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Millward Brown adds marketability measure to celebrity and brand research

18 October, 2010


LONDON — Despite no longer playing football in England, David Beckham was today named the UK’s most powerful celebrity in the latest Millward Brown celebrity and brand (Cebra) research. The Cebra research now includes a measure of marketability alongside familiarity, affinity, media attention. The study aims to help marketers and media agencies identify celebrities and brand partnerships with the greatest marketplace potential.

Beckham moves up two places in the ranking, booting out pop star Kylie Minogue from the number one position she has held since the research was first conducted in March this year. “Although living in the USA, Beckham is still an ambassador for England and football which keeps him firmly in the hearts and minds of British people. Despite not playing football during this year’s World Cup, his role as a liaison between management and the players was clearly well received,” says Mark Husak, Media Development Director, Millward Brown Europe.

Beckham scores highly on all of the measures of celebrity power including buzz, positive role model, familiarity and likeability. “Beckham’s outgoing, calm, straightforward and sensible personality combined with the polished image that broke many of the stereotypes about male sophistication and grooming would make him a good match for brands such as Avon, Nivea and Starbucks,” Continues Husak.

By integrating measures of marketability (a combination of role model and talent status) more closely into the Cebra score, Millward Brown believes that it will be easier for marketers to find positive and relevant associations for their brands.

Millward Brown’s Cebra study ranks celebrities with the highest Cebra score among UK adults aged between 18 and 65. The top 10 were:

 Celebrities with most power  Ranking in March 2010
 1) David Beckham  #3
 2) Ant & Dec  #4
 3) Kylie Minogue  #1
 4) Will Smith  #20
 5) Lewis Hamilton  #14
 6) Judi Dench  #12
 7) Joanna Lumley  #5
 8) Cheryl Cole  #2
 9) Jamie Oliver  #7
 10) Gary Lineker  n/a

Research Highlights:

National treasure Stephen Fry, whose second memoir The Fry Chronicles is already a bestseller, ranks third in the measure of celebrities with high affinity (most likeable). He is #14 in the Cebra ranking of celebrity power.

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey, who recently fled from gunfire on a camping trip with the Beckhams, is # 40 in the power ranking. He is seen as having the most Firm and Thorough personality traits than any other celebrity in the ranking. Ramsey is also #12 in the list of celebrities with the most negative buzz.

Most Positive Role Models: Joanna Lumley, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren – these award-winning leading ladies are the most positive role models in this research study proving that age really does make a difference to positive role model status. They are closely followed by Kylie Minogue, David Beckham, Jamie Oliver, Gary Lineker, Will Smith, Jensen Button and Stephen Fry.

Most Negative Role Models: Amy Winehouse, Katie Price and Ashley Cole. Bad behaviour can make any celebrity a negative role model. This list that also includes Jonathan Ross (who has moved down the negative role model list one place to #10), John Terry and Peaches Geldoff.

Brands with buzz - Apple had the most buzz (a measure of how much a celebrity or brand is talked about). This innovative consumer electronics company was followed by Google, Facebook, X-Factor and Wii, highlighting the popularity of consumer technology.

Film stars get more positive buzz than other celebrities and are more likely to be seen as talented than TV actors. They are also more likely to be seen as role models.

Millward Brown’s Cebra (celebrity + brand) research goes beyond existing ratings of how well a celebrity is known by consumers (Familiarity) to include measures of Affinity (how well they are liked), Marketability and Entertainment (how much they are talked about online and offline). The FAME ratings produce an overall Cebra score that relates to the celebrity’s attractiveness to marketers. Combined with additional analysis of brand and celebrity personality, marketers can identify brand and celebrity partnerships with the greatest marketplace potential.

About Millward Brown
Millward Brown is one of the world's leading research agencies and is expert in effective advertising, marketing communications, media and brand equity research. Through the use of an integrated suite of validated research solutions — both qualitative and quantitative — Millward Brown helps clients build strong brands and services. Millward Brown has more than 78 offices in 51 countries. Additional practices include Millward Brown's Global Media Practice (media effectiveness unit), The Neuroscience Practice (using neuroscience to enhance traditional research techniques), Millward Brown Optimor (focused on helping clients maximize the returns on their brand and marketing investments) and Dynamic Logic (the world leader in digital marketing effectiveness). Millward Brown is part of Kantar, WPP's insight, information and consultancy group.

Note to editors: For further information on this research or if you require consumer-based research on any of the celebrities you are writing about please contact:

Teresa Horscroft
UK PR Consultant
Tel: +44 (0)1420 564346
Mobile: +44 (0)7990 520390


Dominic Harders
Marketing Director, Europe
Millward Brown
Tel: +44 (0)1926 826455

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