What are celebrity endorsements? Definition

Celebrity Endorsements are a marketing strategy where famous actors, athletes, musicians, or influencers are paid to promote and endorse a brand’s products or services. This strategy uses the celebrity’s popularity and attraction to sway people’s buying decisions.

How do celebrity endorsements work?

Celebrity endorsements work in many ways, such as:

  • Association with success

Celebrities frequently represent success, skill, and talent. They add some of their personal qualities to the brand when they promote it, increasing its perceived value or appeal.

  • Mass appeal

Celebrities usually have tons of followers on social media. An endorsement helps place their product in front of possibly millions of people.

  • Influence on purchasing decisions

Celebrities often command trust and admiration from their fans. As a result, when they endorse a product, many fans are inclined to purchase it, trusting the credibility of their idol’s recommendation.

  • Brand differentiation

A celebrity endorsement can set a brand apart from its rivals in markets when there are plenty of competitors.

What is the biggest celebrity endorsement? According to prestigeonline.com:
“Lionel Messi’s USD 1 billion deal with Adidas.”

Types of celebrity endorsements

Here are three types:

  • Testimonial

The celebrity vouches for the quality of the product based on personal use. They endorse it after claiming firsthand experience with it.

  • Mere presence

They might not say anything. In this case, being next to the product is enough to make it more attractive to some consumers.

  • Celebrity brand

Occasionally, celebrities venture into launching their own products or brands, including makeup lines, drinks, or, most commonly, clothing collections.

For example, Rihanna established Fenty Beauty, a cosmetics line that gained acclaim for its inclusivity, while Jessica Alba founded The Honest Company, offering eco-friendly baby and beauty products.

Lionel Messi wearing Argentinian team shirt - Celebrity Endorsement article
Created by Market Business News using images from Wikipedia and Adidas.

Pros & Cons of Celebrity Endorsements


  • Brand awareness

Celebrity endorsements may quickly raise awareness about a brand.

  • Perceived quality

The link with a well-known person can raise something’s perceived quality.

  • Economic benefits

Although securing a celebrity endorsement comes at a significant price, the potential increase in sales can result in large financial gains.


  • High costs

Getting a celebrity to endorse your product can be pretty expensive.

  • Risks

If a celebrity faces a scandal or a cancelation, it can damage the brand’s reputation.

  • Overshadowing

At times, the celebrity’s presence can be so dominant that it eclipses the product itself, diverting attention away from its key features and benefits.

Things to consider

There are many things to consider if you are going to launch a celebrity endorsement:

  • Relevance

It’s crucial that the celebrity’s image aligns with the brand’s ethos and values. For instance, a makeup influencer would not be the ideal choice to promote dog toys.

  • Credibility

Consumers must believe that the celebrity really did buy, use, eat, or consume the product.

  • Saturation

When a celebrity endorses multiple products, both their credibility and the brand’s credibility can be at risk.

Written by Nicolas Perez Diaz, September 21, 2023.