“Celebrity, Meet Influencer”: Now is the Time to Diversify Your Celebrity Endorsement Approach

There is an intangible quality to on-screen chemistry, plain and simple. For brands that aren’t niche, it is “go time” to find that dynamic celebrity-influencer duo.

It is certain that digital influencers are the future for brands striving to appeal to a younger demographic. However, for brands that are not exactly niche to today’s youthful consumer, it is important to recognize the available talent pool at both ends of the spectrum.

In the digital age, audiences are expanding for these broad-appeal brands, meaning the influencer-celebrity relationship may be the brand’s newest best friend.

Brita, dominating 70% of the filter pitcher market in the U.S, traditionally promotes a family centric theme. While the filter company may be tops in its own category, they have done an incredible job leveraging their appeal via celebrity endorsement. After signing basketball star Stephen Curry in 2015, their appeal expanded to the inner athlete in everyone.

Flash forward to 2017, and Brita has paired Steph Curry with digital comedy sensation, King Bach. The new creative produced by Brita posed a traditional dilemma: an empty pitcher in the fridge. With the power couple of Curry and Bach, the creative shifted focus onto the perfect roommate relationship, translating their comedic pairing into nearly one million YouTube views in less than a week. With Bach’s digital clout and Curry’s universal appeal, the audience for Brita stretched to incredible new heights.

Another industry finding success with celebrity-influencer teams is right in the talent’s wheelhouse; the film industry. The pairing of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and influencer Logan Paul for the promotion of the film Baywatch expanded the film’s brand immensely through reliance on user generated content (UGC).

In order to maintain the momentum of a successful campaign mantra, powerhouse brands lean their focus towards the viewer’s voice. UGC is any web content created by fans, functioning as free promotion for the brand. This online word-of-mouth is the best type of referral, as 86% of millennials say UGC is a good indicator of brand quality.

Johnson recently created his own production company Seven Bucks Studios, the mission being to create innovative and authentic content for its audience. As media consumers become increasingly skeptical of brand messaging, it is key that Johnson recognized authenticity as the arch of a successful message.

Fortunately for Paramount Pictures, Johnson and Logan Paul combined to drive unprecedented traffic to their brand by calling users to #BeBaywatch. Their three million plus views on YouTube caused the hashtag to instantly flood Twitter and Instagram, showing that users have power to spread a brand’s message like no other. Ultimately, the comedic, tension-filled relationship between the two made the film that much more relatable and appealing to multiple audiences.

It is certain that brands cannot appeal to everyone. However, when a brand can incorporate an array of talent that falls on both ends of the celebrity-influencer spectrum, the opportunity for brand growth is evident.

photo credit: www.premiermeetings.com

2017 Oscars Delivered Social Media Spontaneity for Celebrity Marketing

Despite last-minute excitement Super Bowl LI and the 2017 Oscars displayed, it’s evident traditionally pinnacle television events are not strongly impacting young audiences.

With a 4% viewership drop from 2016, the 2017 Oscars experienced its third consecutive viewership decline, marking 32.9 million viewers as the second lowest Nielsen viewership since 1974. The ABC broadcast continued the trend of low millennial appeal, bringing a 9.1 rating in comparison to 2016’s 10.5 rating in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 demographic.

Ratings may not tell the show’s entire story. This year’s show accrued a reported $115 million in ad revenue, likely to be the most lucrative entertainment event all year.

Largely, this is thanks to socially relevant personalized messages and strong celebrity influence in key Oscar associated brands.

Host Jimmy Kimmel did an incredible job of appealing to a younger demographic using social media. Echoing Meryl Streep’s Golden Globe political stance, Kimmel effectively live-tweeted President Trump, including “#MerylSaysHi”. This unexpected political and celebrity interaction stirred over 1.37 million responses via Twitter. This interaction was instant and memorable.

Kimmel also added an experiential event by inviting a group of unsuspecting Hollywood tourists to the ceremony, nearly crashing Twitter with tweets about a goofy tourist from Chicago named Gary. Unanticipated events, when paired with the right social influencers, brought millennials and Gen Zers to brands surrounding the show.

The political message spots such as the New York Times’ “The Truth is Hard” or Hyatt’s “For A World of Understanding” mirrored the active social voice of the show very effectively. According to a Brandwatch report, peak social media mentions came at the time when social issues were discussed during Viola Davis and Gael Garcia’s speeches.

However, being political doesn’t always define brand success, nor does it have to.

