Celebrity Marketing and Music’s Biggest Night: What the Oscars Can Learn from the Grammys


A clear message and a celebrity might not be enough.

Though its ambitions may look more like the Super Bowl, the Oscars would be foolish not to learn from the successes and failures of its fellow award show titan, the Grammys. The show featured some of the most groundbreaking ad campaigns ever aired, and though some may have polarized the public, they left a lasting impression on the 25 million viewers.

After singer David Bowie passed away on January 10th, Lady Gaga teamed up with Intel to celebrate, not only the life of the legendary singer, but also the power of music as it entwines with the potential of technology. Her performance was considered a highlight of the show for many people, but having an Intel ad immediately following it drew criticism for capitalizing on a tragedy. Controversy aside, the campaign’s powerful message won it widespread attention, and with over 56 million followers on Twitter, Lady Gaga appears to have been the perfect partner.

Target took an even bigger gamble when they also sponsored a unique performance with a blonde pop star. To promote her latest single, Gwen Stefani appeared in an unprecedented four minute commercial in which she filmed her music video live. The entire campaign reportedly cost Target $12 million dollars, forcing the question of why they chose her for such a massive event. It has been ten years since she has released a hit single, and initial forecasts for her current effort do not appear very promising. With her Target-exclusive album due in March, only time will tell if the gamble pays off.

Sometimes, it is best to let the message take the foreground. In a collaborative new campaign titled “Music Makes it Home,” Apple and Sonos sought to inspire people with testimonials from the lead performers of St. Vincent, the National, and Run the Jewels. The ad did everything it needed to and nothing more, proving that simplicity often rings the loudest.

With music taking a supporting role to the stars of the big screen on February 28th, it will be fascinating to see which brands take advantage of the opportunity. Hyundai and Coca-Cola, former centerpieces of the Oscars’ commercial breaks, have both decided to sit out on the show this year, but even still the ads are sold out. With each 30-second spot costing nearly $2 million and 62% of viewers being women, the mission for those participating is clear. With a defined message and a relevant celebrity to get it across, the commercials themselves can feel like part of the show.

photo credit: www.youtube.com

Hacking the Super Bowl: Brands Bypass Commercial Breaks to Creatively Attract Attention

1280px-Super_Bowl_XLIII_-_Thunderbirds_Flyover_-_Feb_1_2009Ad prices soar as conventional wisdom is replaced with outside-the-box campaigns.

Marketing has grown far beyond the small screen. Even with record numbers of viewers and the participation of the world’s most creative ad agencies, airing a commercial during the Super Bowl can still hurt a brand. While it may seem like the most controversial ads get hit the hardest, a lackluster spot may still consume a massive portion of a company’s marketing budget while failing to attract new customers.

Buying a 30-second spot for $5 million or paying double for a minute are rarely options. Though it would be easy to sit on the sidelines, brands have challenged traditional methods of marketing during the big game. They might not be reaching a tenth of a billion people, but the most brilliant campaigns hardly need to.

The age of the millennials has only just begun, and there are lessons to be learned. They love to multi-task, and what better way for a brand to keep them distracted than with a viral campaign to participate in? Commercial breaks during the Super Bowl still attract the buzz, but with a smart phone in nearly everyone’s pocket, there is no surprise that a well-run social media campaign can, for significantly less money, attain substantial success.

Esurance began a trend. During the 2014 Super Bowl, they were the most-tweeted brand – and they didn’t even air a commercial during it. Instead, they touted their money-saving abilities during a post-game ad, featuring actor John Krasinski. In it, he encouraged viewers to participate in a sweepstakes offering of the $1.5 million Esurance saved.

According to Ad Age, Esurance’s total media spend that year was $263 million, proving even brands that can afford to air an ad during the game are thinking outside the box. They utilized celebrity marketing, but it was their clever approach that stole the show.

There is a difference between having a big budget and big ideas. Those with both tend to fare the best, but even the cleverest campaigns can be free. Volvo, who opted out of advertising during the game, crashed the Super Bowl with a groundbreaking Twitter campaign, instructing fans to tweet at them during rival automaker’s commercials for the chance to win a car. They trended globally throughout the game, proving that it is not the platform that earns fans’ attention. It is the idea.

photo credit: www.wikipedia.com

The Super Bowl vs. the Oscars: Celebrity Marketing During Television’s Biggest Nights

5121440257_97940c7038_zWhile the Super Bowl’s commercials get the most buzz, it is the Oscars that pulls in the profit.

There is no denying that Super Bowl Sunday is television’s biggest night. Each year, the event consistently dominates national ratings, with all 21 of America’s most watched programs in history being Super Bowls. They’re a true staple of American culture.

In a rapidly advancing society where people are choosing to forgo live TV for other ad-free options, viewers continue to flock to the Super Bowl for the beloved, wildly entertaining and creative commercials. The participating teams and halftime performers may change every year, but it’s the advertisements that command our attention.

