Signing a celebrity early is a huge edge over competitors who wait and risk settling for second or third choice.
Push Your Agency to Work Ahead
The day after the Super Bowl is the best time to start planning–when consumer reaction is fresh. Ask yourself: How can we do it better? How can we differentiate?
The big idea needs to come as early as possible and be unique. Celebrities will build awareness and help bring it to life.
Create the Ultimate Celebrity Wish List
Ask yourself: who would be your ideal celebrity and why?
Have fun and don’t worry about budget yet. Creating a list should be straightforward given a small number of recognizable stars fit a Super Bowl campaign.
Use Metrics to Help Make Your Decision
I highly recommend E-Poll Market Research and their E-Score Celebrity tool. It’s a database of 6,000 plus celebrities, athletes and newsmakers, that offers an in-depth look at the key drivers of celebrity appeal. The celebrity scores are updated regularly.
Narrow your list to a final group of 3-5 celebrities with E-Score Celebrity. You’ll be surprised how your target audience selections vary from yours.
Research Category Conflicts and Past Super Bowl Ads
Eliminate celebrities with a conflict or have previously worked for a direct competitor within the last two years. Celebrity Endorsement Ads is a great resource to search for such conflicts.
Before making your offer, ask the agent about any potential conflicts. There may be a deal in the works and if so you’ve saved valuable time.
Make the First Offer
Be proactive. Be aggressive. Take your chosen celebrity “off the market” away from your competitors months before the big game.
Allow More Time for Multiple Celebrities
Multiple celebrities will multiply your time so make sure to begin early. Several agents will be involved, along with managers and publicists.
You may want to create a “favored nations” deal where each celebrity is paid the same amount. This will speed the process up and keep egos in check.
Pay Less Now or More Later
You’re going to pay seven figures plus for a celebrity. Sign them early to limit their fee. It will cost less than waiting until November or December. The agent knows your back is up against the wall then.
Also, don’t wait for others to overpay and set the market for you. Advertisers are not usually familiar with Super Bowl market value and unknowingly overpay.
Use Leverage You Have
Fear and doubt create leverage.
It is risky for a celebrity to pass on your seven figure deal in hopes that another advertiser will make an offer later. Even if a second offer comes, it is risky to assume it will be more.
A celebrity risks being left out, while others they compete with directly are selected and build their popularity.
Don’t underestimate celebrity egos. It’s amazing for anyone to say: “I’ll be in a Super Bowl ad seen by 110 million U.S. citizens plus a worldwide broadcast in 198 countries in 25 languages.”