information about a product.”
We know that celebrity endorsements of all kinds can go either way, just check out our picks for the best and worst examples from 2010.
Snickers hit a home run during the 2010 Super Bowl with their Betty White ad, a commercial that is noticeably absent from the study’s findings (as 2010 ads were not taken into account).
Mars, the company behind Snickers, shelled out between $2 and $3 million for the 30-second spot, and it paid off, at least in terms of improving their brand image (in 2007, the company was attacked after airing what could be interpreted as an anti-gay commercial).
We still think White got the better end of that deal, as the ad led to a stint on “Saturday Night Live,” a role on the TV Land sitcom “Hot in Cleveland” and ultimately a Screen Actors Guild Award.
But will Bieber and Kardashian fare so well?
While White’s Snickers spot ultimately led to Betty White pandaemonium, the Biebs and Kimmy K are often considered over-exposed already.
This year, Bieber is set to appear alongside Ozzy Osbourne in a spot for Best Buy and Kardashian will lace up her sneaks for Skechers. Jillian Michaels will strip down for Go Daddy and Faith Hill is expected to represent TeleFlora.
We hope that the Bieber/Osbourne pairing will be memorable enough to create a lasting Super Bowl moment. But for now, Volkswagon may have the top highlight with their “The Force” commercial, featuring none other than a mini Darth Vader. Watch below.