Without a doubt, commercials during the Super Bowl are the most watched ones in the world. Since a 30-second slot can cost up to $5 million, we’re confronted with an age old marketing question: Are the results worth the cost?

For many companies, the attention they receive as a result is worth every penny, but the sheer volume of viewers does not necessarily ensure a massive financial response. People watch Super Bowl ads primarily because of their entertainment value. During the broadcast, numerous brands do their best to leave a lasting impression with consumers, but in the end most merely leave the field overly crowded.

It is a massive audience, but a broad one. People of all demographics watch the game, and though the ads may be fun to watch, most of them apply to only a particular margin of viewers. Not only is it the biggest event on TV, but it has become firmly synonymous with well-made commercials. However, it is not the perfect program for advertisers – that distinction is held by an entirely different but similarly unparalleled show – the Oscars.

With ad prices during the Academy Awards around $2 million and viewership usually about 40 million people, the pinnacle of awards season offers a smaller, more alert audience. Furthermore, viewership during the Oscars tends to skew towards higher income women, making it the ideal option for advertisers hoping to attract that target audience.

Commercials starring celebrities would feel more at home on Hollywood’s biggest night, but it is the viewers themselves who solidify the distinction. A whopping 31.1% of viewers from the 2014 Oscars said that they would be more likely to purchase a product after seeing it advertised during the show. In comparison, only 6.87% of the Super Bowl’s 114.4 million viewers said they would do the same.

If a brand’s goal is simply to increase visibility and social media attention, the Super Bowl is the show for them. To everyone else, the distinctions are clear and the decision is easy. We can watch the Super Bowl to see where the money is being spent – and we can watch the Oscars to see the money get made.

photo credit: www.flickr.com

Sporting Event Advertising Fuels Celebrity Marketing


3 benefits of advertising during sporting events

While it comes as no surprise that many Americans enjoy watching sports; it may come as a shock just how popular they really are.

According to ESPN, NFL is the most popular sport in America for the 30th year in a row. In an Adweek/Harris poll almost two thirds of U.S. adults say they currently watch NFL football.

The Super bowl is the most watched sporting event and this year the 2015 Super Bowl set new broadcasting records. The International Business Times said, “The 2015 Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks set a new mark, averaging 114.4 million viewers per minute on NBC’s Sunday night broadcast, becoming the most watched event in American TV history”.

Advertising during sporting events can be expensive but it is well worth it. There are many advantages to advertising during sporting events that you will not get during other programs. Television stations charge much more to advertise during sporting events because campaigns broadcasted during these events are successful at reaching consumers.

It also won’t hurt if the advertisement includes an athlete. Having an athlete as a spokesperson can increase sales, awareness and help to make the advertisement more memorable.

  1. Advertisers invest billions annually-According to Kentar Media, 37% of all advertising spending on broadcast TV is on sports. Kentar Media estimates, “sports programming in 2014-15 generated $8.47 billion in advertising sales for ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox”.
  2. Live audience –Live audience is a large reason why advertising during sporting events can be so expensive. It is one of the only programs people watch in real time. With DVR, Netflix and Hulu becoming so popular it has become increasingly difficult to reach consumers by television commercials. But, this is not the case for sporting events. According to Harris Interactive, eight in ten Americans say they never record televised sporting events (79%). People want to watch sports while they’re happening.
  3. Huge reach – NFL games alone accounted for 45 of last season’s 50 most-watched broadcasts. People are watching sporting events more than any other programs. This is where advertisers want to be-you can reach millions of people during just one 30 second spot.

photo credit: www.deviantart.com

Companies are Using Immersive Experiences to Reach Consumers with Celebrity Marketing


4 advantages of creating immersive experiences for consumers

When companies create immersive experiences the consumers are absorbed in the experience and the advertisements are interactive. The definition of immersive is “noting or pertaining to digital technology or images that deeply involve one’s senses and may create an altered mental state”.

What would you rather be doing? Watching Maria Sharapova return a serve on a commercial while cooking dinner and cleaning the living room or returning Sharapova’s 100 mph serve in an exhilarating and heated match.

The latter example is part of American Express’s virtual reality game, “You Vs. Sharapova”, created for the US Open. The consumer actually swings a racket to try and return Sharapova’s serve. Sharapova even talks to you by saying phrases such as “good try” and “ breaking a serve is tough”.

Deborah Curtis, American Express vice president of global sponsorships and experience marketing said “For us, virtual reality is sort of the next evolution of what we have been doing, which is put the fan at the center of the experience”. It allows fans to really feel the intensity at the U.S. Open and make them feel like they are actually a part of the game.

1. Engaging – Instead of sitting back and watching a commercial or reading a print advertisement the consumer is actually part of the experience. When they are engaging in the ad their full attention is on it, not typical in traditional advertising.

2. Memorable – If consumers are engaging in the advertisement then they are more likely to remember your brand. Consumers see thousands of advertisements a day so it is very important to not only be able to reach your consumer but to have them remember you.

