Which celebrities get the most media buzz?

The latest Millward Brown CEBRA (Celebrity and Brand) research puts Cheryl Cole in the hot seat as the celebrity with the most buzz in Britain, a measure of how much celebrities are talked about. Senior researcher Rob Valsler says that this is not too surprising, given what she’s been up to lately. He explains: “The stories that contributed to her buzz seem to centre around her relationship with dancer Derek Hough, her health after contracting malaria and the subsequent speculation about her participation in the new X-Factor series. In fact as the X-Factor PR machine kicked into action, Cole seemed to feature prominently. It wouldn’t surprise me if she was responsible for the record viewing figures the show had for the first showing of its new series. Celebrity pulling power can be a huge factor in show, and brand, success.

“Of course, you will want to consider whether the buzz is positive or negative. Cheryl’s buzz was 76 percent positive, making her 11th in the league table of celebrities with the most positive buzz. Negative buzz can also be relevant for those brands that want to become a bit more edgy. Rimmell famously did this with Kate Moss. Bad-boy Tiger Woods features in the top 20 list of celebrities with buzz, but it’s 70 per cent negative with no sign of improvement since the first CEBRA study earlier this year. News of his recent divorce will not help Tiger’s positivity, though his inclusion in the US Ryder Cup team could be a lifeline.”

Wayne Rooney’s personal life dominates present headlines, but although this makes him less marketable in the immediate term, his wife’s brand should still be strong. Helena Bloomer, associate director at agency Slam PR says that Coleen Rooney has matured under the spotlight from a school girl, via a flashy WAG phase, into a woman who is noted more for her style and chutzpah these days then her fashion faux pas. She adds: “Coleen has carved herself into a carefully constructed and likeable brand, creating a fashion conscious image of a ‘girl's best friend’ from fronting accessible TV shows like Coleen’s Real Women to her recent appointment as style ambassador for Littlewoods. Now also a mother, Coleen has the ability to appeal to an even wider audience base and while her husband is derided for his shabby indiscretions, her career just goes from strength to strength, with an estimated personal fortune of £10m. Arguably, her husband is now only a hindrance than a help to her cultivated image and potential future success. It will be interesting to see how she handles the latest scandal, if she indeed does choose to go it alone and with a similar and enviable aplomb of Elin Woods, it may just be the best career move she’s made yet. Women are likely to respect her even more. She will be hot media property and I expect the endorsement deals will keep on coming."

Millward Brown’s Valsler believes that brands should not make decisions about celebrity associations based on buzz alone. Familiarity (how well a celebrity is known), affinity (how well they are liked) and personality traits should all be combined to provide a measure of their marketability and relevance for a particular brand. Valsler adds: “Cheryl’s mix of exciting, endearing and engaging personality traits (playful, sympathetic and outgoing but least reserved and firm) combined with high familiarity and affinity, make her a great fit for the X-Factor brand which has many fun associations such as spontaneous, playful and outgoing. Her rivalry with co-host Dannii Minogue seems to go deeper than their choice of dress with Dannii receiving a far lower buzz rating (no 37 in the ranking with 68 percent of it being positive). Despite this, Dannii is also a good fit for the X-Factor brand. Another ‘celebrity’ duo that battle for positive coverage is Cameron and Clegg. Whilst Cameron gets more buzz, Clegg’s is more positive.

 Top 11 Celebrities with Buzz – Millward Brown Cebra Research

1. Cheryl Cole

2. Wayne Rooney

3. Fabio Capello

4. Lady Gaga

5. Ant & Dec

6. David Cameron 

7. Lionel Messi

8. Steven Gerrard

9. Lewis Hamilton 

10. David Beckham

11. Nick Clegg

 Top 10 Celebrities with Positive Buzz

 1. Joanna Lumley

 2. Lewis Hamilton

 3. Ant & Dec

 4. Jenson Button

 5. Will Smith

 6. Kylie Minogue

 7. Steven Gerrard

 8. JLS

 9. Lionel Messi

 10. Judi Dench