Four in Five Millennials Distrust Celeb Endorsements

Millennials are now less likely than ever to make a purchase based on a celebrity endorsement, according to a new study by Roth Capital Partners.

78% of respondents to the study showed a distinct cynicism for celebrity-based marketing; given the millennial insistence on authenticity, this result is not terribly surprising. Widespread distrust of celebrity endorsements has been more and more apparent, visible especially in the wake of campaigns like Kendall Jenner’s endorsement of Pepsi. The ad backfired spectacularly, earning descriptors like “tone deaf” and “exploitative” before ultimately being pulled from the air.


When asked if they would be more likely to make a purchase based on a celebrity endorsement

27% of those surveyed disagreed

19.5% somewhat disagreed

31.8% were indifferent

14.2% somewhat agreed

Only 7.5% agreed

40% of respondents felt that paid posts cut influencer and celebrity credibility.

Those campaigns that achieve the highest levels of success are those in which the influencer seems like they have their follower’s best interests at heart, or are promoting a product they actually care about. This is easier for non-celebrity influencers, who are inherently seen as more relatable

regardless, when it comes down to the sales pitch, social media users are quick to notice when an influencer has merely been paid enough to post on Instagram about a product.

The study’s findings contradict a few widely-held assumptions among marketing teams about their millennial demographic. The predilection of young consumers to shop online and make choices based on social media influencing is not as straightforward as it might appear; social media marketing must be done right, with high levels of authenticity and transparency from brands. It is crucial to set apart a social media campaign from standard online advertising, which millennials are likely to ignore or dismiss.  

The study also found that repetition played a role in increasing revenue from influencer campaigns; 50% of millennials surveyed said that an influencer’s consistent use of a product was more important than individual branded posts. To that end, businesses are now allocating more funding both to longer-term influencer marketing campaigns, and to making sure their product is worth promoting based on its own merit. 39% of marketers plan to increase their budget for implementing this strategy in 2018.  To get you started with your own data-driven influencer marketing campaign contact our experts at or visit CROWD.