An interesting thing happened to a friend of mine last year. She’s in the business of organic skincare products. And as part of a market research campaign that she was conducting, she had a whole cross-section of women fill out a comprehensive survey about skincare, skincare products, and the advertising and promotion of skincare products.
The results of one question in particular were especially interesting to me. The question was, “which of the following people’s endorsement in an ad do you think would most influence your decision to buy a skincare product?”
Among the answers available to choose from (it was a multiple-choice question) were: a skincare specialist, a doctor, a celebrity, a model with perfect skin, and a few others that don’t come to mind right now.
As far as I was concerned, the answer that I thought should be chosen most often was obvious – the celebrity, hands down. And my friend agreed with me. Out of all the alternatives, celebrities are by far the most expensive, but also the most lucrative for companies, because of their huge power of influence.
Once you have a celebrity endorsing your product, you have the public’s attention. But not only that, you have their trust as well. It’s an extremely powerful thing.
Even if the celebrity has no real connection with the product and has no experience or history with it, or anything related to it, the product will sell like hotcakes. It’s a well-known and proven fact. Even the world’s best scientific expert in skincare couldn’t compete with a well-chosen celebrity.
What was so interesting with my friend’s market research survey then, was the fact that the answer “a celebrity” actually didn’t rate all that highly!
Well, I guess the reason is buried deep down in human psychology. We like to think that we always make the best, most sensible and rational decisions in our lives, but the fact is we don’t. Nobody likes to admit to themselves or to others that they go against common sense because of someone else’s influence, but we often do.
Clever marketing does it to us all the time, with monotonous regularity.
This is especially true when it comes to weight loss. A lot of the products and programs we buy into, deep down we know won’t work, but we buy them anyhow, simply because they’re recommended by or connected to someone famous.
Well, when we see a celebrity such as a famous movie star, singer or socialite connected with a weight loss product, subconsciously we dream that the product in some way brings us somehow closer to being like that person, even if it’s in just a small way. We feel it connects us with someone we admire and look up to.
This false dream is the real product we’re buying into, and it usually has no connection with weight loss in the real world.
Although reality is always what we need, the dream is often what we want. And what we want is so much more powerful. So we can often forget about reality and buy into the dream. That’s exactly what marketing is all about, selling the dream. Not selling reality.
Let me ask you . . . when it comes to weight loss, which proposition turns you on more:
a) 5 tough workouts a day in the gym, counting calories, eating natural complex carbs, fiber, fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins?
b) Having a body like Kim Kardashian by drinking an amazing diet beverage each day?
Well, option a) is the reality – and it will deliver the results you want. It will get you to your goals. Option b) is the dream, and it’s based on nothing at all. But it sells.
Getting back to my friend’s market research survey then, the results really shouldn’t have come as a great surprise. Some respondents were honest and admitted that they were influenced by celebrity endorsements. But most weren’t. Their answers reflected what they would like to think their decision-making is based on, rather than what it actually is based on.
It’s important to ask yourself what your decisions are based on when it comes to buying weight loss products. And unlike most women to took the survey, you need to be honest with yourself. Not so that you can feel foolish, but so that if you find you are falling for celebrity endorsements, you’ll know that you need to change something in your thinking if you’re to succeed in achieving your weight loss goals.
To my knowledge, there are no celebrities in existence (except for some who are in the health and fitness industry, of course) who are qualified in any way to hand out weight loss advice or endorse weight loss products.
Even if they did happen to use a particular product and found it successful (a case which would be extremely rare), so what? They’re one person in 6 billion!
A moment ago I mentioned Kim Kardashian. She and her sisters are currently promoting a recently-released line of weight loss products called Quick Trim. They supposedly cleanse and detoxify your body, burn fat, and even reduce cellulite.
So what’s the connection between her and these products really? Let’s look at it logically.
Are they responsible for her figure? I don’t think so – they’ve only been around for two years or so. Has she even ever had to lose any weight in her lifetime? I doubt it – there are no before and after photos to be seen! Has she successfully lost any cellulite? Again, no photos!
Look, paying the Kardashian sisters to promote these products is brilliant from a marketing perspective. The result is that they sell huge, in major retail outlets. But as someone who’s serious about weight loss, you really should see through this as nothing more than empty marketing.
Last year sometime I saw a report on TV about a diet that was either endorsed or used by Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, and Jennifer Aniston. Now, no offense to any of these women – I admire them all greatly, but to my recollection, Angelina and Jennifer have never had to lose any weight, and Oprah is not what I would call a weight loss role model.
Again, I’m not trying to be insulting in any way here, just factual. So, if faced with a statement that one of these celebrities endorses some weight loss product, your response should be the same as mine was – so what?
Here’s the bottom line.
Celebrity marketing is very powerful, we’ve established that. And as I’m sure you’re aware, there’s a lot of other forms of marketing in weight loss that’s also very powerful and persuasive. And unfortunately, not to mention misleading!
At the end of the day, you need to remain alert to the information and claims you’re being exposed to by the weight loss industry. You need to keep in mind that it’s business – very big business.
Celebrities are simply paid to endorse products, and more often than not, they have no idea about their quality or effectiveness.
Sometimes they might not even care. Either way, the fact is that they can be deceived just as easily as you can.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, celebrities aren’t weight loss authorities and never will be. Even though being in the public eye grants them a lot of influence over the public, you shouldn’t allow that influence to extend to your wellbeing. If you’re serious about weight loss, you’ll trust serious sources, not those that are there purely for marketing purposes.
Keep it real and success will be yours!