Influence consumer behavior almost instantly using a believable endorsement from a respected celebrity.
There are many examples of celebrity testimonial increasing sales and profit. Yet, it’s astonishing that kale, the simple, leafy vegetable could undergo such a dramatic image transformation.
From 2012-2013, kale experienced a remarkable increase in awareness and sales. During that time the vegetable could have been considered a celebrity in its own right, with a Q-Score and everything.
So how did this happen? What PR firm deserves a thank you card and adjoining fruit basket for this make over?
Incredibly, no Madison Avenue types were involved. But there is a long list of celebrity kale fans igniting interest.
Although kale’s celebrity portfolio is extremely diverse, each endorsement has something in common; staying in shape. Take for example, Jennifer Aniston’s kale endorsement on Access Hollywood. Aniston explained how she slimmed down to prepare for her role as a stripper in the film ‘We’re the Millers’,
“I was on a very like, you know, greens and vegetables and lean proteins and kale…When I really wanted to have a cheat day I had to have a kale chip.”
Anne Hathaway shared a similar story on E!’s Chelsea Lately about losing weight to fit into her Catwomen suit for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’,
“I’m like living on kale and dust for training,” said Hathaway. “The catsuits unforgiving, man.”
And it isn’t just female celebrities fawning for the super food. The seemingly ageless Kevin Bacon has also sung its praise,
“[It’s] the age of kale . . . A day without kale is like a day without sunshine.”
These organic examples of celebrity marketing demonstrate the influence the right endorser can have on a product.
Some celebrity endorsements lack a believable testimonial and therefore fall short.
This happens when marketers select a celebrity without fully considering how strong a fit there is with the brand.
Take HTC’s billion-dollar ad campaign starring Robert Downey Jr. in 2013. They wanted to reverse years of declining sales by raising awareness for a phone (that was getting positive reviews) with one of the biggest celebrities money could buy. Did it work?
No. HTC’s revenue continued to fall. The lack of sales could be attributed to a number of things, but it is safe to assume the commercials were ineffective. And it has nothing to do with the phone, or the actor for that matter.
The creative behind the ads was interesting, but the messaging was deemed weak. So weak, it barely made a connection to why Robert Downey Jr. was a good fit for the phone in the first place.
And that’s why this kale/celebrity pairing has been so effective. Celebrities have a lot of pressure to stay in shape. Movie roles, the prying eye of the paparazzi, etc. Their brand depends on their fitness.
The timing of the kale phenomenon is no coincidence. Consumers have been looking for new ways to eat healthier, but chose kale over other fruits and vegetables. This is because kale gained far more relevant, believable testimonials from celebrities vs. other health foods.
It just goes to prove again celebrity marketing is effective, so long as the message behind the pairing is strong and the testimonial is believable.
photo credit: Tim Sackton via Wikimedia Commons