Celebrity Marketing as a Form of Entertainment

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Creating entertainment through advertisements increases consumers ability to connect with brands.

Brands strive for consumer attention. Simultaneously, consumers want to be entertained.

Consumers are blasted with advertisements day after day. In an effort to escape from a workaholic lifestyle, consumers embrace entertainment as an enjoyable distraction. As attention spans grow shorter and ad-blocking efforts grow stronger, brands have to find a way to push through the clutter and become memorable.

In order to do so, companies have to move from simply adding brand value to adding entertainment value. Not only should companies sponsor the brand content, but these brands need to be the entertainment.

This “don’t sell, entertain” mindset has gained momentum, especially as musical artists, television stars and athletes have joined the movement. Celebrity marketing content that is entertaining erases the idea that advertisements are purely promotional.

Below are a few brands who have successfully used celebrity marketing to execute this approach:

North Face

With the help of Spotify, North Face partnered with White Denim to take advertisements to a whole new level.

In an effort to promote North Face’s Apex Flex GTX rain jacket, Spotify released the first weather-triggered song. White Denim’s song, “No Nee Ta Slode Aln” was made available by Spotify only in U.S. regions receiving rainfall. Using ClimaTune, Spotify determined which markets to release the song.

In addition, “No Nee Ta Slode Aln” can be heard throughout the marketing campaign for North Face’s new rain jacket.

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut partnered with Kristin Wiig for its “Everyman” campaign with a goal to showcase how hot and fresh pizza can be loved by all.

Wiig is featured in two TV advertisements playing a variety of characters, such as an older farmer, male cheerleader, business woman, and mechanic. Chief brand and concept officer of Pizza Hut, Jeff Fox, was quoted in AdWeek saying, “Wiig was a great fit for the role because of her versatility and her ability to play so many different characters – as shown seen in her time on Saturday Night Live.”

Channeling these various personas, Wiig uses her celebrity status to entertain viewers and also promote Pizza Hut as a brand for everyone.

Chase

For its “Battle of the Paddle” digital banking campaign, Chase partnered with not just one celebrity athlete, but two. NBA player Stephen Curry and professional tennis player Serena Williams go head-to-head in an impressive battle of ping pong to promote the convenience of Chase Quickpay.

Yet, before the commercial even launched, Chase created teaser content on various social media channels to encourage viewer interaction. The company gave viewers the choice of #TeamStephen or #TeamSerena to build hype and create social buzz.

The teaser content alone amassed three million video views across Instagram and Facebook.

Altogether, these three examples illustrate the power of celebrity marketing as a form of entertainment. Interrupting consumers with branded messages no longer works. Brands have to create entertainment and decide which celebrity can best enhance their message if they are going to connect with consumers.

photo credit: Al Ibrahim via Flickr

 

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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

Why Brands Should Use Twitch for Influencer Marketing

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One of the most promising websites is ripe for brands to seize competitive advantage.

Amazon’s Twitch is a video streaming platform where users can broadcast their gaming to the world. It has been a blossoming site since its launch in 2011, so much so that Amazon spent almost a billion dollars to acquire it in 2014.

With 10 million active daily users and over 2 million unique content creators per month, there is no denying the reach Twitch has as a social network platform. With Twitch’s increasingly popular appeal, brands need to take advantage, especially if they are looking to market to gamers and millennials. It is interactive, uncut, live, and genuine, something that millennials crave from influencers.

In order to help brands connect with these millennials, Amazon launched, Gear, a program in which users who stream through Twitch will be able to feature products they like as a widget on their page and receive a commission from Amazon for sales they refer. Twitch’s Gear is a strong example of how Amazon turns influencers into colleagues and helps with brand recognition amongst millennial consumers.

Beyond Gear, brands can use influencer marketing on Twitch in other ways.

One of the most straightforward ways brands can utilize is to hire a gamer for a sponsored stream. There are plenty of celebrities on Twitch from actors to athletes. Twitch also has plenty of “Twitch famous” gamers with vast and loyal followings.  Gamers love the concept of playing a video game with one of their favorite celebrities. When sponsoring a gamer on Twitch, brands can broaden their audience because they are reaching the gaming community as well as the celebrity’s audience.

Another way to sponsor a stream is to have your brand logo on the stream and in the stream’s title. This option is a great opportunity for product placement in the gamer’s camera throughout the stream.  For example, Jack Link’s sponsored three gamers known to have lively outburst, so it aligned well with their “hangry” campaign. Also, a brand could create a special tag associated with the brand or product that would pop up when certain achievements or frustrating fails occur, such as sponsoring a big play in a game.

