HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF A FAMOUS FACE
From brand Beckham to the backing of a Big Brother Z-lister, celebrity endorsements are assumed to bring in the big bucks. However, in an age when almost anyone can put their face to anything, the question is, are celebrity partnerships still a relevant part of the marketing mix?
In short, yes. We may feel inundated with celebrities’ ‘recommending’ products to us on a daily basis, but do it right and you can hit on a magic formula. So, how do you make the most out of a celebrity partnership to ensure your campaign has the desired impact?
It goes without saying that choosing the right celebrity is critical, after all, they are going to become the face and possibly spokesperson for your brand. In few other situations would someone be entrusted with such an important (and often high paying) job without as much as a ‘hello’.
• How do they reflect the brand?
• Do they appeal to our audience?
• What channels can they use to promote the brand e.g. do they have a high social media following?
• Are they topical - does the media care about them, and more importantly, for the right reasons?
For example, we recently worked with model and actress Gabriella Wilde to launch Mappin & Webb’s Forever Since 1775 campaign. Gabriella’s background perfectly resonated with Mappin & Webb’s tradition, heritage and legacy. The timing of Gabriella’s role in BBC drama Poldark also coincided with the Forever since 1775 launch, making her the ideal choice for our successful campaign, which culminated in an exclusive event at Mappin & Webb’s Regent Street Store.
Know what you want
Celebrities don’t come cheap, so what do you actually want them to do? Appear somewhere? Conduct media interviews? Pose for pictures? Tweet? All of the above?
Think it through and be upfront from the start. Agents are wise and will often shut down a ‘can you just…’ on the day, so make sure you have an iron-clad contract that details every last interview, photo opportunity and tweet. And don’t be afraid to push the boundaries a little, after all they can only say no….
Make their fans your fans
Don’t just think about what your brand ambassador can do for you, remember that there is an army of fans ready and willing to do their work for them. A simple tweet from a celebrity’s account can work wonders in spreading your message far and wide in an instant.
To drive footfall into Screwfix stores during the summer, we teamed the retailer up with Sky Sports legend Chris Kamara for our especially created Back of the Van tour. Chris attended the first day of the tour itself, but more importantly, highlighted it to his fans across the UK via his social media channels – including his 1.65million Twitter followers - encouraging them to seek out their nearest event.
And don’t forget good old fan clubs – a quick post on a Facebook fan page highlighting your partnership can suddenly open your brand to a whole new audience.
Back to basics
Details such as what a celebrity wears to where they stand for the all-important ‘shot’ matter. A celebrity prepared to say your key message word-for-word to the world’s media is all well and good, but if they look like they’ve just rolled out of bed…
Expand your horizons
To truly squeeze every drop out of partnership, don’t just focus on ‘the big launch’. Build excitement in the lead up, generate buzz with live commentary and shout about your successes afterwards. Leverage any media connections your celebrity has. Of course prioritise your key channels, but look at how your work can be translated across other relevant outlets such as to the trade and key customers. And don’t forget, it’s big news for your internal audience too, so take them on the journey with you.
Finally, be prepared to ride a storm (or at least a wave or two)
Celebrity stars rise and fall. In the time it takes to research, negotiate, secure and actually use a celebrity, all it takes is a Strictly Come Dancing contract to catapult your new found friend, along with your brand, into a jackpot of gold. On the other hand, one crafty cigarette behind a bike shed can leave you fighting fire.
Get it right and your celebrity can offer the performance of a life time, all in the name of your brand!