Hire a Celebrity and Give your Brand the best Possible face (and Influencer)
Celebrity culture has become a driving force in 21st Century culture - and that has a huge impact on what the public does and buys. Whether it's the Kardashians putting their name to yet another fragrance or a dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge selling out in minutes, the consuming public puts more stock by a celebrity endorsement than they would like to believe.For PR agencies and in house teams to get the column inches, web stories and word-of-mouth coverage they want, it' almost necessary that they sometimes utilise the power of celebrity. Brands can and should spend big bucks on celebrity endorsements and why? Because they work.
How celebrity endorsements work
Celebrity endorsements of products and services work because they give the media an extra hook for your story. Celebrities are what keeps tabloids going, and if PR firms want to get in on the act and have a celebrity promote their brand while they’re being interviewed, it’s no skin off a journalist’s nose.More so now than ever before, the public is invested in the minutiae of celebrities’ lives. After all, they see it all - on Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. This nosiness about what’s going on in the lives of famous people is what sells tabloids and drives clicks to gossip websites.Hamish Pringle, director-general of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, is author of Celebrity Sells. He says: “Most people associate celebrities with brands in the context of a TV idea, such as the Prunella Scales "Every Little Helps" campaign for Tesco that was said to have generated £2.2bn in incremental sales. But a firm should not forget the impact that a star's personal appearance can make. “The presence of a celebrity at a launch event can guarantee the presence of the media in a way that a speech by the marketing director never can. Look at the media coverage Pepsi achieved with the red-carpet strategy for the 'premiere' of its celebrity-laden 'Gladiator' TV ad.“Most importantly, agencies working in PR know something that those in other areas of marketing comms may not: PR is one of the most effective tools of communication in a fragmenting landscape.“People are confronted by more than 250 TV channels and a similar number of radio stations. Newspapers mutate into sections and supplements, direct mail clogs our letterboxes and email blocks up in-boxes. PR can cut through all this clutter and has a multiplier effect in the new world that requires consumer 'pull' rather than company 'push'.“While this is a generic benefit of PR, it is clear there are certain vehicles that accelerate and maximise impact. Old chestnuts like market research surveys still work, for example. But a tale with a celebrity overlay can quickly become gold-dust and it's easy to see why stars are so powerful. A story that links a brand to a celebrity is more acceptable to cynical journalists. It also sells more papers and commands bigger ratings.“Right now, those brands are reaping the dividend of fame. The stars having delivered, the brand life goes on. Happily for the brands, but perhaps less so for the stars, this extraordinary life may lead to events, allegations, denials and acres of newsprint, which increase the fame of the celebrities involved and the brands associated with them. This is the 'war dividend' of celebrity sponsorship.
Downsides to celebrity associations
The downside, of course, to having celebrities associated with your brand is that they could go rogue and cast your brand in a bad light. It is, however, an unlikely outcome, and by managing relationships well and picking celebrities wisely, it's possible to reduce the chance of disaster to almost zero.