Selling Authenticity with Celebrity Marketing

Authenticity Post

Brands prove successful when trustworthy celebrities endorse their products.

Brands work tirelessly to create strong emotional and truthful connections with their audience. Because consumers connect well with celebrities on an emotional level, brands should select celebrities who carry a recognizable, authentic and credible demeanor.

As social media continues to become a window into the lives of celebrities, brands must work diligently to ensure that their celebrity partner promotes the same authenticity as the brand. Consumers frequently hold the expectation that brands will do more than simply sell a product, but rather work hard to create a trusting atmosphere.

To establish that trusting atmosphere, brands should partner with the right celebrities who can help promote products in the most natural and truthful way.

For instance, blatant and obvious brand advertisements posted on celebrities’ social media accounts do not create strong emotional ties. Consumers see right through these branded endorsements and keep scrolling. However, celebrity postings that integrate a brand’s product organically and convincingly will catch consumers’ attention.

For example, professional basketball player, Kevin Durant, built his relationship with Sparkling Ice on authenticity. Durant, a real life consumer of the zero-calorie carbonated water, was interested in a partnership with the company. As soon as Sparkling Ice caught wind of the Durant’s inquiry, they knew their sponsorship relationship would be a success because their bond was built on genuine, demonstrated interest.

Celebrity and influencer marketing has been rated as the fastest-growing way to grab online customers. Despite this success, marketers need to continually ask questions as the consumer landscape evolves.

What does our consumer base care about? How should we align the brand with those causes? What channels will have the strongest influence?

Although the answers to these three questions are not the same, all three answers address the same topic of authenticity. As brands have the opportunity to connect with consumers, they need to invest in the celebrity who best matches their beliefs as well as their audience.

In adopting the use of celebrity marketing, authenticity and transparency are critical. As information is more readily available in today’s social media landscape, consumers are not afraid to look beneath the surface and confirm that brands are using celebrities with credibility.

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Classic Brands Make a Comeback with Celebrity Marketing

Classic Brands Post

Nothing sells like a celebrity, especially when trying to bring older brands back to the forefront.

Brands leave long lasting impressions and establish strong bonds with consumers. In an ever-changing world, brands come and go, leaving consumers without their favorite go-to items. In order to bring a brand back to life, celebrity marketing builds awareness quickly, helps take market share from competitors and creates a strong emotional connection to buy.

Celebrities have long served as the public face of brands, but now they are being tapped to help brands return to the limelight. In addition to serving as a trusted trendsetter, celebrities serve as human billboards.

The popularity of classic brands can be traced back to various celebrities. Whether celebrities are endorsing a product, sporting the merchandise or even creating alliances, classic brands can meet or exceed previous success using celebrities to communicate their message.

For example, Reebok partnered with top fashion model, Gigi Hadid, in an effort to gain more popularity. Although the brand has been in existence for years, using celebrity marketing is the best method to invest in the brand’s existence for the years to come.

Similarly, Coach made a comeback using celebrity marketing. Despite being a top-seller in the 1990s, the logo-heavy leather goods fell out of the mainstream. In order to reemerge in the accessories industry, they used singing sensation, Selena Gomez. As the new face of Coach, Gomez has helped to create playful and eclectic designs that are a must-have for all young millennial girls, breathing new life into the brand.

While celebrity marketing is one of the most effective and successful ways to reintroduce a brand, it is not the only way.

Brands can make a comeback appealing to both old and new customers by tapping into nostalgia, completely overhauling and rebooting the brand, and utilizing social media as well as other digital channels.

As brand marketing continues to adapt and evolve, classic brands have managed to stay popular by using celebrity marketing. These classic brands remain successful because they have picked up on the one thing many disregard. That is, consumers strive for things they cannot have, and thus as an alternative, they choose to live vicariously through the products in connection with celebrities.

So, if you are the next brand thinking about making a bold comeback, who better to help market your product than a trusted, popular and admired celebrity. With their large following and strong influence, there is no denying that their help can restore your brand to what it once was.

photo credit: Matteo Mignani via Flickr.com

Who Wins for Brands – Digital Influencers or Traditional Celebrity Marketing?

