January 16, 2024

The value of celebrity endorsement


(Picture credit: The Sunday Times)

It seems all of us are constantly bombarded with requests, asking to review a product, or to ‘like’ a service or website. 

At Hearing Healthcare Practice, our hearing aid and audiology practice in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, we sometimes ask our clients if they would like to share their stories. We do this when we know their experiences will be informative and help others in similar situations. For us, it’s less about promoting our Practice and more about enabling and empowering others to act, and not to put up with a hearing issue that could be improved, relieved, or even cured.

We don’t ask everyone and do so only if we feel our requests will be well received and truly warranted. We have to admit we don’t always feel completely comfortable making these requests as we know how many of today’s reviews are ten-a-penny. We all give credence to recommendations if they are unsolicited and insightful, but sometimes it can be hard to tell the genuine from the ‘artificial’.  We’ve previously posted (see here) about the impact when a client takes the trouble to send in a handwritten card or letter of thanks. It means so much more to us than an online ‘like’ or the ubiquitous ‘thumbs-up’. 

Celebrity culture is a constant presence in all our lives as brands queue up to seek endorsements from ‘A-listers’ to social media influencers. It seems the fifteen minutes of fame highlighted by Andy Warhol has been turned into a tradeable commodity. Our lead audiologist, Robert Beiny, has had such a long and distinguished career that his advice has been sought by many people who live their lives in the public eye – from politicians to royalty, from musicians to artists. But as part of our professional commitment to confidentially we don’t seek celebrity endorsements. 

So we were taken by surprise when a recent article appeared in The Sunday Times written by respected author and journalist Hunter Davies, highlighting his struggles with hearing and his happy experiences with Hearing Healthcare Practice.

As a result of the article the requests we’ve had from people wishing to book appointments have come thick and fast. We have been amazed at the power the celebrity endorsement has had, not just for us but for all those new clients we’ve met who have been struggling unnecessarily and through no fault of their own. 

Two weeks after Hunter’s article appeared, Jeremy Clarkson dedicated his column in The Sunday Times to focus on his increasing hearing struggles and that, surprisingly, he doesn’t as he suspected have ‘selective deafness’ but is unable to hear certain speech phonemes which required correcting with hearing aids. He wrote that his “hearing loss will double the chance of catching dementia.” A little journalistic license is at play here, but the message is on point. He also referenced: “…my brain is having to use a huge amount of computing power trying to fill in the bits of speech it hasn’t been able to hear”.

He concluded: “The upshot is that by the time you read this, I will be using hearing ads. They’re very snazzy and extremely clever. At drinks parties, they will automatically dial down the background twaddle.”

You can read the full article here in the Sunday Times. (Heard the latest? I’m getting hearing aids. The Sunday Times Sat 25 November 2023. Subscription required)

So thank you, Hunter, and Jeremy, for not hiding your struggles and having the confidence to write about your experiences. We’re sure many thousands of people with similar issues will also thank you as they also seek audiological guidance and support.

If you would like to arrange an appointment at Hearing Healthcare Practice with one of our expert team please, click here.