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Pathmatics Blog

A Close-Up Look at the Celebrity Faces of Financial Services

December 07 2016 by Jordan Kramer

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Celebrity branding can be expensive. Really expensive. Celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Selena Gomez can charge up to $230,000 per social media post. While some claim that celebrity endorsements aren’t worth the costs or risks (what happens if your celebrity goes rogue?), it’s clear that many brands still see these endorsements as valuable marketing tactics.

Out of the top ten financial services digital advertising spenders in Q3, we found six that employed celebrity endorsements in their digital advertising campaigns across desktop, mobile, tablet and video advertising. 

Take a look at some of the faces of financial services from Q3 and the roles they played in each brand’s advertising efforts.

Jennifer Garner and Samuel L. Jackson for Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation was the top spender in the financial services sector for Q3, dishing out more than $56 million in digital advertising, according to Pathmatics data. But it looks like the brand’s budget didn’t stop there. Both Jennifer Garner and Samuel L. Jackson appeared across display and video advertisements for the bank.

Image 2.pngGarner appeared in display and video ads touting the Venture Miles Rewards Credit Card, Capital One’s travel card.

Among the brand’s top ads, the image to the left is the only display ad featuring Garner. However, the actress appears in multiple unique video ads, all for the Venture Card.


While Jackson didn’t appear in any top display ads, he, like Garner, appeared in multiple video advertisements for the company’s Quicksilver card, a cash back rewards credit card.

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Ice-T for GEICO

GEICO was the second highest spender for the quarter, shelling out more than $48 million on digital advertising. Rapper and actor Ice-T represented the brand in one of its top video advertisements. Ice-T also appears in a display advertisement, which uses a thumbnail image of the video with a play button, rather than a still image.

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Unlike many of the celebrity endorsements among the top ten financial services spenders, Ice-T isn’t used to endorse an individual product. Rather, his appearance seems to be geared toward general brand awareness.


Tina Fey for American Express

Image 5.pngThe comedian and actress Tina Fey appears in both display and video advertisements for American Express, which spent nearly $15 million on digital advertising in Q3. Similar to GEICO’s Ice-T ads, each of Fey’s display advertisements features a thumbnail of a video with a play button, rather than a still image of Fey.

The American Express ads featuring Fey all tout the Blue Cash Everyday card, which is the brand’s cash back rewards card.

Leslie Jones and Tim Gunn for Allstate

Allstate Corporation spent more than $13 million in Q3 on digital advertising. The brand hired comedian and actress Leslie Jones and television personality Tim Gunn for its celebrity endorsements.Image 6.png
Jones appears as the face of Allstate’s Drivewise mobile app, which offers savings and rewards for safe drivers. 
Gunn’s advertisements, on the other hand, center on Allstate’s home insurance and claim-free rewards.Image 7.png

Similar to Jackson for Capital One, both Allstate endorsers appear in multiple video advertisements for Allstate, but do not turn up in any display ads. Allstate’s display seems to be reserved for the brand’s mascot, “Mayhem.”


Additional Takeaways

The endorsements in Q3 didn’t stop there. Brad Snyder, a Paralympic swimmer, represented Citigroup, Inc., while a number of musicians represented State Farm in a campaign called Neighborhood Sessions.

Although celebrity branding can come with a massive price tag, many top financial services firms invest heavily in big names. Honing in on these specific celebrities and the products they sell can offer insights on your competitors’ brand strategies, target audiences and goals. 

Want to see more of your competitors’ celebrity endorsements, as well as their budgets, impressions and spending habits? Download our Financial Services Advertising Report to see how the industry spends its ad dollars.

**All trademarks & copyrights property of their respective owners.

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About Author
Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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