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Four ways how digital influencers compete with traditional celebrities’ reach in marketing campaigns.

Influencer marketing works and brands are on board. With the increased presence of digital influencers, the role of traditional celebrities as a marketing tool is put into question. As consumers look for the latest trends and products, more companies are recognizing a shift in these consumer behaviors. As a result, brands are turning to digital influencers as the face of their campaigns.

Previously, traditional celebrities were able to influence purchasing decisions based in large part on their name recognition. However, the digital influencers’ increased social media traffic has granted them a larger piece of the marketing pie.

Over the past decade, social media channels and platforms, such as YouTube and Instagram, have accumulated large user bases. With this immense growth, brands are looking at digital influencers and social media stars as a valuable form of social engagement for online advertising campaigns.

The popularity of digital influencers has changed the definition of “celebrity,” forcing brands to rethink their traditional approach to working with celebrities. Listed below are four key insights as to why brands may prefer working with digital influencers.

1. Social Media Presence

Digital influencers have a strong following on social media. While traditional celebrities also have billions of followers across various social media channels, they don’t present the same authenticity as digital influencers. Digital influencers are seen as “regular people,” potentially with a greater online reach than idolized celebrities.  Because of this authenticity and accessibility on social media, digital influencers have a greater appeal to today’s audiences.

2. Price Point

Most often, celebrity endorsements are more expensive than partnerships with digital influencers. Extensive experience and previous track record add to the cost of using traditional celebrities.

3. More Tailored Audience

Followers of digital influencers pay close attention. They are a self-selected, very specific audience seeking advice and inspiration. By choosing specific digital influencers, brands narrow their audience.

4. Credible Third Party Endorsement

Whereas celebrities can provide exposure for a product, digital influencers can provide a certain level of understanding and connection to that product. A Twitter study found that social media users trust influencers nearly as much as they trust their friends. With that level of trust, a brand can benefit from the unique perspective influencers have on a campaign.

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Traditional Media Remains an Optimal Environment for Celebrity Marketing

8625795674_9be45d8f8f_zSocial and digital platforms are increasing in popularity, yet TV, radio and print are still home to some of the most dynamic celebrity marketing campaigns.

While many brands are upping their digital ad spend and taking advantage of the data and analytic tools social media channels are debuting, many brands are still investing deeply in traditional platforms.

These traditional platforms have advantages of their own and remain a powerhouse destination for marketing campaigns. As the use of new media continues to proliferate, traditional media is, at the least, an important supplemental piece to most campaigns.

Here are some of the benefits of using each form of traditional media and some successful celebrity marketing campaigns executed across them.

Radio

Radio and voiceover ads are more cost efficient than ads that run in other media without sacrificing a large reach. Statista found in spring 2016, 54.1% of Americans ages 18-64 listened to the radio each day. This put radio at third on the list of media with the most daily users, behind TV and email.

Buffalo Wild Wings used actor John Goodman, best known for his role in the 1990’s TV show “Roseanne,” to voice radio ads. The brand also released a TV commercial version of the ad, allowing for greater coverage and more recognition across two outlets.

By using a recognizable and strong sounding celebrity voice, Buffalo Wild Wings was able to grab the attention of listeners in key regions they wanted to target.

Print

According to The Association of Magazine Media (MPA), a study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions

showed magazines had the highest average return on advertising spend when compared to display, cross media, linear TV, mobile and digital video.

Aveeno, the skincare brand, has a long running partnership with actress Jennifer Aniston. They have run a variety of different print ads featuring Jennifer in several different publications. Since 2012, the ads have appeared in People, InStyle, Marie Claire, Allure and Elle.

The brand used the medium successfully by executing a long term campaign with different creative across magazines with different readerships.

TV

TV persists as the media platform with the largest daily reach. According to Statista, in spring 2016, 75.5% of US population was exposed to broadcast/cable TV each day.

