Is Roger Federer worthwhile as an advertising ambassador?

Roger Federer is one of the most courted personalities and adorns posters, commercials and online ads for numerous brands. An independent neuromarketing study has investigated for which brands Federer brings real added profile value.

Roger Federer
(Image: Zutt & Partner)

The better the emotional fit of the brand ambassador with the brand, the more successful the cooperation will be. This success factor is most valuable when the fit during the collaboration is high. A perfect example is George Clooney's appearance for Nespresso. Here, Clooney's elegant charm and approachability fit the brand from the start. Using an ambassador to steer brand emotions in a new direction, on the other hand, is expensive and only makes sense in the very long term.

But how do you analyze this emotional fit? A classic survey is powerless here. This is because customers cannot put the emotional impact of brands and ambassadors into words. Non-verbal survey methods, on the other hand, allow the emotional impact of the brand and the ambassador to be measured independently and then compared with each other. With the EmoCompass study von Zutt was approached in this way.

Which brand comes closest to Federer emotionally?

When queried non-verbally, the likeable and successful tennis pro comes across as friendly, inspiring and powerful above all. For a worthwhile fit to emerge, the brand must trigger the same emotions. This is the only way to awaken a clear and consistent feeling in the customer's brain - and to strengthen the brand impact through Federer. If there is no fit, the customer gets a diffuse feeling. This has less of an effect in the brain and remains weaker in memory. On this basis, the following ranking results:

According to the study, On is the narrow winner. The sports shoe manufacturer comes closest to the tennis star emotionally. On the one hand, the sporty power is clearly a given in a sports shoe. In addition, there is a good portion of inspiration, probably not least because of the innovative shoe sole. For the clear match ball, however, On would also have to convey more friendliness and closeness in addition to the innovative power.

Roger Federer
(Image: Zutt & Partner)

The ranking winner is closely followed by Jura. The Swiss coffee machine manufacturer found in Roger almost what George Clooney is for Nespresso - a likeable brand ambassador who fits the brand. Lindt and Rolex also did well, again creating a valuable emotional fit with Federer.

A bit further away are the brands Barilla, Switzerland Tourism, Credit Suisse and Mercedes. These fit the tennis pro to some extent, but not enough to create an effective fit.

The clear taillight is Sunrise. The Telekom brand doesn't hit any of the three Federer emotions and pulls in completely different emotional worlds. This does not create a value-added fit with Roger.

Conclusion and Learnings of the Study

The study shows that when choosing brand ambassadors, it is always necessary to check on an emotional level whether they really fit the brand.

Moreover, not every fit is obvious: tennis players and coffee machine manufacturers are not the best combination on a rational level. On the emotional level, however, a strong match can still emerge.

If the emotional fit is right, it is worth paying further attention to how the ambassador is integrated into the communication. Ideally, the brand ambassador will be part of a story that also fits the emotional profile - the differentiating core of the brand. Such an emotionally fitting story can significantly increase the ambassador's impact. After all, the right story weaves the ambassador and the brand deep into the neuron network of the customer's brain.

In this respect, too, by the way, George Clooney's commercial for Nespresso is an ideal practical example. The emotional differentiation core of Nespresso is that the sophisticated coffee system makes you a better host. In the commercials, Clooney is seen in exactly this role. Because Clooney is very well known and popular, mirror neurons are activated and consumers want to see themselves in Clooney again. In this way, ambassador, brand and story work together perfectly to create an emotionally gripping advertising campaign.

For optimal impact, the brand, ambassador, and story must be emotionally aligned. To achieve this, star brands such as Nespresso, Apple, Nike and others use methods that can measure the emotional impact of brands and touchpoints.

This study was conducted by the Neuromarketing company for research, strategy and design Zutt & Partner carried out. The company offers free Workshops on the study (detailed results, interpretations, further information on the study and initial approaches to solutions). publishes the study free of charge out of editorial interest.

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