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Celebrity Sells

Celebrity Sells, written by IPA Director General Hamish Pringle, and published in 2004, demonstrates the awesome power of famous names, when skillfully used and offers practical advice on how to develop and advertise a brand using celebrities.

Celebrities have always captured the imagination of the public. In today’s consumer age, their influence on our behaviour can be seen worldwide. Harnessing this power can reap huge rewards for business – the Jamie Oliver campaign helped turn around Sainsbury’s fortunes, with a return on investment of £27.25 for every advertising pound spent; sales of Walkers crisps increased by 105% thanks to brand share won by Gary Lineker; One2One re-launched successfully using stars including Kate Moss and Elvis Presley. 

Celebrity Sells,  written by IPA Director General Hamish Pringle, and published in 2004, demonstrates the awesome power of famous names, when skillfully used and offers practical advice on how to develop and advertise a brand using celebrities.

Successful celebrity campaigns

Much of the material for Celebrity Sells was sourced from the IPA's Databank of effectiveness case studies, a relational database derived from entries to the IPA Effectiveness Awards competition, which has been running since 1980. Each case study is available for purchase and download from this site. You can view videos from the winners gallery and brand films from our Effectiveness Awards site 

Cases appearing here had an ROI calculation and provided incremental revenue data. The campaign time periods varied. Please refer to the cases themselves for further details.

You can also use the Effectiveness Awards Search Engine (EASE) to interrogate over 1100 detailed case studies which form the collected learning from the entries to the IPA’s Effectiveness Awards Databank.


  • Prunella Scales and Jane Horrocks for Tesco: ROI 2.25:1; incremental revenue of £2.2 billion


  • Jamie Oliver for Sainsbury's: ROI of 27:1; £1.12 billion in incremental revenue.


  • Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie for Alliance & Leicester: ROI 30:1; incremental revenue of £656 million


  • Bob Hoskins for BT: ROI of 6:1; £297 million in incremental revenue.


  • Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer for First Direct: ROI of 18:1; incremental revenue of £223 million


  • Ian Wright/Martin Luther King/Kate Moss/Elvis/John McCarthy/Yuri Gagarin for One2One: ROI of 5.4:1; £199 million in incremental revenue.


  • Martin Clunes, Caroline Quentin, Jonah Lomu, Caprice, Jonathan Ross for Pizza Hut: ROI of 3:1; incremental revenue of £55 million


  • Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson for Surf: ROI 2:1; incremental revenue of £42 million.


  • George Best, Chris Eubank, Rolf Harris, Prince Naseem for the Dairy Council: ROI of 2.5; incremental revenue of £21 million.


  • The Simpsons for Domino's Pizza: ROI of 5.3; incremental revenue of £13 million.


You can purchase Celebrity Sells here



If you wish to stay in touch with celebrity endorsements, ad campaigns etc you might like to visit Celebrity Sellout, which compiles celebrity news from Brand Republic.
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