Appeal to Wealth
Claiming that a position is correct because the rich or famous support it. This is the basis behind Celebrity Endorsements
, especially when the celebrity's claim to fame is not relevant to the issue. See Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
and Colbert Bump
- Lampshaded all to hell and back by a Sprite commercial that had NBA player Grant Hill doing the standard "Sprite is what I drink when my thirst really needs quenching" shtick while pictures of him holding fistfuls of cash appeared in the corner, with accompanying cash register sounds. The final screen said, "Drink Sprite because you like it. Not because an athlete says he does." This was used to wind down the "Grant Hill Drinks Sprite" ad campaign and kickoff the "Image is Nothing. Thirst Is Everything. Obey Your Thirst." campaign
- Ironically, the "Obey Your Thirst" campaign slowly began to play Appeal to Wealth straight, with a small statue character named Thirst fighting celebrities to get to Sprite first.
- Lampshaded on 30 Rock:
Tracy: Jenna, we're the most important people here, right?
Jenna: Well of course, Tracy. We're actors. If we didn't exist, how would people know who to vote for?
- Reefer Madness: The Musical gives us a one-two punch of Appeal to Authority and Appeal to Wealth. A sadistic propagandist is challenged about his absurd claims about marijuana by one of the parents watching the film within a film about marijuana's "evils." The propagandist points out that his view is supported by Mr. William Randolph Hearst, who is both very wealthy and matriculated to Harvard. He then scores a hat trick by throwing in the Ad Hominem by pointing out the parent never went to college and does not know the word matriculate, then dismissing the parent out of hand. Finally, for the grand slam, he throws in an Appeal to Fear with another personal attack, suggesting the parent is unAmerican and that the others should report his behavior, especially in light of his "views."
- In one episode of The Simpsons, Marge was trying to collect signatures for a petition with limited success... until Mr. Burns signed.
- The link between vaccines and autism note gained much of its popularity because Jenny McCarthy endorsed it. Who, obviously, is a former playmate, not a pharmacologist or psychologist.
- A lot of people today embrace the inverse: if someone from Hollywood said it, it must be bullshit. That is equally fallacious.
- A variation is arguing that price is directly proportional to how good something is; the "You Get What You Pay For" argument usually takes the form "X costs more than Y, therefore X is superior in every way to Y." This is not true; for example, a Motorola Aura costs six times more than a Blackberry Curve but does not have a full keyboard, and a $2500 Volvo 245 station wagon makes a better town car that a $2 million McLaren F1.
- An example for smaller purchases: multiple articles on China have described factories producing common items such as computer cords, and putting them in different packaging with different labels. The exact same object is sold in computer stores worldwide for multiple different prices (and under the labels of multiple different companies), depending on packaging. People will fallaciously assume that if something is more expensive, it must be higher-quality.
- Please note: This does not mean that electronics that look the same yet are of vastly different prices will always just be the same product with different labels. Sometimes the cheaper one really is a Shoddy Knockoff Product and will not give you the same value as the more expensive one. Without research, you can't really tell if this is the case, or the other one.
- This fallacy extends deep into human psychology. Scientific studies have shown that if people are given two different glasses of wine, but told that one is far more expensive than than the other, they will tend to describe the "more expensive" wine as better. Moreover, if you have the people connected to brain scans while doing the experiment, different parts of their brain will light up for the two different glasses, despite the wines being identical.