Celebrities participating in political races are not a new trend. Yet in the 1920s, politicians used the endorsement of film stars to get through the elections, and now the “celebrity method” is a must to win the hearts of electorate. Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Barack Obama in the 2008 elections is known as the most powerful celebrity endorsement ever. The mechanism is quite simple – when messages are overwhelming, those from our favorite pop-stars become the most relevant.
In the 2016 elections, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had an army of famous supporters, each of them influencing millions of followers on Twitter alone. Endorsing or stating against candidates, celebrities shape the mind of a huge bulk of the electorate. Someone would say, for example, ‘I would never consider Trump’s candidature before I found that Mike Tyson was for him’. People like to rely on some credible role model before making their own opinion.
Celebrities sell – it is a common fact for marketing specialists. Well-known campaigns featuring famous pop-stars become the best-selling tools for all sorts of products. Politicians are no different. Celebrity influence and publicity are more precious than any money they could give to support the campaign. They do not only urge people to vote for a particular candidate. Many of them motivate people to get involved and more informed about the issue, be it elections or charity. Very often, celebrities are the first to drag their followers’ attention to urgent problems.