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As a rule, are celebrity endorsements effective?

Following is a heart-warming story about a teenage girl with a big heart, who is earnestly engaged in a charitable effort to collect shoes for needy people.

Wait a minute, it's actually about Kim Kardashian.

In truth, it's about both of those people, and most decidedly centered on this question: Does input from a celebrity automatically guarantee success for a business, fund-raising effort, philanthropic activity or other endeavor?

The media these days has more than its share of articles suggesting that the value of celebrity endorsements to help sell or otherwise promote a product is sometimes overhyped.

And, indeed, it may be on some occasions.

But where mega-celebrities such as Kim Kardashian are concerned (we'll just assume that virtually every one of our readers knows who she is), it just about seems a virtual slam dunk that their involvement with a product or effort has a salutary effect on the bottom line.

In the above case, a 17-year-old girl was trying to collect 2,000 pairs of shoes for a poverty-fighting organization. She was working hard, but short of her goal.

That is, until Kardashian just happened to come across a television show talking about the girl and her efforts.

Done deal.

Kardashian and her husband, singer -- and, as it turns out, shoe designer -- Kanye West decided to personally donate 1,000 pair of shoes to the organization.

And now, owing to Kardhashian's ready endorsement of the girl and the group Soles for Souls on Twitter, the teen has been emboldened to increase her shoe-procuring effort to a level more than 12 times higher than it was originally.

What emerges quite clearly from the story and Kardashian's involvement is that celebrity endorsement can be a very potent weapon indeed in the success of a business or altruistic effort.

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