Pizza Hut partnered with “Saturday Night Live” star, Kristen Wiig for a campaign promoting their brand image as the company that delivers the pizza consumers want, fast.

In the ad, Kristen portrays multiple different Americans all with the same desire of what Pizza Hut can provide. The brand was able to cleverly mimic the diversity of the audience of the medium within the ad, making it relatable to many different consumers who are exposed to it.

The campaign includes a 30 and a 60-second spot supplemented with a radio spot, digital efforts and social media posts, making for a strong 360 campaign.

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Celebrity Marketing in the Healthcare Industry has Huge Benefits for Brands

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The connection fans feel to celebrities is intensified when they speak about medical causes or products.

Medical issues are generally very personal and intimate. When a celebrity makes a move to promote a medical product or cause, they show their fans a level of trust and openness that fans often look for but do not always get.

Fans feel closer to the celebrity for sharing the news and have a higher respect for them and for the cause or product they are endorsing in light of it.

Fans that are affected by the same condition feel a special connection to the celebrity and have even more allegiance to what they have to say on the topic.

For these reasons, celebrity marketing in the healthcare industry is extremely successful and useful. Here are some of the most impactful uses of celebrity marketing in healthcare.

Abbvie, a biopharmaceutical company, partnered with Julianne Hough, an actress and professional dancer best known for her role on “Dancing with the Stars.”

In 2008 she revealed she has a medical condition called Endometriosis. The disease is estimated to affect 1 in 10 women but isn’t well known or easily diagnosable.

In March 2017, Abbvie announced its partnership with Julianne in their campaign titled “Get in the Know about ME in EndoMEtriosis.” The goal is to educate women on recognizing symptoms of the disease and provide women who have the disease an opportunity to talk about their experiences.

Abbvie made a power move by enlisting an admired celebrity to bring attention to a cause that affects such a large segment of the population.

In addition to using celebrities to promote general health causes, brands can also partner with celebrities to promote specific products. This approach has high potential, as long as brands are careful to follow all regulations to avoid legal trouble

Valeant Pharmaceuticals produces a toe fungus treatment medication called Jublia. They recruited NFL greats Deion Sanders, Howie Long and Phil Simms to promote the product.

The brand aired a 30 second TV commercial during Super Bowl 50 with a comedic tone starring the three athletes.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals matched their use of celebrities with the right platform and audience. By airing the ad during the Super Bowl they were able to reach many potential consumers, and by using celebrities that made sense in that context, they were able to make a purposeful connection.

Tecfidera is a prescription medication produced by biotechnology brand Biogen, used to treat the autoimmune disease Multiple Sclerosis. The brand partnered with Jamie-Lynn Sigler to promote the product.

The actress, best known for her role on “The Sopranos,” revealed in early 2016 that she has Multiple Sclerosis. Shortly afterward the “Reimage MySelf” campaign debuted.

The campaign touted Jamie-Lynn as a former Tecfidera patient and included a website with written pieces of her stories dealing with the disease.

The brand won a second place award at the 2017 Direct to Consumer National Advertising Awards in the category of Best Use of Celebrity in Campaign/PSA. Their effective use of a celebrity allowed them to garner support from other MS patients and increase awareness and usage of their product.

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Brands Avoid Entanglement with Societal & Political Issues by Using Celebrity Marketing

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Brands with clear standpoints on political issues open themselves up to losing consumers who disagree.

Celebrity marketing allows brands to appeal to a wide variety of people and remain neutral on societal issues. Using a celebrity that is respected and well-liked will generate widespread appeal for a brand.

In a very polarized political climate, brands that make their political values clear in their marketing and branding lose a considerable amount of consumers and brand fans that fall on the other end of the spectrum.

Celebrities are the best way to stay away from societal issues and ensure brands gain and retain consumers.

A study done by the American Association of Advertising Agencies and research firm SSRS showed that consumers don’t like when brands focus their branding around societal and political issues. 58% of respondents reported feeling this way.

