Cause-driven Celebrities

#MeToo and Time’s Up: Consumers Support Cause-Driven Celebrities

Brands weighing in on social and political issues may be divisive among the public, but consumers are becoming noticeably more receptive to brands that attach themselves to noble causes that advocate for change.

That receptiveness also translates to celebrity brand endorsers. According to new data and research from Spotted, consumers show increased positive sentiment towards celebrities who take a stand or associate themselves with a cause. Specifically, the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

#MeToo and Time’s Up, which both ignited into worldwide phenomenons over the past year, are anti-sexual assault and women’s empowerment movements. Having enhanced public recognition and perception of the obstacles women experience in their daily lives and workspaces, the movements have begun to shift culture in a meaningful and impactful way.

To better understand how consumers respond to celebrities who are very cause-driven (and what this may mean for the brands who associate with them), Spotted ran consumer surveys on five celebrities involved in the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. This survey was run as part of The Spotted Quarterly Report on Q2 2018, which you can download in full here.

These findings and more from The Spotted Quarterly Report were recently covered by Digiday. Read the full story here.


5 celebrities involved in the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements: an overview

  1. Reese Witherspoon: In 2017, Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon showed her resounding support for the #MeToo movement by sharing her story within the industry. At age 16, Witherspoon was sexually assaulted by a director. “[The movement has] made me want to speak up and speak up loudly, because I felt less alone this week than I’ve ever felt in my entire career.”
  2. Ashley Judd: Actress and political activist, Ashley Judd, was the first woman to publicly come forward against film producer Harvey Weinstein. She held a leading role in the genesis of the #TimesUp movement and was named one of TIME’s 2017 People of the Year.
  3. Terry Crews: In a series of tweets, actor and former NFL star, Terry Crews, claimed he was sexually assaulted by a male Hollywood executive. He said that he was tempted to retaliate, but was worried how the incident would be reported and feared he would go to jail.
  4. Natalie Portman: Empowered by the #MeToo movement, Natalie Portman opened up about her experiences in the industry in an interview with Porter Magazine, stating that she has “100 stories” of sexual harassment in Hollywood. She asserted that she had endured harassment and manipulation from studio executives throughout her career.
  5. Kerry Washington: Among others, actress Kerry Washington shared a message at the NAACP Image Awards encouraging viewers to “stand by us, stand for us, stand with us” against harassment and for justice. In a group message about the #MeToo movement, Washington delivered a series of messages starting with the phrase “Time’s Up,” evoking the new movement.

Cause-driven celebrities see increased positive sentiment: Spotted findings & analysis

Spotted surveyed 200+ consumers over the age of 18 years old in the United States to understand how they perceived the celebrities above.

cause-driven celebrities #metoo time's up spotted


Here are the other high-level findings and analysis:

  • 92% of respondents were at least somewhat familiar with the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements
  • Women were more likely than men to be familiar with the movement, but men and women were equally as likely to be aware of each celebrity story in the survey.
  • Women were also more likely than men to view all celebrities as more trustworthy, likable, and relatable after reading their stories.
  • Respondents who were more familiar with #MeToo and Time’s Up movements were more likely to respond positively to all attributes above after finding out about these particular stories and associations for the first time.

Download Now: The Spotted Quarterly Report on Q2 2018

With brand vigilance and trends in consumer sentiment top of mind, the idea of celebrity perception — and the impact it can have on a brand — is featured prominently in Spotted’s quarterly report on Q2 2018.

To gain deeper insights into the trends, issues, and opportunities shaping the celebrity endorsement industry and its performance, get your copy of the The Spotted Quarterly Report on Q2 2018.

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