Media Coverage

December 30th, 2014

The best (and worst) celebrity credit card endorsers

The best (and worst) celebrity credit card endorsers


Jeanine Skowronski


Celebrities have become a staple in credit card commercials. In fact, nearly two-thirds of issuer ads debuting in 2014 feature a celebrity or a celebrity voice-over, according to analytics firm Ace Metrix.

But have you ever wondered whether those stars make you more likely to put plastic in your pocket?

Companies generally use these endorsers to “help the consumer imagine how the product is being used,” says Sun Joo Ahn, assistant advertising professor at the University of Georgia. “The positive image of the celebrity is hopefully going to transfer to the product” and inspire sales.

So how does the current lineup of endorsers stack up? To find out, Ace Metrix pulled data for Bankrate on credit card ads airing from Jan. 1, 2014, to Oct. 30, 2014.

The firm routinely uses a panel of 500 consumers to score national advertisements on a scale of 1 to 950. Scores are compiled using an algorithm that accounts for persuasiveness (how likely the viewer is to buy the product) and watchability (whether they would watch the ad again).

An analysis of scores year to date reinforced a notion Ace Metrix has seen across all industry categories for some time: A celebrity does not guarantee an ad campaign’s success.

In fact, “generally, it’s a slight negative to have a celebrity” in an ad, says Peter Daboll, Ace Metrix CEO. It’s worth noting that Discover, the issuer who actually posted the highest average Ace score (591) in this time frame, didn’t use any celebrities in its commercials.

Of course, some endorsers are more effective than others. The following list ranks current celebs from highest to lowest average Ace score. Ties were broken based on which one had the higher-rated individual ad. (As a barometer, the credit card industry average for ads year to date is 551.)

The following results may surprise you.

To read the full article, visit Bankrate.


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