Esports are also a unique sponsorship opportunity for brands. Brands can take advantage of the large viewership of this phenomenon by sponsoring these big tournaments.  Twitch hosts these live tournaments on their site where people can watch and play, so brands can get online advertising as well as brand integration and real life advertising at the event.  For example, Totino’s hosted a Call of Duty tournament that averaged 30,000 live viewers and handed out pizza rolls to the fans at the tournament.

With Twitch, there are many opportunities for brands to sponsor celebrities, streams and tournaments in the gaming world. This unique streaming site allows for brands to reach a new audience, specifically gaming millennials. Twitch is also currently working to expand their user demographic, branching out from gaming to include cooking, painting, beauty tutorials and more. This will ultimately provide a variety of opportunities for brands to take advantage of this growing platform and reach millennials in a new and exciting way with influencer marketing.

photo credit: Flickr.com

Resources for Celebrity Marketing: Part One

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The Burns Celebrity Vault is a one-of-a-kind resource that makes the celebrity selection process simpler, easier and more efficient.

When it comes to picking a celebrity for a marketing campaign, the process is not simple. When finding the right celebrity match, a brand must take into consideration things such as cost, celebrity interest, conflicts and many other factors. In order to find the right celebrity, you need a resource that takes all these factors into consideration, and still provides great celebrity options. That’s where the Celebrity Vault comes in. The Celebrity Vault is a state-of-the-art database that has accumulated information on over 25,000 different celebrities from all ends of the spectrum for over 40 years, which makes for a much easier, faster and better celebrity selection process.

The Celebrity Vault contains celebrities from sports, entertainment, music and more. In this case, a “celebrity” is not just the people you always see or immediately think of, but rather anyone who is well-known or has consistently been in the news. This wide definition of a celebrity allows you to find any type of celebrity you could possibly need or want, not just the most obvious ones. Celebrities are then segmented by type such as actors, athletes, age and gender. The exceptional variety of celebrities in the Celebrity Vault means there are plenty of celebrity options for any campaign or budget.

Celebrities are then further categorized by over 700 lifestyle demographics. These demographics can include any type of interesting fact about a celebrity, not just the information you know off-hand. The Celebrity Vault includes the information you would typically ignore, forget or be unaware of, like whether a celebrity collects classic cars, had colon cancer or owns dogs. Whether it is interests, hobbies, charitable ties or health conditions, these lifestyle demographics allow for a much faster and better selection process.

The Celebrity Vault also includes the likely costs of celebrities for TV appearances, speaking engagements and other endorsement opportunities, which allows you to find celebrity options within your budget. No matter your budget, you will likely be able to find a pool of realistic celebrities for your campaign.

The Celebrity Vault is extremely helpful for brand marketers because it can help find a celebrity for even the most narrowly-defined marketing strategies. It makes the process quicker, easier and better for finding the perfect celebrity match for a brand. The wide variety of celebrity options, segmented by over 700 lifestyle demographics, makes sure not to overlook your options when finding the right celebrity.

Why Brands Should Take Celebrity Marketing to Virtual Reality

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Virtual reality is a must-have for those serious about the next wave of digital video.

Virtual reality (VR) puts fans and audiences at the center of the experience, allowing for more engaging and exciting content. From a brand perspective, VR creates many new opportunities to connect with their audience, play into public interest and pull more attention to their message. Brands ready to get on board with this new trend can do so with celebrity marketing.

VR is a three-dimensional, computer generated environment that allows the user to immerse him or herself into a visual world and interact within the environment. With new innovations such as the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard headsets and YouTube 360 degree video, virtual reality allows for immersive, digital storytelling that was not possible only a few years ago. There are many different possibilities for virtual reality, and brands have only just begun to take advantage of it.

Augmented and virtual reality is a big trend, gaining a significant amount of media and public attention. Anything having to do with VR seems to get favorable attention, including apps and YouTube videos. YouTube celebrities such as Casey Neistat and Louis Cole have taken advantage of the trend with 360 degree videos at events like the Oscars and places like Sierra Leone, Africa. Even YouTube itself has started live streaming events in 360. Apps such as Pokémon Go have taken the world by storm, earning up to $1.6 million daily. People who have been quick to jump on the trend have seen many favorable results.

A few brands have jumped on the trend as well, looking to the immersive experience as a way to attract attention and create meaningful experiences. The New York Times took advantage of virtual reality by sending over one million Google cardboard headsets to subscribers, and is now working with advertisers to create content to work alongside The Times’ VR videos. Etihad Airways has worked with Nicole Kidman to create a virtual reality experience for anyone on board Etihad’s A380. Both of these brands are creating unique experiences for their customers, and connecting with them in a way that is innovative and unique.

