Quickly achieve a higher degree of consumer attention and recognition when changing brand image by using a celebrity.
Rebranding comes with risks. It can be expensive, time consuming, and unsuccessful if not executed properly. Even after the necessary changes have been made, there are no guarantees the new brand image will gain traction with the target market.
A celebrity’s ability to influence and cut through the clutter helps circumvent difficulties communicating the rebrand to consumers.
However, a successful rebranding campaign requires more than a simple endorsement. The use of the celebrity must demonstrate the shift in the brand’s image.
Below are three ways a celebrity can effectively reach your target market when rebranding.
1. Celebrity Employee. An example would be hiring a celebrity as a brand marketer to revitalize a brand.
Diageo took this route when they hired P-Diddy as Brand Manager for their struggling Ciroc Vodka line. P-Diddy’s plan was to make Ciroc the top luxury vodka brand, as he had indirectly done with other high-end brands such as Patron, Cristal, and Courvoisier.
For 50% ownership of Ciroc, P-Diddy was placed in charge of marketing, advertising, public relations, product placement, and more. Many in the industry thought this move was extremely risky, but since P-Diddy’s involvement, Ciroc sales have increased by 600%.
2. Celebrity Expert. In 1996 Nike wasn’t known for its golf supplies; in fact they were not even manufacturing golf balls. After they signed Tiger Woods in August of that year their golf brand grew exponentially, eventually becoming a major competitor in the golf equipment market.
In 2000, Tiger Woods began using Nike’s new solid construction golf ball over the typical wound ball technology. Four consecutive tournament wins later, every major player began switching to the solid construction ball, earning Nike over 100 million dollars in profits. Although Tiger Woods later fell into scandal, the Nike golf brand stuck with him, and according to a Carnegie Melon study, continued to profit from his image.
3. Celebrity Revelation. Have the celebrity reveal something about themselves to the audience that relates to the rebrand.
For instance, when the British insurance company Norwich Union wanted to change its name to Aviva, the company used a number of famous celebrities including Bruce Willis, Elle Macpherson and Ringo Starr. In the commercials, each star wondered whether they would have been as successful if they hadn’t changed their names.
These engaging ads helped solidify the established brand’s name change, and boosted brand recognition by 80%.
Celebrity revelations can be powerful, even when they are not planned. When Angelina Jolie revealed she received a double mastectomy, National Health Service tests for breast cancer increased by 200%. This phenomenon has been referred to as the “Angelina Jolie Effect”.