3. Fun – Immersive experiences are enjoyable for the consumer. If people are enjoying their experience then they are more likely to have positive feelings towards your brand.

4. Creative – Creating immersive experiences gives your company the ability to think of new and exciting ways to reach your consumer.

photo credit: Wikimedia

Celebrity Marketing: Using Television and Movie Characters to Endorse Brands


4 popular examples with celebrities in character who break thru the clutter

A popular trend in celebrity marketing has been stars appearing in character to endorse a product. By using well known fictional personalities, brands have the ability to reach a wider audience including the character’s fan base.

It can be difficult to decide whether to use a celebrity in character or the celebrity as themselves; therefore consider two important questions:

  1. Is the character more well-known than the celebrity themselves? If people would recognize the character on the street but not the celebrity then it may be a good idea to use the character.
  2. What personality type are you looking for to represent your brand? The personality of the character could be very different than the celebrity’s personality. Consider how much media you’ll ask the celebrity to do and how comfortable they are being “in character” during interviews.

Walter White for EsuranceIn a 2015 Super Bowl Esurance ad, Breaking Bad’s Walter White (Bryan Cranston) reprises his role as the infamous meth-cooking chemist one last time. While the show officially ended in 2013, White appeared in this 60-second spot to endorse online car insurance, working at a drug store and comparing himself to a neighborhood pharmacist.  Conveniently, the spot aired a week before the show’s spinoff Better Call Saul.

Ron Burgandy for DodgeAnchorman’s Ron Burgandy (Will Ferrell) served as Dodge Durango’s salesman piggybacking off the movie’s popularity.

Full House for Dannon John Stamos has appeared in many Dannon commercials but in the 2014 Super Bowl advertisement his co-stars on Full House, David Coulier and Bob Saget, appeared in it as well . During an intimate moment between Stamos and a woman, Coulier and Saget barged in which reminded the audience of many scenes in Full House.

Frank Underwood for Call of DutyHouse of Card’s protagonist Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) appeared as an alternate version of himself in the 2014 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer.  In the spot, Underwood appears as a futuristic warmonger named Jeremy Irons obsessed with world domination and power. While the character is identified as Irons, instead of Underwood, the characters are completely parallel. Fans of the show know that Underwood often plays Call of Duty, making this endorsement cross-promotional.

photo credit: Geoffrey Chandler via Flickr



Incorporating Your Brand With Music Via Celebrity Marketing

Corona kenney chesney

3 ways to sponsor music events and artists for building brand awareness

Sponsoring music related events and artists shows your audience that you care about the art of music, and it offers the opportunity to create new and engaging ways to reach your consumer, and the opportunity for massive exposure.

According to IEG LLC, North American based companies spent close to 1.34 billion on music venues, festivals, and tours in 2014. The most active sponsors of music related events are The Coca-Cola Co., Anheuser-Busch and PepsiCo, Inc.

Sponsored music festivals. With music festivals becoming more popular every year, brands have a huge opportunity to see and be seen. The Chicago music festival, Lollapalooza, dedicates its stage names to its sponsors, such as Bud Light, Samsung Galaxy and Palladia. Brands say the biggest advantage to sponsoring music festivals compared to sporting events is that people have a lot of downtime. Besides just beverage and food companies, festivals are now attracting fashion, beauty and technology companies as well, according to Elizabeth Holmes of The Wall Street Journal. Coachella, a weekend festival in Indio, California, had many fashion and beauty brand sponsors this year including H&M and Sephora. H&M had a 360-degree mirrored “selfie station” and Sephora had a makeup station with a vending machine that dispensed free products. Coachella is also a big draw for celebrities including Kate Bosworth, Katy Perry, Kendall Jenner, Paris Hilton and Rhianna.

Sponsored music videos: “Trackvertising”  is a new trend in music videos where brands and artists collaborate.  Music videos are a great way to incorporate your brand because people voluntarily watch and share them, and your brand is likely to be remembered. The most successful example of “trackvertising” is Activia and Shakira’s La La La (Brazil 2014). The music video was for World Food Programme, an organization that brings school food to children in impoverished countries. According to mark tech firm, Unruly, it is the most shared ad.  Another example is the collaboration with Fiat and Arianna for the video Sexy People (The Fiat Song) ft. Pitbull. The video predominantly shows a Fiat in almost every shot, but it is still as entertaining as any other music video and has been viewed millions of times.

Sponsored artist tours. Sponsoring artist tours can be a bigger commitment than the previous options but there are many advantages. It can be very beneficial because the typical demographic of the audience reached is known and consumers are having fun while exposed to your brand. One example is Corona Lite sponsoring Kenny Chesney’s “The Big Revival Tour”. Corona knew that it was a perfect tour to sponsor because their slogan is “Find Your Beach” and Chesney sings about drinking beer and beaches, so they were confident that they would reach their demographic.

photo credit: posted by Kenny Chesney on Monday, August 20, 2012