How to Incorporate Celebrity Marketing in your Brand’s Mobile App

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Three clever ways celebrities can increase an app’s popularity and credibility.

In 2015, people are spending 51 percent of their digital media time on mobile devices compared to 42 percent on desktops/laptops, according to KPCB’s Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends report.  There is no hiding that using mobile applications has become a typical part of our daily routine.

Mobile applications can build brand awareness and consumer engagement if it is professionally built and practical to use. As another form of marketing, mobile apps pose an opportunity for celebrity endorsements.

Below are three strategies to creatively incorporate celebrities in a brand’s mobile app.

Celebrity voice overs: Voice overs are a classic tactic for traditional commercials that could also be successful on mobile apps. Celebrity voice overs are a less expensive option for celebrity marketing and if done with a recognizable person they can be just as effective as video or pictures.

The mobile app navigation system Waze has been using celebrity voice overs to provide an entertaining way to give directions since 2013. The first celebrity was actor Kevin Hart, who used his character voice to promote his movie Ride Along. Just this past June, Waze hired another famous actor to give navigational directions in character: Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator.

Celebrity branded apps or contribution: For many celebrity marketing campaigns, a company will be looking for a specific “type” of celebrity that fits with the product. For example, if a celebrity who suffers from diabetes is the spokesperson for diabetic medicine, it gives the endorsement more credibility.

This strategic partnership can work well for apps too. By having a celebrity pair with your app it will not only draw their fans in, but also convince skeptics that experts support your company. This past January, Nike partnered with singer/songwriter and 5-time half-marathon runner Ellie Goulding to promote one of their apps. Goulding designed her own exercise routine for Nike’s N+TC app. The application gives users both a useful product to work with and a trustworthy celebrity to listen to.

Celebrities using the brand’s application: In a way, this is almost similar to celebrity gifting. If the public sees a celebrity wearing a new shoe brand then the celebrity is influencing their fans to go out and buy those new shoes. If a celebrity is seen using a mobile application then their fans will be prompted to go try out the application.

Smirnoff Vodka created the app Mixhibit that combines moments captured on users’ various social media platforms to make one unique video. The brand then worked with renowned DJ Paul van Dyk and had him use the app to create original videos of his performance at Ultra Music Festival and his 42 birthday celebration.

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Celebrity Marketing: Five Reasons to Add Celebrity Voice-Overs

The incorporation of celebrity voice-overs into your marketing mix can be a winning strategy for your brand.

The use of celebrity voice-overs has grown significantly over the past decade. Consumers tend to have an emotional response to a distinct celebrity’s voice and are drawn in by this marketing tactic.

Here are five reasons why a celebrity voice-over campaign should be considered:  

1. It Ensures Your Brand Remains Center-Stage

Because the celebrity is off-screen, you eliminate the possibility that they will overwhelm your marketing campaign. The brand name is supported and driven home by the unique voice, music and copy.

2. It Makes Commercials Memorable

Celebrities really do grab people’s attention. This is the exactly the reason why animated films are so successful today, because of the use of distinctive celebrity voices.

But, a memorable voice doesn’t have to come from a highly recognizable celebrity. B, C and even D level celebrities have distinctive voices and great ability to alter tone, grabbing people’s attention

The key is for the voice to be memorable.

How many consumers know the actor Dennis Haysbert? He is the voice for Allstate insurance. Even though he wasn’t a household name, Allstate chose to use him because his voice is so distinctive and memorable.

3.One Up the Joneses

Once one of your competitors is using a celebrity voice-over, it creates an opportunity to do it better–much better.

Like the saying goes, “one up the Joneses.”

You can use metrics like E-Poll to identify a celebrity who resonates much more with your target audience, and whose voice ends up helping you take more market share.

4.Cost Effective

Celebrity voiceover provides an opportunity to spend little or a lot and be very successful.

Fees are typically less because the time commitment for the celebrity is less. They can head over to a local studio and be in and out quickly recording the message.

Voice-over is about as easy as it gets for celebrities who excel delivering copy.

Some brands spend one to two million dollars for an A-list celebrity while others spend MUCH less and achieve similar or better results.

5. Empowering the Message

For success, the voice needs to match the campaign theme and tone, making an emotional connection with the consumer.

Distinctive and emotional is a powerful combination.

It is more important for the voice to fit the campaign than for the talent to be famous.

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Celebrity Marketing: The Danger of Negotiating with A Celebrity Directly

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“He who represents himself has a fool for a client” – Abraham Lincoln

President Lincoln’s quote is true in a court of law, yet is it true in the marketing world with celebrities?

Many marketing executives believe it is as easy as calling an agent and negotiating a deal similar to any other project they might work on. Unfortunately, this mind set is hazardous to a marketing budget and hiring the celebrity a brand wants.

 If you or your brand is involved in litigation with thousands or millions of dollars at stake, do you represent yourself, or do you hire a litigation attorney who specializes? When your company seeks a new senior executive, does it scan the want ads or hire an executive search firm who specializes in your industry? 

Even when companies work on specific projects, expert consultants are frequently used.  With any celebrity endorsement, how many companies have essential inside information on competitive conflicts, other contract fees, and their fair market value?

The answers are obvious, so why do brand marketers continue to personally negotiate celebrity contracts? 

In many cases, the lure to negotiate and ultimately befriend a star is irresistible.  Sometimes this “star-blinded” marketer assumes negotiating with an agent should be straight forward and even is some cases, easy.

Negotiating directly with celebrity agents without knowing the fair market value and estimated fees for other current contracts grossly exposes marketers to serious problems, especially overpaying. The money issue then turns into the question of perceived value versus actual value, not a very good point to be at in the decision-making process.

Why would it cost me more money to negotiate with a celebrity directly?

Let me answer with the following real example:

One ex-NFL Pro Bowl quarterback was paid $500,000 for a one-year campaign by an ad agency representing a new client eager to break into the sports industry. Why did the client overpay by up to $375,00.00? Because the agent played hardball and gave them a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum and the client was afraid that all similar names would be as expensive. Unfortunately for the client, the athlete had signed another spokesperson deal within the year for $375,000 less less than what the eager company paid.

Not knowing fair market value is dangerous and could even cost a brand its first choice. No one should settle for second, third or even fifth choice and risk not meeting brand objectives.

So what is the best way to proceed?

With billions of dollars spent on celebrity endorsements annually, it will remain a fixture in mainstream advertising.  Yet, even as the task becomes more daunting with ad budgets and sales revenues at stake, many marketers continue to blindly negotiate with celebrity agents.  To avoid this trap, many brands use an expert to step up to the plate.

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