What Celebrity Marketing Can Take from Subscription Box Brands

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In the same way that subscription boxes customize consumer experiences, celebrity marketing must similarly evolve to meet more needs.

Stereotypes of celebrity marketing took some time to change since the advent of social media. The days of the traditional celebrity holding up a product for a camera seem to be long over, as consumers demand new types of interactions with marketing content.

As Jazmin Garcia de Leon of Brandingmag describes it, consumers “are more creative, ambitious, and informed than ever. They are skeptical and savvy about branding and marketing, and they own technology that even enables them to be the producers, promoters, marketers, and event merchants of their own media and product.”

Subscription box brands are a great example of this new consumer mentality. They serve both as a service and a marketing tool, as the possibilities for any combination of licensed products is endless.

Since this form of service receives such glowing praise from consumers and marketers alike, naturally it is important to adopt their best practices. Here are three things that celebrity marketers can learn from subscription box brands.

1. Customization is Key

Consumers want what they want, this is nothing new, but the new breed of consumers require the chance to cater a product they love to their individual needs. The trick for a marketer is maintaining the balance of customizability and relevance to the marketplace as a whole.

Box brands like Birchbox are known for their underlying service for providing five make-up products monthly at affordable prices. Yet they also give subscribers the chance to tailor their box around a specific need for the month, centered around different categories.

This level of customization is not brand breaking or even market restricting, but it is a cost-effective way of using the product to sell the service.

2. Keep Things Exciting but Never Predictable

Often it is difficult to keep entire audiences enthusiastic about the message you are communicating. After all, there are only so many ways to promote a product with a celebrity, right? Not so fast. Subscription boxes create hype around their products by blending the product with what Lucy Whitehouse of Cosmetics Design-Europe calls the “OMG I Got a Present” Theory.

Establishing your brand as one to surprise their consumers by connecting directly is a great way to to do this. Say for example a consumer orders your product online, why not have your celebrity influencer deliver it to them personally or have them add in their personal touch to the order?

3. Focus on Building Communities

Box brands are best known for their ability to create fandoms or communities around their products. Several of them boast high engagement from consumers who look forward to the monthly surprise and share their hauls with the world.

Monthly boxes also have the chance to accomplish CSR goals as well. A pair of women in Naperville, Illinois created their own subscription boxes stuffed with inspiration items for girls to build self-worth in the surrounding community, instantly sparking a media sensation.

The sooner marketers can utilize influencers to enact these lessons, the better for their product in the long run.

The culmination of personalized marketing is the formation of a community following and subscription boxes teach marketers that goals never have to be pursued on-by-one, but can be combined into one product that the right celebrity influencer can deliver for consumers.

photo credit: pixabay via (pexels)


Unique Celebrity Marketing and Gifting Opportunities at Cannes


If you’re looking for the right combination of celebrity and luxury, look no further than Cannes.

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most glamorous film festivals in the world, bringing in the most influential celebrities in the film industry and gaining an incredible amount of media exposure. While access for celebrities may be invitation-only, brands have a unique opportunity to be a part of the event and reach a wide audience with little effort. If your brand is looking for a way to start using celebrity marketing, the Cannes Film Festival may be the place, and here’s why.

It gets your brand into the hands of celebrities – and everyone else. At events like the Cannes Film Festival, attendees receive any type of merchandise or service from vacations to luxury goods. When gifting your product at the festival, your brand has the opportunity to be picked up by a celebrity in an environment packed with media. When photos are taken of celebrities with your product, these photos can be used in magazines, online promotions, blogs and social media. This type of product placement feels authentic and personal, which encourages fans to try the product. Cannes is one of the film festivals best known for its gifting opportunities, and everyone is on the look-out for what celebrities will be promoting. And when a celebrity promotes it, everyone sees it.

