12 December, 2007

Celebrity Endorsements Make Little Difference in Election Outcomes

Newswise :
"With Oprah Winfrey’s recent announcement that she will support Barack Obama, it would appear that it is open season for celebrity endorsements in the 2008 presidential election. As the election draws nearer, you can expect more celebrities to promote their choice for the next leader of the free world, and to urge their devoted fans to follow suit.

One group in particular is the target audience for many celebrity endorsements. Young, first-time voters are often urged to vote by their favorite celebrity icons, and frequently asked to support a specific candidate. But do these celebrity campaigners make a difference for young voters?

“In terms of voting behavior, family and significant others are more influential than celebrities in engaging support for a political candidate,” explains Natalie Wood, Ph.D., a marketing expert at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia whose research on celebrity endorsements was recently published by the Journal of Political Marketing. “At first glance, it would appear that the money and time invested in celebrity support is wasteful.”"

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