Forget the glamour girls–Betty White has all of them beat! By taking the top slot in the Q2 2014 IME Star Index®, Betty showed that age can indeed stand before beauty.
The top women following her on the list were Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez.
“Betty White’s staying power is a marvel of the entertainment business; she has proven herself to be a highly-effective celebrity spokesperson—one whose sense of humor and disarming charm seem to only strengthen her trustworthiness and influence with people of both genders and all ages,“ says Rob Levy, President of InterMedia Entertainment®.
The ubiquitous 92-year-old, currently seen on Hot in Cleveland and Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, is most famous for her iconic roles on The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Including commercials, talk shows, hosting stints including Saturday Night Live and WWF Raw, voiceover and films, her popularity knows no bounds.
And the numbers prove it. White scored in the top one percent among all celebrities in five of the six spokesperson-attribute categories. The lone exception was her standing in the attractiveness category, where she placed a highly-respectable 170th, which placed her in the top 25th percentile. Considering White’s age, that status is exceptional. As a point of reference, Betty was slotted for attractiveness in-between Daryl Hannah and Peri Gilpin, two attractive actresses who are decades younger.
To attain the number one position, White placed first among all celebrities in three crucial spokesperson attributes: trust, influence, and likeability. Delving deeper into her numbers makes an even stronger case that a celebrity spokesperson’s viability is not tied to age; White not only generated the highest scores in these key categories, she obliterated the competition. Extraordinarily, the gaps between her scores and those of the runners-up were the largest the IME Star Index has experienced to date: White’s scores were 20% higher in trust, 23% higher in influence and 14% higher in like ability.
Another prime example of an older celebrity who has been able to maintain high public levels of trust, influence, relevance, and likeability is Morgan Freeman, who currently performs the voiceovers for a series of Visa TV spots. In the latest IME Star Index, the 77-year old Freeman ranked in the Top 5 overall in the trust, influence, and likeability categories, plus tied White for fourth place in relevance.
Conversely, Freeman scored in the bottom third of the survey rankings in the attractiveness category. This further supports the notion that physical appearance is a relative non-factor when assessing the public’s overall perception of a celebrity. However, it is important to note that this finding is not applicable for all marketing scenarios; specifically, attractiveness is highly relevant for advertisers in the beauty and personal fitness categories.
Dick Van Dyke is further proof that celebrities can maintain their potential for spokesperson viability well into their later years. Despite not being active in show business for many years (except for syndicated reruns of his hit shows), Van Dyke’s composite scores have consistently ranked him in the top 10% of each of the IME Star Index surveys. His strength is a result of his consistent Top 10 rankings in the crucial spokesperson categories of trust, influence and likeability.
Other findings from the 2nd quarter index rankings showcased three celebrities who most-elevated their standing from the prior survey as a result increased media coverage and news. Khloé Kardashian (+181 places), Toni Braxton (+135) and LeBron James (+132) all saw major lifts in their index status. During the period just prior to the survey timeframe, all three generated high, favorable levels of media exposure, though for vastly different reasons–Kardashian’s divorce from Lamar Odom, Braxton’s recently published memoir Unbreak My Heart and James’ stellar play during his team’s fourth consecutive NBA Playoffs drove their numbers.
InterMedia Entertainment is constantly enhancing the index’s celebrity list to accommodate the ever-changing, expanding direct response landscape. The IME Star Index was designed to capture and track rapidly-shifting public sentiment concerning celebrities in a media and celebrity obsessed society. InterMedia Entertainment conducts this primary consumer research on a quarterly basis to ensure that the index is reflective of current media trends and consumer attitudes.
InterMedia Entertainment provides its celebrity deal making services to a wide range of businesses, including new marketers, companies with existing campaigns looking for a renewed creative focus, and other advertising/marketing entities. In the recent past, IME has executed campaigns with such leading sports and entertainment figures as Joey Fatone, Joan Lunden and Gabrielle Reece.
InterMedia Entertainment conducts extensive market research to determine the right celebrity for each client. The company works with industry-leading agents and managers to create optimal pairings.