What Makes a Strong Celebrity Endorser?

Idris Elba Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Celebrity endorsements are a critical part of many brands’ marketing playbooks, and a key reason why E-Score Celebrity and E-Score Brand are the definitive source that marketing, network and advertising executives rely on. One question we often receive is: what does a successful pairing of brand and celebrity look like?

To answer this question, and as part of an ongoing series, we examined two recent notable brand-celebrity pairings:

Dell & Jeffrey Wright

Dell, the long-time tech company, has been pushing their innovations with actor Jeffrey Wright at the forefront. To take a closer look at this pairing, we compared some of Dell’s brand attributes to the consumer electronics average as well as Jeffrey Wright’s attributes against the spokesperson average to see where the pairing succeeds. We see that the relationship works because of a strong alignment between the attributes of the brand and the celebrity, both reinforcing strengths (shown below in the “Connection Zone”) and correcting weaknesses (the “Complementary Zone”).

  • In 2019 Dell released a series of ads explaining how Dell’s technology is positively affecting the world. They score above average in A Leader, Credible, and High Quality.
  • Jeffrey Wright was the frontman of that campaign and he fits the bill with above-average scores in Experienced, Intelligent, and Articulate.
  • Using an endorser’s strengths to counteract a brand’s weaknesses can also be very successful. Jeffrey Wright has exceedingly high marks in Intelligent, Cool, and Dynamic which pair nicely with Dell’s slightly below-average attributes such as Smart, Cool, and Unique.

Stella Artois & Idris Elba

There is stiff competition when it comes to beer marketing and Stella Artois enlisted a heavy-hitter in Idris Elba. Known for his roles in mega-franchises like Marvel, Fast & Furious, and dozens of other blockbuster films, Elba serves as the spokesperson for Stella Artois’ recent campaign reminding consumers that “vacation is how you see things.” This pairing succeeds because Elba’s endorsement clout helps Stella Artois break through the noise in the beer marketplace, and his personality attributes and European background align closely with the brand’s image in the minds of consumers.

  • E-Score Celebrity’s new Endorsement Score tells you how effective a celebrity’s endorsement will be in driving purchase of goods or services. Idris Elba not only more than doubles the spokesperson average in Endorsement Score but also scores highly in Fan Score and Social Impact. This is critical for a brand that ranks below average in appeal and recommendation scores, like Stella Artois. To find out more about these new features of E-Score Celebrity, click here.
  • Stella stands out against its competition in High-Quality and Luxurious which fits well with their selection of Elba who excels in Charming, Stylish, and Classy.
  • Their endorser selection could also serve to counteract some of the beer brand’s slightly below average attributes. Stella Artois scores slightly below-average in Exciting, an attribute in which Elba exceeds the average. Stella Artois is also slightly below the average in Cool where Elba boasts 20 points above the average spokesperson’s score.
  • It’s undeniable that Elba’s strengths in Interesting, Exciting, and Trustworthy make him an excellent spokesperson for the brand, which is looking for a unique voice the battle of beer commercials.

With the help of E-Score Brand and E-Score Celebrity, brands can see in advance how an endorser aligns with their positioning to discover the perfect fit. A modest investment in these tools can have a significant impact on a brand’s perception and drive dollars to the bottom line.


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