Not only does gifting allow people to see your product, but it’s a great way to create relationships with celebrities themselves. When celebrities, industry executives, managers and stylists receive your product, your brand is able to develop a relationship with the leaders in styles and trends. Gifting is a win-win situation, while your brand gets photos of your product with celebrities for exposure and promotion, the celebrities get free products, which can foster a great relationship when the celebrity loves your product. When the Cannes Film Festival brings in the biggest celebrities, your brand has the opportunity to build a relationship with the best of them.

But don’t let the prestige of the event scare you, because it’s not as difficult to include your brand as you may think. The cost of getting your product into talents’ hands at Cannes can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000 and up (depending on your execution). In just a few days you are able to accomplish what could normally take months of outreach and networking. While it may not be a widespread creative advertising campaign, your brand can place its product in an organic way that is easy and feels genuine to an audience.

If you’re considering celebrity marketing and think Cannes would be the perfect place to market your product, gifting at the Cannes Film Festival may be a great opportunity to get your brand into the hands of celebrities and into the public eye.

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How to Incorporate Celebrity Marketing into a Brand’s Mobile App


Three clever ways celebrities can increase an app’s popularity and credibility.

Since 2016, mobile and tablet internet usage has surpassed desktop internet usage for the first time in history, according to web analytics firm StatCounter. There is no hiding that using mobile applications has become a typical part of our daily routine.

Mobile applications can build brand awareness and consumer engagement if they are professionally built and practical to use. As another form of marketing, mobile apps pose an opportunity for celebrity endorsements.

Below are three strategies to creatively incorporate celebrities into a brand’s mobile app.

Celebrity voice overs: Voice overs are a classic tactic for traditional commercials that can also be successful on mobile apps. Celebrity voice overs are a less expensive option for celebrity marketing, and if done with a recognizable person, they can be just as effective.

The mobile app navigation system Waze has partnered with multiple celebrities to voice directions. A new partnership was announced in early May 2017 with Mr. T. Waze has also partnered with other celebrities around the time of their movie releases. Kevin Hart provided voiceovers for the brand in 2013 for the promotion of his then upcoming film “Ride Along.” Arnold Schwarzenegger, acting as The Terminator, produced voice directions for Waze in 2015.

Celebrity branded apps or contribution: For many celebrity marketing campaigns, a company will be looking for a specific “type” of celebrity that fits with the product. For example, if a celebrity who suffers from diabetes is the spokesperson for diabetic medicine, it gives the endorsement more credibility.

This strategic partnership can work well for apps too. By having a celebrity pair with an app it will not only draw their fans in, but also convince skeptics that experts support the company. The music streaming service/app Tidal is backed by multiple celebrities. Jay-Z bought the app from its parent company in 2015 and has since garnered the support of many other big name artists to endorse the app. Celebrities including Rihanna, Calvin Harris and Usher have all shown support for the service on their social accounts.

Celebrities using the brand’s application: In a way, this is almost similar to celebrity gifting. If the public sees a celebrity wearing a new shoe brand then the celebrity is influencing their fans to go out and buy those shoes. If a celebrity is seen using a mobile application, then their fans will be prompted to download it and try it out themselves.

The transportation service and app Uber has had celebrities tweet about their use of and support for the brand. Kate Upton, Ashton Kutcher and Neil Patrick Harris have all promoted Uber on their social channels.  Another app that has been used by celebrities is B.J. Novack’s app “li.st.” Celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Lena Dunham, and Mindy Kaling all helped the app launch successfully by being some of the first to start accounts.

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How to Target In-Demand Celebrities Who Match Gifting Goals for Celebrity Marketing

gifting pic

Four strategies to increase celebrity gifting results.

Gifting is the act of giving a brand’s products to high-profile, trend setting celebrities. The goal is for the celebrity to be seen with the gift, increasing brand awareness. This celebrity marketing tactic works best when there is either coverage of the celebrity using the product or when the celebrity talks about the gift with friends and news of it spreads through word-of-mouth.

The best way to ensure that celebrity gifting will have the desired effect is to identify your marketing goals and know what it takes to achieve them.