The 2017 Super Bowl, just a few weeks after President Trump’s inauguration, was filled with commercials that contained political messages.

84 Lumber’s 90 second spot regarded the controversial topic of immigration. It showed the story of immigrants traveling from Mexico and entering through a door in the wall President Trump has discussed building to keep out illegal immigrants.

Seeing as it was focused on such a divisive issue, the ad and the brand received a strong negative response from many people.

Not only do consumers have opinions about what brands’ political beliefs are, they take action and desert brands they disagree with.

A survey conducted by Ipsos, a market and opinion research company, revealed that 25% of consumers admitted that in the past three months they had boycotted a brand because its political leanings contrasted with their own.

With the data the survey provides, it’s safe to conclude that the backlash that 84 Lumber received on social media translated into lost consumers. By so distinctly showing their values in this ad they set themselves up to lose potential business from a massive amount of people.

The survey included 28 different brands. Amongst them were Uber and Nordstrom, both who took politically charged actions in the months prior. Uber, by lowering prices during an airport taxi strike that was in protest of Trump’s immigration ban, and Nordstrom, by pulling Ivanka Trump’s clothing line from their stores. Both brands saw over 30% boycott rate from the opposing side.

Comcast and Intel were included in the survey as well. It was revealed that they were two of the brands that were mainly unscathed in the minds of consumers.

Both Brands have partnered with celebrities in that past, allowing them to achieve likability and respect from the masses and avoid political topics.

Intel has long partnered with “The Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons. In March 2017, they released an ad featuring him and LeBron James, two very well-liked celebrities. Comcast has worked with Sofia Vergara, Taylor Swift, Cole Hamels and Matt Ryan to construct a positive and non-controversial image.

Both brands were able to avoid boycotts by using celebrities to cultivate a good public perception.

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Updates to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat: What Brands Need to Know for Their Celebrity Marketing

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Big changes are taking place across the major social channels as they compete to one up each other and rise above the rest.

Brands and marketers need to stay up to date and adapt their campaigns based on updates. Social and digital trends change quickly. In order to lead the pack and get the most out of a campaign, brands must stay current and be ready for more change.

Social Media has become an integral part of nearly all marketing campaigns.

Here is what the major social channels are doing next, along with some insight on how these features affect influencer and celebrity marketing.

Facebook

Facebook announced that they’ll be releasing an app for influencers to create videos. The feature will operate with Facebook Live and only be accessible to celebrities, journalists and internet influencers, or any other verified accounts.

Brands can integrate themselves with celebrities in an entirely new way through this feature. Current celebrity endorsement avenues include celebrities posting on their Facebook pages or influencers mentioning products or brands in their YouTube videos. The video creation app combines both, creating a new opportunity for brand and celebrity partnerships.

Snapchat

After receiving a lot of criticism from marketers and advertisers who want to use metrics to assess campaigns, Snapchat has tried to match the other social channels in terms of data and analytics. They released the paperclip tool which allows links to be attached to snaps.

This provides brands opportunity to drive more traffic to their websites and measure how much traffic comes from the ads’ placement on Snapchat specifically. When promoting a brand on Snapchat, celebrities can now include a link to whatever the brand chooses right within the snap.

Instagram

In an attempt to help brands follow the endorsement rules put forth by the FTC, Instagram launched a “paid partnerships” feature. It allows celebrities to clearly mark the posts that feature the partnerships they have with brands.

This feature allows brands to be clear and transparent about endorsements. Using this tool on Instagram will keep brands out of conflict with the FTC.

Social Overall

Across all social media platforms, more tools for data and analytics are being developed. Social channels are accommodating brands’ demands for better marketing outlets and striving to provide the best place for ads.

Using these tools as they are released gives brand marketers opportunity to showcase their campaigns and provides helpful insight for planning future campaigns.

Facebook and Twitter are among channels focusing on live streaming events. This trend is another to follow as it develops. With the decline of TV, this is another potential format for celebrity marketing campaigns to flourish.

 
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