For high end brands who align with the affluent viewer base of the Oscars, it is important to have a strong celebrity influence within the brand’s message. Rolex, the official sponsor of the 2017 ceremony, implemented an impressive array of Hollywood icons into their one-minute spot “Celebrating Cinema”. The one-minute spot coincidentally featured the late Bill Paxton, triggering an immense amount of unanticipated brand awareness. This surprise appearance created a flood of positive social media responses, proving that timely nostalgia is a powerful theme with the Oscar viewer base.

The traditional means in which showcase events appeal to their expansive viewer base is evolving. No longer can traditional television be the bottom line goal. As seen in the Super Bowl’s first ever live ad spot and the Oscar’s live-tweeting frenzy, younger audiences appreciate an experience above all else.

That personalized experience is truly memorable when spontaneity and celebrity influence can effortlessly combine.

photo credit: www.flickr.com

3 Ways to Incorporate Celebrity Marketing via Pinterest’s Latest Experiential Tools

Now, with the roll out of a camera-based search engine for their 150 million unique monthly viewers, Pinterest positions itself among the elite social media celebrity marketing tools.

Considering the app’s niche approach to the marketplace, Pinterest has struggled to keep up with Snapchat and its innovative ad measurement technology.  70% of the company’s ad revenue came from the 11 major strategic marketing tools launched in 2016, propelling the app back into the forefront of innovative ad traffic measurement. Luckily for Pinterest, the number of advertisers using the app’s data offerings quadrupled by year’s end.

A majority of Pinterest’s marketing profit now hinges on tactics that are tailored for the app itself, differentiating Pinterest from its top competitors.

Pinterest recently introduced Lens, a mobile app that enables a phone’s camera to identify nearby objects and instantly display related items from Pinterest. The visual search technology is allegedly able to recognize 1 billion objects, allowing Pinterest users to ideally match any desired object in sight with a brand or product. With this type of experiential technology being added to the marketplace, it is certain that the younger user base that Pinterest has will immediately gravitate to the platform.

34% of Pinterest’s user base are millennials and older Gen Zers falling between the ages of 18-29, an age group that is highly receptive to visual and experiential marketing rather than traditional advertising means. For these younger users, once a trusted influencer is matched with a brand, the rest of the purchasing process is seamless.

Here are three ways Pinterest can have celebrities work with brands:

  • Keyword Campaigns:  Unlike the various other keyword campaigns that search marketers are accustomed to, Pinterest now has their ads posted as visual pins. Thanks to the app’s visual pin-saving structure, Pinterest can better understand how users are saving a celebrity’s interests. Pinterest can match celebrity interests with a designated brand and share that insight directly to advertisers through keywords. This allows the users, to in turn, intake promoted products at the utmost personal level.
  • Shop the Look: As an extension of Pinterest’s Buyable Pins program, which allows users to “pin” an item and purchase it right through the app, the ‘Shop the Look’ feature now allows Pinterest users to shop by pin preference. Macy’s, Nieman Marcus, and Wayfair are partnering with this innovative shopping filter, which opens up the floodgate for celebrities associated with those brands. Now if a user sees Adam Levine wearing Dior, they can simply”shop his look” and find products of similar brand, taste, and style.
  • Promoting blogs: Many celebrities have passions that align well with Pinterest’s theme of beauty, fashion, and home goods. Therefore, they also have the opportunity to promote brands associated with that interest. For example, Lauren Conrad promotes categories titled Primp, Wear, and Get Fit.  Many celebrity personal pins have products within them that are gifted from brands tailored to their unique interests, which drives an influx of traffic to those specific brands.  

While Pinterest may not possess the same universal social clout as Snapchat and Instagram Live, Pinterest has a unique opportunity to excite its niche user base with celebrity influencer interaction.

photo credit: https://c1.staticflickr.com

4 Live Streaming Platforms for Celebrity Marketing

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Exponentially increase traffic and engagement using four similar, yet different platforms.

Video content is becoming one of the best ways to share information online, as video is unparalleled in engaging an audience and getting their attention. When content is shared live, it only increases the benefits of video marketing.

Statistics show live video dramatically increases both traffic and engagement to a brand’s content. With video, organic traffic increases by 157%, and consumers become 85% more likely to buy a product and 46% more likely to seek out information about your brand. Live video is a great way to make your brand more personable and engaging.

In utilizing celebrities who are already bringing in a large, engaging audience on these platforms, your brand can expand its reach and create an even more unique experience for fans and consumers. You just have to make sure you’re picking the right platform for your brand.

