Media

The State of Chuck Norris Is Strong, and Other Findings From a Celebrity Ad Index


Chuck Norris in 1985’s Missing in Action 2: The Beginning

Photograph by Cannon Films/Everett Collection

Chuck Norris in 1985’s Missing in Action 2: The Beginning

Hiring the wrong celebrity to represent your brand can be a costly mistake. Witness, for instance, all the recent acrimony surrounding Paula Deen and the brands that licensed her visage.

Over the past half-century, as the age of the celebrity has taken over American public life, a cottage industry has emerged to assist advertisers in their all-important search for the perfect face to slap on, say, the side of their honey-baked ham. Helping brands measure a celebrity’s value is a competitive field and one that continues to get increasingly specialized.

Earlier this year, InterMedia Entertainment unveiled a new celebrity ranking index designed to cater to a specific subset of advertisers: direct-response marketers.

“Several tools were already available to advertisers to measure celebrity appeal, including the Q Score, the Davie Brown Index, and E-Score Celebrity,” InterMedia recently explained on its website. “However, none of these are designed specifically to measure the unique attributes that determine the efficacy of a celebrity spokesperson within the context of a DR marketing program.”

InterMedia has released the latest results of its quarterly DR Star Index. A couple of insights culled from the rankings:

1. Love the Chuck. Despite Chuck Norris’s failure to sell America on the idea of Newt Gingrich for president, direct-response marketers shouldn’t shy away from the martial arts legend. In the latest rankings, Norris was the only celebrity who ranked in the top 10 in recognition while also turning up in the top 50 for overall value.

2. Jeopardy Rules. Answer: According to InterMedia, he is currently the third most valuable direct-response celebrity endorser in the world. Question: Who is Alex Trebek?

3. Beware of Bieber. While the baby-faced Canadian pop star measured well in overall recognition, Justin Bieber scored poorly in overall value, failing to crack the top 70. Presumably, incidents like these aren’t helping the young gentleman’s likability with some consumers.

4. Good Sex Appeal + Bad Science = Dan Marino. Jenny McCarthy, the former Playboy Playmate, newish member of ABC’s talk show The View, and longtime proponent of discredited anti-vaccine ideas, still resonates with certain consumers. She comes in at No. 68 on DR Star Index, just behind Raquel Welch and just ahead of Dan Marino.

Gillette_190
Gillette is a staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York.

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