Eight Celebrity Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

8 ball

Mistakes happen during celebrity endorsement deals so the key is understanding which errors limit a campaign’s success the most.

Here are 8 things to avoid:

1. Jumping to Price Before You Know What You Want 

As consumers, when we see something we want or need, we are conditioned to immediately ask “how much?”  I’m amazed how brand marketers want to know “how much does this celebrity cost” without first considering number of service days, services required, territory exclusivity, usages and term needed.

2. Leaving Out Usages and Not Clearly Defining Them

Of all usages to consider, the industrial category is often the most forgotten or unclear part of defining a contract. An example would be jumbotron rights. Everyone seems to assume it’s already covered in the contract. Online and digital usages have grey areas and constraints, so it is wise to engage an experienced negotiator, lawyer or celebrity expert to help navigate things like homepage takeovers, download formats, banner ads or anything else you might be unclear about.

3. Pre-Negotiated Options for the Next Term

Facing tight deadlines will often keep you hyper-focused on the current campaign, overlooking options for an additional term.  Pre-negotiating options will save a great deal of time and money.  Fees vary depending on options involved, but typically are a 10-20% increase from the initial fee.

4. Taking over Agent communication

Resist the urge to act as the point of contact with the Talent’s agent. While it’s easy to assume your direct involvement will speed up the process and accomplish things faster, the exact opposite can happen. Brand executives find being the “bad guy” or making sure everything is executed isn’t as easy as it seems. This role is better left to an unbiased third party.

5. Unaware of Social Media Trends

I see brand marketers aggressively push for quantity number of tweets over quality. The trend is a small number of quality tweets equals greatest impact. Followers are savvy and see through lots of celebrity tweets that end up losing credibility for the brand and celebrity.

6. Using an Inexperienced Celebrity Marketing Lawyer

Nothing extends negotiations longer or kills a celebrity deal faster than a lawyer without experience in advertising and marketing transactions. The entertainment contract points become road blocks as the lawyer typically puts legalese above the marketing campaign.

7. Fixated On Celebrity Fee Not Total Cost

SAG and Glam Squad fees are additional costs that aren’t easy to pinpoint upfront. Celebrities are not in control of the cost for Glam (hair and make-up professionals) as some executives think. Capping costs upfront can’t be done because service time will vary. Budget 20% more than the estimated fee to eliminate any surprises.

8. After the Contract Is Signed

A form of bait and switch can occur. For example, five tweets are contracted and then five additional tweets requested post contract for no additional fee . The attitude I hear often is: we’re paying a lot of money why won’t they just do a few more tweets?  Best for both parties to ask for everything upfront and negotiate a win-win deal.

photo credit: flickr.com


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