What is the 'Oprah Effect'

The Oprah Effect refers to the boost in sales that followed an endorsement on The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired on TV for 25 years. A recommendation from Oprah, the queen of talk shows, turned many fashion and lifestyle products into multimillion-dollar companies.

BREAKING DOWN 'Oprah Effect'

Many businesses and people, who were lucky enough to appeal to Oprah Winfrey, found overnight success after being promoted on her groundbreaking show – which ran from 1986 to 2011, and was the highest-rated daytime talk show in American TV history.

The Oprah Effect was especially powerful because of her authenticity. Oprah chose products she was genuinely interested in, rather than being paid to promote them. And, unlike typical celebrity endorsements, she supported independent family businesses.

Thanks to Oprah, TV personalities like psychologist Dr. Phil, health-expert Dr. Oz and TV cook Rachael Ray have all become household names with their own TV shows. She also had a huge impact on publishing. Oprah’s Book Club promoted reading and turned books into immediate best sellers.

Today, Oprah is a billionaire and a media mogul. She launched OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, in 2011. And while her 10% investment in Weight Watchers in 2015 has proved that not everything she touches turns to gold instantly — the dieting company faces stiff competition from mobile apps and fitness trackers — she still has millions of loyal fans and high approval ratings.

In the spring of 2018, there was intense speculation about a Winfrey presidential candidacy. Could the Oprah Effect that helped get President Barack Obama elected, do the same for Oprah, who has been a long time political advocate? If she were to run, Trump would face an opponent who understands TV even better than he does.

  1. Promotion

    A promotion can refer to the advancement of an employee's position, ...
  2. Endorsement

    An endorsement is defined as an amendment to a document or contract, ...
  3. Marissa Mayer

    Marissa Mayer was the CEO of Yahoo from July 2012 until June ...
  4. Annual Basis

    The term annual basis has multiple applications in finance. In ...
  5. Promotional Budget

    A promotional budget is money set aside to promote a business's ...
  6. Home (legal definition)

    A home is a person's permanent primary residence to which they ...
Related Articles
  1. Small Business

    Measuring The "Oprah Effect"

    An endorsement from Oprah can cause a small business to become an overnight success story.
  2. Insights

    Oprah Winfrey Biography

    Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American media magnate, television and film producer, and talk show host with a net worth of roughly $3 billion.
  3. Insights

    How Did Oprah Winfrey Get Rich?

    Oprah Winfrey is one of the richest self-made woman in America, with a net worth of more than $3 billion.
  4. Investing

    Will Oprah's Weight Watchers Bet Pay Off? (WTW)

    Weight Watchers is stuck in a holding pattern, while analysts and the public wait and see if Oprah's participation yields significant revenue growth.
  5. Investing

    Billionaire Oprah Makes Bank On Weight Watchers Windfall

    Oprah Winfrey held 10 percent of Weight Watchers shares, but is now taking advantage of the soaring stock prices.
  6. Small Business

    Oprah Winfrey Closes Iconic Harpo Studios

    A look at the history of Harpo, and what the future holds for the queen of entertainment ventures.
  7. Trading

    Oprah's Weight Watchers Stake Worth Half a Billion

    Weight Watchers stock broke out above 2011 resistance last week, raising Oprah Winfrey's 5.5% stake above $500,000,000.
  8. Managing Wealth

    Celebrity CEOs

    There are a number of stars who also possess top-grade business savvy. Find out which celebs are a double threat.
Trading Center