How Celebrity Endorsements Can Help Your Marketing Campaign

From Sarah Bernhard and Lily Langtry in the early 1900s, to Michael Jordan in the late 1980s toward the new millennium, to Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga, marketers have always used celebrity endorsements as part of their PR and branding strategy to win the hearts and minds of customers.

Today, the heighted popularity of social media heralded by widespread access to the internet has spawned the phenomenon of online, self-made superstars and has reinvigorated the status of well-known, A-list celebrities.

Celebrity and influencer endorsements can be immensely beneficial in generating buzz for a brand and influencing purchase decisions. Here are other ways that celebrities can influence your marketing campaign and overall business, and examples of brands getting it right with celebrity marketing.

Influencing Buyer Behaviour

According to Sheila Khoeler, author and instructor at Princeton University, one of the reasons people are fascinated by celebrity is an inborn curiosity to learn what makes celebrities famous, and our own desire for fortune and fame.  For this reason, consumers pay close attention to products that celebrities are using, wearing or talking about.

Studies show that a close or obvious link between a celebrity and the product they are advertising can have a positive impact on consumers’ buying decision.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, an Oscar winning actress was instrumental in boosting T-Mobile’s customer base and visibility, starting in 2002, when the lesser-known mobile carrier was just entering the market.

Generate Buzz for a Product

tumblr_oevzfsmwhi1r5jwlho10_540Perhaps the primary reason why marketers leverage the power of celebrity is to generate attention about a product. It is easy for a festive product launch to be forgotten soon, given consumers’ short attention span.

However, continued endorsement by a celebrity can help to make a product or brand ‘sticky’ so it has a longer impression beyond just a fad. This explains why most brands sign up their celebrity ambassadors for contracts spanning as long as 3 to 5 years, just to create a long lasting buzz for a product.

David Beckham is one of the most-loved H&M ambassadors. The 2015 Modern Essentials campaign was extremely popular among middle-aged men, as Beckham helped to generate buzz around H&M men’s spring collection. Other celebrities who are instrumental in generating buzz for fashion brands include Marion Cotillard for Dior and Penélope Cruz for Loewe.

Creating Brand Awareness and Outreach

Brand awareness is particularly important for small businesses, especially those that have been in business for just a few years. Unless you have a very strong product and a big marketing and advertising budget, gaining that much-needed awareness for your product can be an uphill task. However, a celebrity endorsement can catapult your brand from obscurity to fame.

The rise of online celebrities such as bloggers, social media gurus, funnymen and video superstars has made it possible for small businesses to leverage the benefits of celebrity endorsement on a smaller budget.

A small business such as Nip+Fab made use of video bloggers specializing in the beauty niche, before moving on to secure a big celebrity contract with the famous and edgy Kylie Jenner to promote their skincare products.

Reviving a Brand

While small brands often struggle with awareness, big brands can succumb to the doldrums symptom where they gradually cease being popular with their once enthusiastic fans and are overtaken by competitors.

At a time where the business environment is highly competitive and consumers are increasingly discriminative, it can very difficult to revive a ‘dying’ brand. However, a well-crafted celebrity marketing campaign can be an effective antidote to the doldrums syndrome.

Take the example of Adidas, a global sports footwear brand that has been struggling under the weight of Nike’s immense popularity. In May 2015, Kanye West helped to launch the Adidas YEEZY BOOST sneakers, a move that was instrumental in increasing Adidas’ second quarter returns by 17%.

Making Meaningful Connections

According to Ivan Yuen and Allen Lau, the founders of Wattpad, a platform for authors and readers, small businesses stand to benefit more from celebrity partnerships if they look at the partnership as a two way street. As the marketer, you are providing a means through which the celebrity can continue to engage with their audience while the celebrity is introducing their audience to your product.

Celebrity marketing is not suitable for every business. However, it is possible to realize the potentially enormous benefits of endorsements, if the partnership is diligently planned, executed and managed.

If you would like to discuss how to improve your marketing results, get in touch with us today.

 

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