1. Periscope was one of the first widely-used live streaming platforms, highlighting its ability to take audiences to places not shown to the public, such as music festivals, concerts or personal events. The app offers a couple ways for audiences to engage with the platform, such as live comments and giving ‘hearts’ to show appreciation. Since the app is owned by Twitter, it makes it easy for multi-platform sharing, reaching audiences on both Periscope and Twitter. These videos can be kept on the platform forever or deleted after 24 hours, whichever you prefer.

2. Facebook Live makes it easy to connect with Facebook audiences, as Facebook controls the reach of these live videos using the same algorithm it uses for regular posts. One unique thing about Facebook Live is that users can stream for up to four hours at a time, and videos remain on the platform to be retrieved or re-purposed for later use. Facebook Live is a great platform for celebrity marketing, as celebrity pages on Facebook often outperform brand pages, and Facebook recently signed deals with multiple media companies and celebrities to grow the platform’s popularity even further.

3. YouTube Live claims to be the fastest and most reliable live streaming platform, and was notably the first to offer 360-degree streaming. Since then, brands such as GoPro, Nike and Lionsgate have experimented with it. This platform is great to use with YouTube influencers, as they can broadcast directly to their subscribers, and the stream is made available immediately after the broadcast on the influencer’s channel and in subscription boxes. It is similar to creating a regular YouTube video, but with the added bonus of live engagement from the audience through comment features.

4. Snapchat, with its 150 million daily active users, is a unique type of live streaming platform. The app has been used by brands in a variety of ways, including celebrity takeovers, product placement and revealing exclusive content. The quick, ten-second clips and 24-hour lifespan of these videos allows for urgent and exclusive interactions with an audience. Plus, many celebrities already have their own accounts and large followings on this platform.

No matter the platform, live streaming and celebrity marketing together are a great way for your brand to create exciting and engaging video content. Whether it’s special promotions, VIP access or every day moments, live streaming is great for brands to engage an audience in a new exciting way.

photo credit: Travis Estell via Flickr

Resources for Celebrity Marketing: Part Two

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Confirm your “gut instincts” with quantitative data from those who matter most.

As mentioned in Part One, the process of choosing a celebrity for a marketing campaign is not simple. The Burns Celebrity Vault allows us to put together a list of viable celebrities, but once this list is created, we need a way to determine which celebrity may be best for a marketing campaign. In doing so, we can help to make sure the heavy price tag does not get wasted on someone who is relatively unfavorable or disliked.

An E-Score is a way to measure the relative marketing effectiveness of an individual celebrity. Essentially, this score allows us to determine how marketable a celebrity may be based on how he/she is viewed by the general public. Each celebrity is given a number based on their appeal, awareness and up to 46 different attributes. In using this number, we are able to compare a list of celebrities and see which is the most marketable.

First, a celebrity is measured based on their awareness. This is first divided between male, female and both, which allows you to see the difference in awareness based on gender. This could be extremely important if your campaign is directed towards a specific group of people.

Awareness is then further broken down into name, face and total. So for example, if you want to know how many males recognize Justin Bieber based solely on his face, E-Score can give you an exact percentage.

The second factor taken to account when calculating an E-Score is appeal, or how the respondent generally feels about the celebrity. This is broken down into six categories: like a lot, like, like somewhat, dislike somewhat, dislike and dislike a lot. Similarly to awareness, these are further broken down by name, face and total.

Through an algorithm, the awareness and appeal scores are weighted and then set against other celebrities to create the E-Score. In this way, the E-Score works like a percentage. If a celebrity has an E-Score of 98, they are in the 98th percentile.

E-Score also factors in attributes for each celebrity. Each respondent is given 46 different attributes and asked to choose any that relate to the celebrity in question. From there, we are able to get a better, more specific picture of how the celebrity is viewed.

For example, Taylor Swift’s top five attributes are talented, attractive, stylish, over-exposed and beautiful. Each attribute is given as a percentage to tell us how many respondents felt the celebrity possessed that attribute.

E-Scores should be used for two purposes: to confirm your formal list of viable celebrities and to guarantee your first choice will be agreeable to an audience and good to promote your brand. E-Score is a guideline to determine how people relate to the celebrity and whether or not this aligns with what your brand is trying to accomplish with the campaign.

While E-Scores can be extremely helpful, they are limited if you miss identifying ALL the potential celebrities within your budget. In many cases, a celebrity with a slightly lower score may be a better fit with your brand than one with an extremely high score. Just because a celebrity has a lower awareness or appeal does not necessarily mean they would be the wrong choice.

Photo credit: Epollresearch.com 

Pop-Up Events Driven by Celebrity Marketing Create Unique Brand Experiences

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The fear of missing out in today’s social media age is greater than ever, and companies are capitalizing on this trend by using short-lived events.