Entertainment and marketing are two natural fits for virtual reality, which makes celebrity marketing perfect for this new trend. A celebrity has the ability to deliver a message uniquely, creating attention and recognition that cuts through the clutter consumers deal with on a daily basis. We will likely start to see brands giving audiences a front-row seat to a Beyoncé concert or the Super Bowl through virtual reality, but the opportunities don’t have to end there. There are many possibilities with virtual reality, and it is a must-have for brands looking to tap into something new and innovative.

photo credit: Photopin.com

Authenticity in Celebrity Marketing

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Authenticity is usually the most important part of content, especially for younger generations.

At a time when most of what we see on social media is idealized, millennials believe advertising is unrealistic.  Because of this, 43% of millennials value authenticity over content. When it comes to advertising, consumers want to hear from the people they trust, and they trust people more than logos. Celebrity marketing is one of the best ways to be authentic – as long as it’s done correctly.

When looking for a celebrity for your marketing campaign, it’s important to find someone who loves your brand. But you don’t necessarily have to go for the most obvious choice. Just because you are a food company doesn’t mean you need to partner with a chef. Sometimes a message coming from an unexpected source is a smart way to be more authentic and create a stronger, more lasting campaign. Plus, you can be sure the celebrity really loves your product if they are willing to venture away from what his/her audience expects.

Just the act of including a celebrity in your campaign doesn’t necessarily create authenticity. When working with a celebrity, it’s important to give up some control and let the celebrity have an opportunity to tell your brand’s story. Your brand doesn’t want to mess with trust and credibility, and neither does the celebrity. It’s almost as important to maintain the celebrity’s brand as it is yours, so it’s best to equip the celebrity with the right information, and let them craft the message using their own words. That way, the message sounds more authentic to the celebrity’s audience because it is coming from someone they trust.

Once you find the perfect celebrity, building a relationship and having honest exchanges is the best way to create a more authentic message. Finding out how your brand fits into the celebrity’s lifestyle and using that information adds more value to the campaign. People think of their favorite celebrities as their friends, and they know the celebrity well enough to recognize when a message is contrived. Having a good relationship with a celebrity and using their genuine opinion is one of the best ways to ensure an authentic message.

Working with a celebrity is a great way to make a marketing campaign feel authentic, because their audience already trusts what they have to say.  When partnering with a celebrity, it’s important to find a balance. Your brand needs to remain the star while the trustworthy celebrity delivers your message, making it stand out from the clutter. By creating a good relationship and collaborating on the campaign, your marketing efforts are much more likely to feel authentic to an audience, especially young ones.

photo credit: Google images (Disclosure: Old El Paso is a Burns client)

Celebrity Marketing Shapes Back-to-School Campaigns

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Even though it may not feel like summer, advertisers should be fine-tuning back-to-school marketing strategies.

Influencers are a great thing to consider when trying to appeal to kids and parents. By connecting with leading influencers, brands can almost ensure a successful campaign. Whether you are targeting kids or their parents, there are plenty of ways to collaborate with influencers and shape back-to-school trends.

Kid celebrities are trendsetters, and using celebrity children for endorsements is one of the best ways to get a product to other kids of the same age. Whether it’s North West (daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West), Blue Ivy (daughter of Beyoncé and Jay-Z), or Prince George (who made a $39 bathrobe sell out in minutes), celebrity kids are style icons. But the influence of kid celebrities is not limited to other kids; parents are drawn to it, too. When looking to purchase items for their kids, parents will often look to the children of their favorite celebrities. Either way, kid celebrities can have a unique influence on back-to-school trends.

Another type of celebrity that is popular with young kids is social media influencers. They are much more relatable to kids than typical celebrities, and are perfect for making back-to-school products and trends more desirable. Kids may not be able to spend $2,000 on a bag Rihanna is carrying, but they will purchase a product their favorite beauty vlogger recommends. Partnering with a social media influencer could be a great way for brands to use someone kids trust.

Just as vloggers are creating content desired by kids, mom bloggers (like Sai De Silva from Scout the City) are creating content that is eagerly followed by parents. They have a lifestyle parents are looking to emulate, and inserting a brand into a mommy blogger’s routine is a great way for parents to see it. Parents are always looking to their favorite bloggers for advice, and if a product has the seal of approval of a mom blogger, it will likely be coveted by parents everywhere for the back-to-school season.

Even though kids are currently focused on summer, brands should already be thinking of their back-to-school marketing strategy. Several months to a year ahead is the best time range to start collaborating with celebrities to reach kids and parents, and help them prepare for a great start to the school year.

photo credit: Google images