Here are four general objectives of celebrity gifting and strategies to help reach them:

Social Posts: If your goal of gifting is for the celebrity to take a picture or write a post about the gift, the best approach is to send gifts to celebrities within your budget or to those who will be most likely to sincerely enjoy the gift. Unfortunately, as social media has evolved, celebrities now expect to be paid for posts about gifts. The only time compensation is not needed is when the celebrity loves the product and has been using it a long time. Even then, some celebrities still ask for money.

Get it in the hands of influencers: Use the most direct line you have to the celebrity, whether that is their home or publicist’s address, to guarantee they will personally see the gift. As trend setters, just getting gifts in the hands of people with influence can have a big impact. Celebrities who truly like and/or use your product are much more likely to talk about it within their circle of friends and put the word out in interviews or on social media.

Make a brand image/statement: gift BIG. In order to make an impression on both the celebrity and the public, put together gifts that are bigger than life. Personal, creative and extravagant gifts will stand out to celebrities among the loads of other gifts they receive. With a unique gift, they will be more inclined to both talk about it with friends as well as post about it on their social media pages.

Get a picture placed in a publication: As explained in a previous post, set-up shots are pictures taken that look “real” but are actually coordinated on behalf of the brand. In order to create a good set-up shot, and have it appear in a publication, it is best to hire a specialized photographer who has expertise about which celebrities look good in the media right now and ones who can virtually guarantee a placement.

photo credit: Pixabay.com

Celebrity Marketing: Put Your Product in the Hand of A Celebrity

celebrity gifting

If a consumer sees that a celebrity likes your product, it provides instant validation and can catapult sales. 

The terms Influencer Marketing, Gifting, Seeding, Buzz Building and Added Value can sometimes be used interchangeably.  This is an inexpensive way to reach celebrities and market your product.

Here are three ways to snag that coveted celebrity photo with your product:

1. Direct to celebrity gifting

When gifting to celebrities directly it is important to create a strategic and succinct list of those that are truly relevant to your products’ target audience.

A lot of times, packages with a great product get passed over for something else that has more “bling”. It’s important to make sure your package stands out making an immediate impact.

Many “brokers” claim to represent celebrities and are not the exclusive representative. Working with them lessens the chance of your gift getting to your target. Hollywood celebrities typically have an agent, manager, and/or publicist, plus an inner circle of family and friends who filter everything.

Consider using a celebrity gifting service with the connections and leverage to make sure your product arrives in the right hands, along with compelling reasons for the celebrity to see it.

2. Set-up shots

It might be hard to believe (said sarcastically), but not all photos in entertainment publications are impromptu or “real”.

While some images are of celebrities are in their own environment, many celebrity photos that include products are actually taken and coordinated on behalf of a brand.

These are called “Set-up Shots”, and are products ranging from clothing to luxury accessories to CPG products. These staged photos are used for editorial and social media purposes.

The idea behind the photo is that it looks “real” and used as another form of product placement. The end cost ranges from $2,500-$20,000+, depending on the product and the celebrity. But, it is still an affordable way to promote your product with the potential for a great return on your investment.

3.    Lounges and award shows

Almost every major award show has a gifting suite or gift bag.

Lounges are a great execution for brands who want photos for social media, and digital executions. Celebrity gifting is also great for brands which benefit from an in person explanation.

Participating in lounge gifting opportunities allow clients one-on-one interaction with celebrities to deliver brand messaging.

Most lounges are set up in a large room or space where celebrities and influencers are invited to walk around, interact and be gifted by the participating brands.

Depending on the size of the venue and specific event you partner with, each brand will receive either a high round bar table or 3-6’ table. Sometimes, brands will get their own suite in a hotel as well.

The attending celebrity numbers for each lounge can range anywhere from 25 to over 150 people a day.

An entry fee for these opportunities varies from $5000 to $40,000.

Other fees include cost of the product you a gifting to each attendee, as well as the execution fees (agency fees for staffing, PR follow-up and out-of-pocket expenses associated with travel).

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