Pop-up events are short-lived experiences that connect people together, and a celebrity can help take it to the next level.

The goal of a pop-up event is to create an experience that is unique and exclusive. This creates urgency for the audience, encouraging them to take part because if they miss it, it will be gone forever.

Hosting a pop-up event builds excitement and urgency around your brand in three important ways. Incorporating a celebrity helps increase interest and audience reach, creating a more unique and memorable experience.

1. Increase audience reach

Most pop-up shops or events gain momentum from social media, and celebrities’ big and loyal followings can help promote the event, garner social interactions and ultimately bring more awareness to the experience.

Celebrities bring their followers to everything they do, which brings the potential for your brand’s social following and interactions to increase as well. A good execution of a brand boosting their awareness and reach is when Adidas got Pharrell to live stream the launch event of his own Adidas Originals line to the brand’s Snapchat channel.

Adidas gave fans an inside look at the event through Pharrell’s perspective, along with showing off the new Adidas products. The brand’s Snapchat following boomed, and in 24 hours the story garnered 3.4 million views and 4,000 screenshots that people later went and shared on their social accounts.

2. Boost brand image

Partnering with a celebrity for a pop-up event could also create interest and boost brand image. There might be people who aren’t familiar with your brand or products, but when the partnered celebrity brings their audience, the chance of their fans checking out the brand increases.

A great example is when Samsung partnered with Kanye West and Jay-Z for a secret show at South by Southwest. In order to get tickets to the show, fans had to own a Samsung Galaxy phone. Samsung’s traffic to their tent at the festival increased, as well as the buzz around the brand, all because people were excited about the concert with Kanye and Jay-Z.

3. Create a more unique experience

Including a celebrity at your brand’s pop-up event can also make the experience and atmosphere more memorable for the audience. People want to be a part of something special and unique that they can tell their friends about and post to their social feeds.

Events could include a meet-and-greet with the celebrity for a quick chat and photo session. Also, selling a unique product or giving away a memento at the event could further increase the urgency and experience.

Angry Birds and YouTube teamed up with YouTube star Rosanna Pansino for a pop-up bake shop in New York City. Rosanna created and gave away special Angry Birds-themed cupcakes as they introduced a new character, as well as decorating the bake shop with her style intertwined with Angry Birds and YouTube. She also greeted and took pictures with fans as they left the shop, creating a special memory for those who attended.

Brands are using pop-up events to grab attention, build awareness and create buzz more than ever before. Could a pop-up event be in your brand’s future?

Photo credit: Google

Celebrity Marketing and Negotiations: Phase Four

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Superior project management comes from a very simple and overlooked strategy.

Upon completion of the contract and negotiations in Phase Three, a single point of contact in the day-to-day execution and management of the contract is crucial. This will ensure the celebrity partner and his/her affiliated management keeps the details of the campaign at the forefront. By having someone who is committed to efficiency and your brand remaining on the campaign until its completion, you can be sure your objectives from Phase One are successful.

Although it seems as though a marketer’s job ends once the ink has dried on the contract, in many ways, finalizing the contract is only the beginning. All relevant points of the contract must be monitored closely to ensure all requirements are being met throughout the campaign. For example, it is important to maintain the set timeline and be sure the celebrity partner attends all service days that were decided upon in the contract. In doing so, your brand can be sure the contract is executed properly.

Managing and overseeing the various elements of the campaign is very important. These elements include the logistics of the campaign, such as schedules, service days, travel and “glam,” such as hair, makeup, wardrobe, etc. It also includes approvals, such as program assets and press-related content and outlets. Once again, overseeing these elements of the campaign will ensure that everything runs smoothly and all aspects of the contract are executed correctly for your brand.

After the shoot, agencies and brands have a tendency to take a deep breath, relax for a moment and move on to the next project. Going back to putting out fires elsewhere causes campaigns to stall or fail because no one is working on approvals and logistics ahead of time.

Finally, if the campaign goes well and your brand feels the celebrity’s participation in the campaign had the desired impact, discussions can begin for the next step. If your brand decides to continue the relationship with the chosen celebrity partner, we can then move on to renewing the contract or executing other options for the partnership. Otherwise, we can restart the process with a whole new set of celebrity recommendations for your brand.

After completion of all four phases of the celebrity marketing and negotiation process, your brand should have a successful celebrity marketing campaign. Through pre-planning, research, negotiations and execution, structure and stability is created in an otherwise unpredictable and chaotic process, thus creating successful results.

Photo credit: Thebluediamondgallery.com