American Marketer


Strong celebrity endorsements result in 50pc more fan purchases

January 14, 2016

Dior Secret Garden campaign image featuring Rihanna Dior Secret Garden campaign image featuring Rihanna


Songstress Rihanna has been named the most marketable celebrity, according to research by The NPD Group.

Rihanna topped NPD’s ranking with 367 points, due in part because her fan base has distinctive brand preferences, more so than any other celebrity in sectors such as sports, film, music and others. The research conducted by NPD aims to identify the brand preferences of fans to help marketers determine which celebrities consumers are most likely to engage.

Friends of a brand
The scoring system used by NPD reflects a celebrity’s marketability, based on the total number of brands for whom they would be a strong endorser. For Rihanna, this index shows that she is worth nearly 3.7 times as many brand endorsements compared to other celebrities, outpacing others such as Angelina Jolie, Tim McGraw, Coldplay and Stephen Curry.

In May 2015, French fashion house Christian Dior leveraged pop star Rihanna’s celebrity and modernity in the installment of its Secret Garden advertising campaign. The singer was the first to release any of the campaign images, posting them to Instagram May 13 ahead of Dior’s May 14 publication, creating a media frenzy and gaining the attention of her millions of social media fans (see story).

Rihanna has also appeared in efforts for French fashion label Balmain. The singer was selected as the face of Balmain's spring/summer 2014 ads to generate buzz for the label among both brand enthusiasts and fans of the singer (see story).

Balmain Rihanna landing page

Rihanna for Balmain, spring/summer 2014

For celebrity endorsements to read as authentic, the selected ambassador must reflect the ethos of the brand. When the endorsement partnership is strong, fans of the celebrity are at least 50 percent more likely to make a purchase from the brand.

Rihanna was joined at the top of endorsement list by Beyonce, Ne-Yo, Usher and Wiz Khalifa. The list was rounded out with The Weeknd, Jennifer Lopez, Kevin Hart, Dr. Dre and Khloe Kardashian.

Smaller celebrities with a high number of endorsement opportunities include rapper M.I.A., who worked on a counterfeit-themed capsule collection with Versus Versace (see story), and others such as Michelle Phan of YouTube and Ipsy fame and soccer player Luis Suarez.