Embracing Culture with Celebrity Marketing

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Brands can stand out with cultural intelligence and promise.

What exactly is cultural intelligence and how does it relate to brands?

Cultural intelligence is the power that brings brands to the forefront of current events. It has the ability to drive brand growth and create iconic brands.

Cultural intelligence is the ability to relate to and work effectively across cultures. When brands consistently communicate with their audience and constantly deliver on the promise they make, brands demonstrate cultural intelligence.

Brands that strive for success must be relevant in the rapidly evolving culture of consumers. Brands that ignore the now and the cultures that ensue go unnoticed and appear out of touch. As a result, brands must work alongside current events, co-creating culture through music, sport, fashion, etc.

One way brands can work alongside, while also create culture is through celebrities. The popularity of celebrities spans all cultures and directly influences consumers. Celebrities help brands establish the iconic image they desire and further stress the brands’ promise to consumers.

A celebrity marketing campaign is an extension of a brand’s cultural intelligence. It proves the brand understands consumers’ wants and needs in the current culture climate in order to establish a connection.

Embedding brands into culture is a long-term strategic venture. However, by understanding and embracing culture, brands are able to project their image beyond simple advertising and spark interest amongst consumers.

Along with cultural intelligence comes cultural promise.

It is the brand’s commitment to stay true to its core beliefs and promises. The more consistently and emphatically brands dedicate themselves to their promise and to culture, the greater its significance factor. With strong significance and a boost from celebrity endorsements, brands not only look successful, but become symbolic.

Although it may seem that consumers dominate in this ever-changing world, it is important to remember brands have a unique advantage. Using their cultural intelligence and promise, brands can engage with and influence culture. It is culture that persuades consumers and keeps brands in the limelight.

photo credit: vonderauvisuals via Flickr.com

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Celebrity Marketing at Sporting Events

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When it comes to sporting events, celebrities and social media are the major players driving social engagement before, during, and after the game.

The impact of celebrities on audience engagement at sporting events is real. The impact of social media on audience engagement is just as real. Combined, these two influential forces and sporting events become one dynamite hotspot for brands to connect with fans.

Linking popular marketing campaigns to high-profile sporting events is not a new idea. However, the rise of social media adds a valuable, new element to the marketing mix. When social platforms work hand-in-hand with celebrity marketing campaigns featured at major sporting events, audience engagement will increase.

Brands that are able to generate creative and compelling videos can drive social engagement surrounding sporting events. Using the power of social media, these videos may become viral and generate buzz around the event. Similarly, brands featuring celebrities within their marketing campaigns at sporting events can achieve higher levels of engagement.

Beyond simply creating buzz, well-known sports teams and their social channels have found a way to engage with sports fans during the actual event.

A few professional sports teams have figured out how to draw attention away from personal phone screens and attract fans to the only screen that matters, the jumbotron. The Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Sounders and San Francisco Giants use technology powered by Tagboard that shows their Instagram stories on massive displays inside the stadium. These teams have found the way to grow their social media followings and also keep the focus on the field.

Combining celebrity title with social media, these sports teams engage fans, while still promoting their brand. As teams recognize this potential for branding, they discover ways to monetize content.

In addition, these massive displays take fan engagement another step further by featuring user-generated content. This keeps fans involved in the action on the field, while simultaneously becoming the focus of the screen. Furthermore, Tagboard created a tool that makes it easier to search content across keyboards, phrases, accounts and hashtags.

Tagboard has put a new spin on advertising during sporting events. Brands that want to get a leg up and connect with sports fans must recognize the influence of celebrity marketing and in turn, create captivating video content for social media platforms that will get fans involved.

photo credit: Pexels via Pixabay.com

Tailoring Celebrity Marketing to Individual Social Platforms

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Social media is not one-size-fits all.

Joining the social media bandwagon just for a presence on social media does not work. A casual Facebook page or basic ad on Instagram is not enough. Each social platform has its own nuances that distinguish one channel from another.

Granted, any company wanting to spread its message to as wide as an audience as possible should be on multiple social platforms. However, it is important to recognize each social channel’s unique audience. From there, brands must creatively reach users by differentiating between these platforms and determining which and what type of celebrity influence is going to be most successful.

