Celebrity Selection Made Easy for Marketing Campaigns

celeb selection picture

Create an emotional connection and help drive future purchase using an unbiased celebrity selection process.

The Planning Cycle

As part of the normal planning cycle, agencies should be briefed a year or more in advance. Before you begin the celebrity selection process, brand teams must first seek to identify business, marketing and communication objectives, as well as communication channels.

Then work begins on budgets and campaign ideas. Agencies will often present a big brand idea along with a 360 plan for execution.

More often than not, campaigns using celebrities are created outside the normal planning cycle. This may be due to a changing business goal, a big idea presenting itself, or something that happens to a particular celebrity making them timely and extremely appropriate for your brand.

Outside the planning cycle will take much less time to develop, typically no more than a couple months or as short as a few weeks.

Brand Criteria

Important brand criteria for celebrity selection would involve fit with the brand equity (the commercial value from consumer perception of the brand name), strategy and target audience.

The ability to create public relations buzz and media placements extends the campaign reach.

Leveraging social media, public relations, trade, customers, internet, promotions, digital and advertising creates a 360 campaign likely to reach your target audience.

Desired Attributes

There are many attributes brands should consider including but not limited to: credibility, widely recognized, on-going visibility during the campaign, likeability and little or no negative baggage or reputation issues.

The key to maximizing positive demand is proper matching of the endorser’s persona to the product attributes. Celebrities can have a positive impact on sales, even when an intuitive fit between persona and product is not initially apparent (i.e. Bill Cosby/Jell-O).

Research and Narrowing Your Celebrity List

Typically, online consumer panels or focus groups are used to help identify celebrities. More in-depth quantitative research should be done, yet is underutilized.

Use E-Poll, social media, book sales, blog reviews, network ratings for starters. Also use visibility from recent career projects and scheduled projects during your campaign. Consider if the celebrity is “over-exposed” from other endorsement deals. All of these tools will help to narrow the number of potential celebrities who fit.

E-Poll provides the kind of timely celebrity information you need to make a wise choice. It includes a wide range of statistics to determine a celebrity’s marketability in regards to your target audience.

Budget Narrows Celebrity List Further

A good starting place is roughly 5 percent of your total media spend. This ballpark percentage should be enough to secure the right celebrity that will appeal to your target audience. This rule of thumb usually lessens as brands spend more on media.


Reach out to celebrity agents on your final list before making an offer. Inquire about potential availability during key moments of your campaign. Working with athletes in-season or actors filming movies and television episodes require much more date flexibility on your part.

photo credit: twitter.com/TheEllenShow


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