Behind the Scenes of Celebrity Negotiations


Negotiating and drafting a celebrity offer is easy once a well thought out statement of work (SOW) brings “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” into focus.

1. SOW Term

List the duration of the term. The SOW should be in effect from the first correspondence with the talent, through completion of their contractual obligations.

2. Type of Product

Define the type of brand and/or product being marketed. Is it a new product launch? A brand extension?

Tip: It may be helpful to identify the product’s position in the product life cycle to answer these questions.

3. Brand POV on Talent

Describe the ideal celebrity to best convey the campaign’s objectives. It may be helpful to list desired characteristics of the celebrity, in addition to those the brand would like to avoid.

Example: If your brand is known for being environmentally friendly, you wouldn’t want to hire someone who drives an SUV and denies anthropomorphic climate change.

4. Previous Talent Experience

Has this brand used talent before, and if so, whom did they use and why? Was the partnership successful? What about the project was/was not successful? What would the brand like to do differently this time?

5. Target Demographics

Who is the brand speaking to or attempting to speak to? Are they targeting a new demographic, or continuing with an existing audience?

Example: Health-conscious females, 18-24 years in age, who enjoy spontaneity in everyday life. These individuals value nature, organic products, and sharing their experiences with those around them.

6. Brief Campaign Overview

Include a detailed outline of the program’s objectives. What should the celebrity help the brand to achieve? This may include creating brand awareness, increasing sales, re-branding the product, etc.

7. Services Requested

What activities is the celebrity expected to participate in? This should include production days, public relations days, media training days, personal appearances, social media posts, etc.

Tip: Being thorough here is very important; it is never a good idea to ask for additional services just prior to or during production. Attempting to negotiate after the SOW may mean payment increase demands from the talent, or a lack of time for added service days.

8. Project Location & Timing

When and where will the requested services occur? Will the activities occur during a single block of time, or will they occur sporadically throughout the term?

Tip: It is important to note other details like travel requirements for the talent. 

9. Usage

List all advertising mediums and public relations activities the campaign will be utilizing. Be detailed and specific; anything that isn’t addressed may have to be renegotiated later and could result in extra costs.

10. Required Third Party Rights

Be as specific as possible when seeking clearances of third-party rights. It is important to detail the scope of work and usage requirements of the work.

Example: Use of music will require confirmation of the exact length, creative and usage rights, etc. in order to confirm approval and costs.

11. Exclusivity

List the brand and/or product categories that the celebrity will be prohibited from partnering with during the term of the campaign.

12. Term & Term Extension

Specify the length of the talent’s contract and any pre-negotiated term extensions including renewal term, optional usages, etc.

13. Territory

List the territories that the campaign will be active in, and if there is potential for the campaign to extend elsewhere. It is important to pre-negotiate costs for territory extensions upfront.

Example: A brand’s current media may only include North America, but has the potential to expand to Europe if the campaign proves successful.

14. Budget

Brands should be aware of hidden costs that may be associated with talent negotiations. Since there are more than just talent costs that come with signing a celebrity (ex. travel costs, union fees, team), an SOW assists in outlining every financial detail of the deal.

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