Brands need to determine content that will perform best on each platform factoring in the celebrity that will best enhance the campaign.

For instance, what does well on Instagram may not do well on Snapchat, and what works for Facebook may not work for Twitter. Each social media platform has its own tone and language. For example, Twitter’s 140-character limit, encourages users to keep their messages concise. In contrast, Instagram emphasizes the power of pictures to express its social content. Whenever creating social content, it is always important to remember that it should match the platform’s community and norms.

Likewise, individual social media platforms take on different roles. Whereas Snapchat is well-suited for raising brand awareness among millennials and Generation Z, Twitter frequently responds to customer complaints.

In addition, brands should think about the length of its content. Although Snapchat is no longer limited to 10 second videos, millennials respond best to ads that are short. So, when thinking about what advertising content to post next, keep in mind that the shorter the ad the better.

Moreover, visual style of brand content varies per platform. Content on Snapchat and Instagram are encouraged to be vertical, restricting the way brands create advertisements.

Tailoring content and identifying the right celebrity fit for each social media platform demonstrates that a company understands social media and has a solid strategy in place.

Ultimately, brands must learn the tricks of the trade if they are going to effectively advertise and market. Celebrity marketing is an excellent way of engaging users on social media, but if done incorrectly, brands will pay the price.

photo credit: TeroVesalainen via Pixabay.com 

Celebrity, Influencer Marketing and Shoppable Ads a Powerful Combination for Increasing Ecommerce

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Brands with a bottom line goal of converting social media users into customers, shoppable ads with influencers and celebrities are a great option.

Combining the effectiveness of celebrity marketing with the quick and easy conversion allowed by shoppable ads creates a dynamic marketing opportunity for brands.

By reducing the amount of steps consumers need to take to buy a product featured in a post with their favorite celebrity or influencer, brands are seeing increased sales and using the tactic more frequently.

Shoppable influencer ads are not only leading to higher conversion rates, they are also giving brand marketers a clearer way to measure return on investment (ROI). They can determine what ads are performing the best and how well they are performing.

Links on social posts across the major platforms enable tracking sales from social media efforts. Purchases made can be traced back to the source to determine how many sales can be attributed to the ad.

Here are a few brands leading the way in shoppable influencer ads:

The clothing brand Loft partnered with actress Busy Philipps to produce a shoppable video ad campaign on Instagram. The campaign included a series of longer videos cut down into several clips and posted on the brand’s account.

Using the Like2Buy platform, consumers were able to view the ad and then use the link to visit the brand’s ecommerce site and see the items Busy had picked as her favorites.

Celebrity and Influencer ads on Snapchat are being revived since the platform recently debuted the ability for brands to link right to their websites.

Teva Women’s Health partnered with actress Sophia Bush to work on a campaign generating awareness about alternative birth control options. The #NoHormonesPLZ campaign included a ten second Snapchat video ad with Sophia instructing viewers to swipe up to learn more.

Users were able to go to the website for the campaign and sign up to enter the sweepstakes right through Snapchat.

The organization was able to get more entries by making the link closer to consumers and requiring less action to participate.

MikMak is a company that creates, measures and distributes shoppable ads on behalf of brands. Through their attach feature, brands are able to attach links to their ecommerce sites within their Snapchat ads or Instagram Stories.

Several brands began testing out the beta version of the service in spring 2017. GoPro, Birchbox and Dr. Brandt skincare are among those who have encountered success with the feature.

Birchbox created a series of shoppable video ads for their Mother’s Day campaign. Dr. Brandt Skincare saw a huge ROI, with a 500 percent increase in sales from Instagram for facemasks over a span of 10 days.

Seeing as all of these brands have used influencer marketing in the past, it will be important to keep an eye out for how they capitalize on the early adoption of tools like these to combine celebrity marketing with shoppable ads.

photo credit: Justyre / 27 images via Pixabay

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.

photo credit: Ian Freimuth via Flickr

How to Reach Multiple Demographics with the Same Campaign through Influencer Marketing

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Big brands have led the way in using a wide range of micro-influencers to reach a variety of consumers.

Having a single campaign activated across numerous influencers allows brands to access more than just the typical, narrow target market. Strategically using influencers that impact a variety of populations can allow campaigns to reach far beyond the usual scope.

