Declining Brands Bounce Back With Celebrity Marketing

Charles Darwin

Brands needing a turnaround can dramatically increase sales, awareness, and fame with a celebrity led marketing campaign.

Exponential Sales Increase
Case Study: Jenny Craig
Results: Increased Sales 120%

Jenny Craig, the weight loss consultation company, struck gold when they hired Kirstie Alley for their post holiday advertising campaign. Jenny Craig had been experiencing declining sales for years, and was desperate to find a spokesperson who could establish a strong connection with their current and future prospects.

My team and I were tasked with vetting of over 100 potential spokespeople.

Jenny Craig signed Kirstie Alley, who at the time was staring in Showtime’s “Fat Actress”. The campaign chronicled Alley’s weight loss journey, marking key milestones on programs such as Access Hollywood and Oprah.

Immediately after Kirstie celebrated her 33rd pound lost on Oprah, phone calls to Jenny Craig jumped by 81%. Her Oprah reveal led to the cover of People Magazine. By the end of the program Kirstie had lost 75 pounds and wore a bikini on Oprah, boosting credibility for the weight loss program and increasing sales by 120%. After just one year, the campaign generated approximately 1 billion media impressions (hyperlink).

Due to the success of this campaign, Jenny Craig went from being de-listed on the stock exchange to being purchased by Nestle for $600 million dollars.

Develop Massive Awareness
Case Study: Snickers
Results: 18,000% increase in YouTube searches, increased sales 8%

In 2010, Snicker’s marketers wanted to streamline various advertising strategies used across their 40 different targeted markets to create one overarching global brand idea.

To accomplish this, global ad agency BBDO developed the You’re Not You When You’re Hungry campaign. To get the ads to resonate across global markets, the agency hired celebrities unique to each nation.

The campaign was a huge success. Total volume sales increased by 8%, singles sales rose by over 13%, doubling original sales objectives.  According to multiple sources like USA Today’s Ad Meter, the Snickers commercials were the most popular ads during the 2010 Super Bowl. After the ads premiered, searches for Snickers on YouTube increased 18,000%, generating more than five million views.

Build Brand Fame
Case Study: Milk Processor Education Program
Results: 90% national awareness, created a cultural icon

Milk began losing ground to alternatives such as bottled water, sports drinks, and soda. To combat this, the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) hired ad agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) to help raise brand awareness and increase sales in the California market.

Employees at GS&P believed at the time that milk was, “inherently too boring” to sell. In reality, they were about to create one of the most famous campaigns in advertising history.

The Got Milk? Campaign exploded nationally when the agency began pairing the slogan with celebrity milk mustache ads in 1995. Over the next 20 years, those ads featured roughly 300 celebrities (hyperlink), eventually boosting public awareness of the tagline to 90%, and making Got Milk? a cultural icon in the process.

photo credit: Patricia Mellin via photopin cc


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