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Study: Celebrity influence still important


PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. According to a new study by The NPD Group, celebrities continue to have a strong influence on consumer purchasing decisions, however it takes more than just being famous to generate sales.

"The power of celebrity is still very important, but the dynamic is changing quite a bit," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for The NPD Group. “It is no longer just a popularity contest, authenticity counts, too.  Authenticity by way of actual, real world experience and that’s what makes a celebrity’s association with products and brands more real, more believable.”

In terms of likeability, the NPD study found that Will Smith scored the highest, with 83% of those who know the actor saying they like Will Smith “strongly” or “somewhat.” Will Smith also faired well in terms of celebrities considered believable when they represent products or brands, he took the second spot amongst the most trusted celebrities, Oprah Winfrey's interior designer, Nate Berkus, ranked first.

Overall, the study shows that celebrity chefs perform very well when it comes to eliciting trust in the minds of consumers. In fact, nine of the top 25 most trusted celebrities are chefs, including Mario Batali, Paula Deen, and Rachel Ray.

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