Consumers remember ads with well-known figures

Small businesses looking to grab more attention with their brochure printing or direct mail campaigns may want to consider one strategy that big brands have traditionally utilized – celebrity endorsers.

According to analysis by Starch Advertising Research, ads with celebrity endorsers garner 9.4 percent higher consumer readership than those with out a well-known figure.

Additionally, the study, which looked at more than 81,000 print ads, found that entertainment celebrities were more popular than famous athletes, with entertainers grabbing 15.1 percent more readership and sports figures raising readership by 7.5 percent.

"In general, very few consumers will admit that a celebrity endorsement influences their decision to buy a product," said Anne Marie Kelly, senior vice president of marketing and strategic planning at GfK MRI. "However, in terms of helping with the first task in filling up the purchase funnel – getting consumers to read your ad – these data show that a celebrity endorsement moves the readership needle in magazines."

However, this research contradicts a study released in January that studied Super Bowl ads and found that those with a "a cute kid," an animal or were humorous had a better chance of being remembered.