How To Rock Your Brand With Celebrity Endorsements?
In a simpler time, celebrity endorsements for a national product made good sense. In those days, it was a simple transaction.
The celeb would endorse your product, lending his or her vibe, and everyone made money.
Today’s marketing strategies demand a bit more finesse.
Read along to get actionable insights.
Rock your Brand with Celebrity Endorsement
In the 1950s, Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix was endorsed by Ozzie and Harriet.
By the late 1970s, more than 10% of TV commercials featured a celebrity endorsement. Marketing has evolved.
Today, the relationship between celeb and product has to be deeper in order to gain street cred.
It’s no longer enough for a start to lend their voice and face to an ad like Ricardo Montalban did for Chrysler back in ‘75.
Today you see celebrities involved in the business side of the products they endorse. Drew Barrymore is a vintner at Barrymore Wines.
Beyonce is Pepsi’s brand ambassador, yes, but she’s also involved as a Creative Director. Gwen Stefani developed the L.A.M.B. clothing line to express her own mash-up style.
The Right Stuff
Celebrity endorsements are great as long as you have the budget and choose your star carefully.
Do you think the George Foreman Grill would have had such success if it had been the Mike Tyson Grill? If your endorsing celeb gets involved in a scandal it can damage your brand.
Think Chris Brown’s “Got Milk?” campaign, followed a year later by his 2009 assault conviction.
My fav? In 2008 Christian Dior dropped all Chinese advertisements featuring Sharon Stone after her comments regarding the disastrous earthquake.
Stone was quoted as saying; “They’re not being nice to the Dalai Lama, who is a friend of mine… And then all of this earthquake and all this happened and I thought, is that karma? When you’re not nice, that bad things happen to you?” You said it, baby.
On the other hand, the right celebrity whose image matches your product, can bring credibility, add PR value and enhance awareness of your brand.
What made the success was that the celebrity made a connection between the product an consumer.
These days, if the celeb isn’t involved in your business in some meaningful way, or doesn’t truly believe in your product, it’s going to seem as real as discount veneers.
Can’t Afford Justin Bieber?
A celebrity doesn’t have to grace the cover of Us Weekly to be helpful in your business. If your pocket isn’t quite as deep as Proactiv’s, think in terms of local talent.
If you sell health foods, consider partnering with a local fitness guru or the chef of that hot vegan restaurant in town. If you sell furniture or home goods, can you partner with a Martha Stewart wannabe?
If you sell sporting goods, what about partnering with a local coach? Any of these individuals, even if they aren’t as big as Brad Pitt or Alicia Keys, will give you a measure of what national celebs offer large companies.
If the match is a smart one, you’ll also gain access to your local celebrity’s network, which is likely to be filled with folks in your target market.
Once you’ve found the right local celebrity, your association can be a great source of material for your content-based marketing.
Images of your celeb posing with your product are standard, but how about posting a short video testimonial out of the mouth of your local celeb about why he or she chose to associate with your brand?
Can you stage a video with your celeb demonstrating your product or offering a live workshop to teach something while using your product?
Offer exclusive access to interview your celeb and bloggers and reporters will help spread your message, providing you with even more content.
Whether you decide to partner with a national celebrity or a local expert, the most important consideration is how simpatico the star is with your brand. Find the right one, hammer out a meaningful role that rings true and you’ve got yourself a winning formula.
Hey, all these years later, I still wanna be like Mike.
What About You?
What celebrity endorsements do you like and why? Share your ideas in the comments below.
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About the Author
Susie Brown is a FastUpFront Blog contributor and business author. Fastupfront offers a business loan financing alternative.