Celebrity Association Drives Brand Recall

Determining Memorability: How Celebrity Association Increases Brand Recall

Associating a celebrity with a brand plays a powerful role in driving brand recall among consumer audiences. Something as powerful as a celebrity association can help a brand to determine whether they are ultimately memorable or forgettable in the eyes of consumers.

While celebrity association has a proven hand in increasing brand recall, some forms of celebrity association have a stronger consumer pull than others.

Let’s dive in.

What Is Brand Recall?

Brand recall is a measure of how well a consumer remembers a brand. It plays a critical role in getting more customers to stick with a brand and continue purchasing its products down the line. Outside of ongoing brand loyalty and those larger purchase choices, recall also affects and influences consumers’ brand preferences in their everyday lives.

Before recently, brand recall was tested through consumer surveys and interviews, but there are now more accurate, data-driven means of measurement.

Facebook has a formal metric called ad recall, which measures the estimated number of consumers who were served an ad and can remember it 48 hours later. Ad recall is calculated based on:

  • The number of people you reached with your ads
  • How much time people spent looking at and dwelling on your ads
  • The historical relationships between the attention people give ads and the results from ad recall surveys

Many brands are moving from a pure reach metric to a recall metric because “cost-per-ad-recall” measures the potent blend of both reach and attention. In other words: how many people did we reach with our ad and how many people actually paid attention?

With time, recall continues to gain more clout in the world of brand marketing.

Celebrity Association: Giving Brand Recall a Kick

When a brand is associated with a celebrity (whether through paid endorsement or authentic celebrity use of a brand’s products or services), it instantaneously drives brand recall with consumers. If you want to elevate a brand in the minds of consumers in just a second, look to the power of celebrity.

Consumers idolize celebrities in one way or another and want to emulate them and their lifestyles. When they see their favorite celebrity using or endorsing a brand or its products, they will have a stronger inclination towards that brand (whether consciously or subconsciously).

By presenting a familiar face, one that’s widely loved or recognizable to the target audience, the brand benefits from that powerful celebrity association.

Here are some examples of influential, paid celebrity associations:

Beyoncé for Pepsi

Beyoncé for Pepsi

Jennifer Aniston for SmartWater

Jennifer Aniston for SmartWater

David Beckham for H&M

David Beckham for H&M

Paid Celebrity Association Is Nice. Authentic Celebrity Association Is Better.

Brands invest heavily in celebrity endorsement because of the recall, memorability, and positive sentiment that these celebrities establish with the public. It helps them to build a bond with consumers that will ultimately make the brand more desirable.

Paid celebrity associations generally have a noticeable impact on brand recall, positive sentiment, and sales. You know what’s even more effective, though? Authentic celebrity association.

David Beckham sporting Louis Vuitton and Ray-Ban

David Beckham sporting Louis Vuitton and Ray-Ban

Jennifer Aniston sporting Oliver Peoples

Jennifer Aniston sporting Oliver Peoples

Millennials, in particular, are less trustworthy of paid celebrity endorsement. Unlike traditional celebrity endorsements, real celebrity association feels real to consumers (because it is). To alleviate any skepticism, it’s crucial that brands start thinking about ways to inject true authenticity into their celebrity advertising efforts.

Celebrities are just like us and use brand products and services in their everyday lives. When a tabloid covers a story on celebrities wearing Adidas or shopping at Whole Foods, consumers get a glimpse of the brands their favorite celebrities use and love. That authentic association builds credibility and a sense that they, too, can lead that sort of lifestyle.

This is not all to say that traditional celebrity endorsement does not drive brand recall. It does and continues to have great holding power. Authentic celebrity association just takes that affect to an entirely different level by building a more fortified bridge between the brand and the end consumer.

With increased authenticity and, therefore, believability, real-life celebrity associations like the ones shown above can accelerate brand recall (and memorability overall), establishing a stronger top-down emotional connection and highlighting the celebrity’s true brand affinities.


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