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Do celebrity endorsements sell products?

Do celebrity endorsements sell products? — We talked to supermarket shoppers about the roles stars play in their buying habits

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Fame has its rewards. Just ask the actors, musicians, and athletes who’ve cashed in on their celebrity by pushing products in commercials. While advertisers certainly believe that superstar plugs move merchandise, ordinary folks aren’t so sure. To check out the situation, we visited Carrefour, the seven-acre ”hypermarket” in Philadelphia, and asked shoppers for opinions about celebrity spokespeople.

The Van Allens: Michael, 28; Jaimie, 24; Corey Ann, 2
Michael: I don’t like the Brian Bosworth ad for Avia sneakers. He does the running and someone else does the talking. Jaimie: Oprah did ads for (Opti-Fast). She needs it again.

Wendy McLaughlin, college administrator, 33
I can’t recall buying a product because a celebrity said I should. But somebody I don’t like — Madonna, for instance — could have a negative effect on me.

Joshua Cole, student, 15
I like Patrick Ewing and Dominique Wilkins for Minute Maid orange soda. It’s an exciting commercial, but I haven’t bought the soda. My favorite is Canada Dry black cherry.

Jean-Jacques Carquillat, food distributor, 30
Michael J. Fox is the right man for Pepsi. He’s a new generation: he’s young, he’s a good actor, he’s not boring. But I don’t like Pepsi so much. I prefer Orangina.

Colleen Gallagher, student, 14
What’s so special about New Kids on the Block? People think they’re cute, but I hate them so much I might stop drinking Coke. But I like Bart Simpson. I tried Butterfingers because of the commercial.

Casper J. Boni, retired, 72
I understand Paul Newman has a very nice salad dressing and I’m going to try it soon. He’s handsome and a very fine actor. It might be an old recipe handed down from his family.