Celebrity endorsements: How impactful are they for telco brands?

YouGov
September 22, 2021, 6:41 PM UTC

Celebrity endorsements have played a critical role in countless successful marketing campaigns, but international YouGov research finds consumers may not find them as effective for telecommunications brands. 

YouGov asked consumers in several markets how effective they think celebrities are at promoting various types of goods and services. We found that among the 11 types, telecommunications companies rank low on the list, with just 15% saying a well-known star would be effective at promoting such services. This is slightly ahead of gambling brands (9% say celebrities would be effective) and financial services (8%). 

Brand advocacy in the telecom space has been prevalent since the early 2000s, when Catherine Zeta-Jones signed a multi-year deal with T-Mobile to endorse their network in the United States. In the UK, Kevin Bacon has been the face of the EE network for almost a decade. Fast-forward to today, and actor and comedian Ryan Reynolds is not just the face of Mint Mobile, but owns the company. 

Yet American consumers are less likely than those in other markets to indicate celebrity endorsements are effective (11%), as are adults in the United Kingdom (9%). 

Adults in urban India (27%), Indonesia (26%) and Mexico (25%) are most likely to think a celebrity can be an effective brand ambassador for telcos. Results from the United Arab Emirates (20%), Spain (18%) and Poland (16%) are also above average. 

In general, marketers use celebrity endorsements as a way of attracting a younger audience. But our data shows that there doesn’t seem to be much attitudinal difference between age groups when it comes to celebs backing telecommunication companies. 

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Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 509 and 2,124 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in August 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.