By: Shea Posey, Senior Account Executive, and Jake McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer

Lewis Salton was an immigrant who settled in New York in 1939 after the German invasion of his native Poland. Employed as an engineer for RCA. Salton worked long hours and often missed supper, coming home to cold leftovers. Thinking there had to be a better way to enjoy a hot meal than having his wife reheat it in the oven, he was inspired to invent a heated serving cart on wheels. Thus began the Salton company in 1943. The Salton Hotray was an ingenious idea and a huge success at the time. In the following decades, the company manufactured many other convenience products, but the hot tray was its core product until the Sandwich Maker made its infomercial debut in 1990.

So, why the history lesson? Salton has been a pretty successful company since its inception nearly 80 years ago. Even if you don’t recognize the name, chances are you’ve probably owned a Salton product at some point in your life. However, when the company teamed up with boxing legend George Foreman in 1994 to rebrand its Salton Electric Grill as the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine, the brand experienced massive growth. The $137.5 million endorsement deal, plus an additional $11 million for TV appearances, made George Foreman the highest-paid celebrity endorser of all time.

Was it worth it? Since its introduction in 1994, over 100 million George Foreman grills have been sold worldwide, so Salton, Inc. would probably say yes.

Endorsers…brand ambassadors…influencers – no matter what you call them, they undoubtedly affect the purchasing behaviors of their followers. A recent study published in Frontiers of Psychology found that celebrity worship can be associated with higher impulsive buying intent. The research also concluded that people with low passion who still follow influencers are even affected by this phenomenon, with women being affected more than men although men still had fairly high scores.

Why do influencers work so well? It has to do with a psychological principle known as the authority heuristic. This occurs when a person believes and trusts the opinion of a celebrity or authority figure simply because of who they are. For decades, marketers have used government leaders, doctors, lawyers, and other perceived experts in different fields to add credence to their products. These days, the number of degrees or doctorates isn’t nearly as authoritative as the number of followers on Twitter or TikTok. Even though influencers of today have taken on a new face, they are still a highly popular and effective form of marketing and should be considered as a part of your mainstream media mix.

Understanding consumer psychology in marketing helps us realize the importance of influencer marketing and why the authority principle can play a significant role in your brand’s marketing strategy. Give us a call at 833-579-1905 or email us at to discuss how we can help you turn psychological insights into great creative advertising.

Share this article