A report by US-based celebrity endorsement specialist Spotted says that luxury jewellery brands are among a host of top consumer names that are playing Russian roulette with their reputations by working with stars who could damage their image.
The study quotes from the American Journal of Advertising, which estimates that the correct celebrity endorsement can increase sales by up to 4%.
However, working with the wrong celebrity not only fails to deliver anything like this bump in sales, it also exposes brands to the risk of being associated with inappropriate opinions, scandal or even criminal behaviour.
The Spotted agency has compiled a list of celebrities and the brands they endorse, and calculated a score for each one. It also analysed the public recognition, trustworthiness and personality of each celebrity, and how well aligned each celebrity is with the brands they represent.
The highest ranked brand with jewellery connections was Dior, which finished up second on the list behind watch giant Rolex, with a score of 89.6 out of 100.
Pandora achieved sixth place in the listing (with a score of 68.1), while Chanel (67.8) and Cartier (65) also feature in a top 15 that includes the likes of Amazon and Nike. Pandora’s partnership with Leonie Hanne was cited as one of the top 20 best endorsement deals.
At the other end of the spectrum, Versace was named top of the brands with the worst celebrity strategies, racking up a Spotted score of just 1.0. Mikimoto (9.8) and Tiffany (11.4) also made it onto the list of those that probably need to take a close look at who they are aligning with.
Spotted said: “Versace’s celebrity strategy ranks as the worst in the industry, as a result of multiple very weak partnerships, with Christy Turlington’s endorsement being the lowest strength one, in the 19th percentile, and Naomi Campbell’s being the strongest one, in the 51st percentile.
“All Versace’s celebrity endorsements are driven by low consumer approval scores of the celebrities that represent this brand. In particular, Christy Turlington’s poor match with Versace goes across multiple dimensions, including a personality match in the 36thpercentile and an overall audience match in the 21st percentile. Additionally, Versace’s partnerships are characterised by high levels of risk, with their highest endorsement risk deal being in the 88th percentile.”
Overall, luxury brands tend to make weaker celebrity decisions than more mass-appeal consumer brands, according to the report.
Janet Comenos, CEO of Spotted, said: “Luxury brands tend to be more dismissive of data than mass-market brands. The creative directors of these high-end labels tend to use celebrities as creative ‘muses,’ even if every indication shows that the celebrity is a poor choice.”