Resources for Celebrity Marketing: Part Two


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.

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10 Ways to Protect Your Celebrity Marketing Investment


You can control a number of factors which dramatically increase the success of a celebrity endorsement and eliminate risks.

I’ve worked with brands who get ahead of themselves locking in on one or more celebrities too early in the selection process. They often skip important steps in making their selection. Doing this costs your company time, money and your results will fall short of expectations.

Here are ten steps ranked in order, for finding the best celebrity, getting the most value for your marketing dollar and eliminating risks:

1. Start Broad

Identify 1-2 ideal celebrities regardless of cost. This is the starting point and opens the discussion. Then, brainstorm and expand your list to 10-50 celebrities. Look to entertainment, sports, music and even deceased celebrities. You’ll be able to whittle down options quickly to a shorter list as you progress through these steps.

2.  Conduct Quantitative Research

An in-depth research project is used on occasion when there is a very large celebrity use planned. The bigger the campaign, the more likely you should consider this approach. This type of research can cost $10,000 or more with an outside research firm. An online consumer panel is often used to run ideas past the target audience at a lower cost.

3. Conduct Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is usually led by an internal consumer market group with the brand team involved. This could involve an outside firm as well. A qualitative focus group can cost $7,500-$15,000.

4. Screen Celebrities for Conflicts

This step is often ignored but the easiest to do. A simple google search such as “George Clooney endorsements”, will yield helpful information. Several websites do a good job compiling celebrity endorsement deals such as Celebrity Endorsement Ads. Double check with the celebrity agent to assure that you have category exclusivity.

5. Know Their Willingness to Promote Your Brand

Some celebrities enjoy PR days and social media while others do not. Make sure your celebrity choices are open to the services you need and like to be in those situations.

6. Estimate the Cost

Now that you have thought through the type of celebrity you are looking for, don’t waste time on ones too expensive for your budget. Think through the services you need (Ad, PR, social, digital etc.) and compare prices. Similar celebrities often have widely different costs so shop around. There’s probably one celebrity that clearly has greater value among your list of finalists.

7. Use Metrics to Help Identify the Best Celebrity

I see brands rely on their gut instincts too much with mixed results. Use a resource such as E-Score to help select the best celebrity candidate. E-Score offers an in-depth look at the key drivers of each celebrity’s appeal.

I recommend E-Score because it uses 46 attribute ratings for celebrity appeal and  multiple demographic breaks to identify how a celebrity is trending and compares to other celebrities.

8. Research Other Celebrity Marketing Campaigns

Study other advertising and marketing campaigns the celebrities on your short list have done. How were they used? How successful was the campaign? You can learn a lot from another brands successes or failures.

9. Inside Information

Run a background check on your chosen celebrity before you sign the contract to separate truth from rumor. You want to know now anything exists in their past such as arrests or convictions that you don’t want your company associated with.

10. Check for Overexposure

Knowing how many campaigns the celebrity appears in now and how many more will activate in the next 12 months will help determine if your celebrity’s impact could be diminished by other brands.

Celebrity Endorsement Ads is a good place to review other endorsements. Then, conduct a simple Google search to learn when campaigns were launched.

Once you have a list of campaigns, ask the celebrity’s agent to confirm current deals and ask for any others. Also ask for information regarding any new deals premiering in the next 12 months.

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