Rather than using a large number of influencers who have followings with similar characteristics, brands can use influencers with extensively different backgrounds whose followings are diverse. This allows brands to use the same central campaign to connect with a larger sphere of people.

Here are a few brands who have successfully executed this approach.

Walmart

In spring 2017, Walmart launched its “Fight Hunger Spark Change” campaign in partnership with Feeding America. Their goal was as many donations as possible to secure meals for hungry Americans. Walmart used 7 influencers on Instagram to spread awareness for the cause and increase donations.

A charitable cause as broad as this one could be taken up by a massive array of people from all different backgrounds. Walmart mimicked this through their use of a mixture of influencers. From professional soccer player Sydney Leroux to YouTube personality and cook Rosanna Pansino to professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler, Walmart covered a broad spectrum of influencers.

The result was a huge engagement rate of 23% and raised $1.5 million.

Axe

Axe partnered with 30 male influencers for their “Find Your Magic”campaign with a goal to break the cycle of toxic masculinity and support men in destroying stereotypes and using hair products.

The Haircare VP of Unilever (the company that owns Axe), Piyush Jain, was quoted in AdWeek saying “this is the first time male influencers from all different walks of life are coming together to inspire guys to start styling.”

Amongst the 30 were actor Josh Peck, cooking channel star Josh Elkin and video gamer Joshua Ovenshire. With just these three celebrities, Axe was able to reach men with disparate interests by involving influencers with an assortment of personalities and fan bases who openly used Axe products on their social channels.

Gap

For their “Styld.by” campaign, Gap partnered with multiple prominent influencers across several categories. They enlisted photographers, writers, singers, models and bloggers amongst others, spanning different cultural backgrounds, races, genders and stages in life.

Each of these influencers posed for photos wearing Gap clothing mixed in with their own pieces showing how they incorporated the brand into their own styles.

The material was posted on several platforms, including Gap’s social channels, the influencers’ personal channels and the online community dedicated to the campaign.  

Using influencer marketing allows brands to extend their target market on a budget and/or create multiple campaigns.

photo credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr

Brands Seize Advantage Using Sports Stars to Reach Youth Market via Celebrity Marketing

wheatiesBrands grab the attention of children and adolescents by using pro athletes they idolize for endorsements.

Children are encouraged to “dream big,” and for many of them, that big dream is to one day be a professional athlete. Many kids keep this dream long into adolescence and spend their entire childhood embracing their fandom of these big name athletes. Kids see athletes as super heroes and role models who embody what they hope to accomplish when they grow up.

With that, kids put an enormous amount of weight into what pro athletes say and how they behave. This provides brands with an opportunity to tie their brand to an athlete and reach the youth market.

Perhaps the most iconic of all athlete endorsements belongs to Wheaties Cereal. Since they first partnered with professional baseball in the 1930s, Wheaties has partnered with top athletes to identify itself as the food brand to fuel your body. Children for generations have looked to Wheaties and seen their favorite sports stars grace the front of the box, picking up the product in hopes of achieving the same heights as those pictured.

Another way to effectively reach the youth market with sports celebrities is by having them use the product themselves.

Gatorade used pro athletes to inspire kids and reinforce the idea that they can grow up to be anything they want if they work hard. In their ad campaign Never Lose the Love, they feature Usain Bolt and Serena Williams being cheered on by their younger selves.

By showing kids in the ad, Gatorade is able to relate to children and show them that by drinking Gatorade like these athletes, they one day too can reach the same success.

Even brands that don’t come to mind when thinking of sports can leverage pro athletes. The toy brand Little Tikes used pro athlete Lebron James to reach young aspiring athletes by integrating him into their products and brand.

Little Tikes boasts that LeBron got his start on a Little Tikes hoop and now kids can too. Little Tikes has a range of different products with LeBron’s name and picture. The official partnership is between the brand and the LeBron James Family Foundation, which has a mission to better the lives of children and young adults.

By literally using the face of LeBron James on their products, Little Tikes is able to reach and have an impression on kids who look up to LeBron and want to take the same steps he has taken to success.

photo credit: Mike Steele via Flickr