The Rich Are Different: They Hate Celebrities

Turns out the wealthy have something in common besides money: They don't like to see celebrities in ads for luxury products.

That news comes from The Luxury Institute based on its August survey of just over 1,000 affluent customers (with a median age of 43, a median income of $250,000 per year, and a net worth of $1.5 million). Based on the survey, marketers of luxury goods and services are generally better off not using celebrity endorsements in campaigns. In fact, such moves are more than twice as likely to backfire as they are to produce immediate sales results, and more than ten times as likely to produce no result at all, the Institute said.

Some 63 percent of survey respondents said a celebrity endorsement had no influence on their decision to purchase a product. But 18 percent felt so strongly about celebs that they won't buy any luxury product endorsed by a celebrity.

The majority--55 percent--said it's because they don't believe the celebrities actually use the products they endorse. Another 33 percent sniffed that such endorsements are for the masses.



What does work are ads that make the product the star. "Coach's 'Handbags and Shoes' print advertisement took top honors overall, and also finished first in 'likeability,'" the Institute reported. "Wealthy consumers repeatedly praised the ad for its 'emphasis on the product.'"

There were a few exceptions to the anti-celeb responses: Younger respondents were less opposed to celeb endorsers, and 30 percent said that celebs have the most impact in fashion advertising. And surprisingly, celebrities have their biggest influence in marketing philanthropic efforts, with 45 percent saying celebrity endorsements did influence their decisions to donate.

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