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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Viral Celebrity Marketing Campaigns Turn Brands into Cultural Phenomena

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Great celebrity marketing partnerships coupled with creative executions can go viral, launching brands into the cultural spotlight.

Pairing a powerful celebrity with an innovative concept provides the opportunity for brands to catapult themselves into the forefront of culture. In an increasingly digital world, the climate is perfect for brands to match celebrities with clever content and go viral, reaching millions of people through shares and retweets. Campaigns go viral because of the celebrities they feature. Consumers are drawn to interesting, funny, inspiring and captivating video ads that include people that they know and can relate to. Here are three elements of viral celebrity marketing campaigns.

 Entertainment Value

Making a campaign entertaining by putting a celebrity in an interesting situation is what makes ads authentic and enjoyable. It allows the brand to integrate with the content rather than being a tack on. This is what blends the brand with the celebrity and message fluidly, without making it seem too promotional.

Nike’s series of ads with Kevin Hart achieved great popularity. The ads were able to entertain consumers and hold their interest because they told an interesting story. Being released right at the New Year when people set goals to work out, the brand had perfect timing using an adored celebrity to position their brand and product at the center of that cultural moment.

 Cost Effective

Producing video ads can be costly, but placing ads at the right time and place is often extremely expensive. When a celebrity marketing campaign is positioned in the right environment for success the ad can go viral, garnering millions of views simply from initial placement on the brand’s social channels.

Apple music’s partnership with Drake and Taylor Swift is a great example of how taking a loved celebrity, a relatable situation and combining it with a funny execution makes a brand the center of social media. These ads had millions of views within hours of their release. The virality of the ads allowed a larger reach for a much lower cost than an alternative medium.

 Leverage From Social Media

Content recommended by friends has extra pull for consumers. They are more likely to trust, buy into, and like messages shared by friends than those placed by brands. Viral videos passed along through social channels from one user to the next have more credibility. Brands benefit when their celebrity marketing campaigns are those being shared.

KitKat created the perfect circumstance to become a cultural phenomenon with their campaign featuring Chance the Rapper. By partnering with a well known celebrity across their target demographic and creating an interesting ad, they reached a vast amount of people in a meaningful way.

By making an authentically interesting ad based around a celebrity, a brand creates an opportunity for themselves to become a cultural icon.

photo credit: Joe The Goat Farmer via Flickr

Celebrity Marketing: What You Should Know About Music Clearance

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To remove the mystery, avoid common mistakes, and save time, always use a professional for music clearances.

Music can be used to emotionally connect consumers to a brand. But music clearance is a time-consuming, detail-oriented process. Experienced brand marketers know the value of using a professional to help.

Music clearance consists of five areas:

  1. Determining what permissions are needed to make use of a piece of music
  2. Ascertaining the owner(s) of the music
  3. Contacting rights owners and negotiating an appropriate license
  4. Administrating written agreements
  5. Handling other functions related to use and licensing of music.

Music Clearance obtains permission from the owner of a song (the people who wrote it) or a master recording (the people who recorded it), which you would like to use.

For every song written, any number of artists may have made their own recording. As an example, “White Christmas” has been recorded by Bing Crosby, The Partridge Family, Randy Travis, Tiny Tim, John Tesh, Burl Ives, or perhaps even some guy named Herb that you just hired to make a recording. This means that song rights are separate from recording rights.

You cannot use any master recording without getting permission from the publisher(s) to use the song. Conversely, if you gain permission from the publisher, but are denied use of a particular master recording, you can always use a different master recording or record your own master with the publisher(s) permission.

Clearing a song

Any number of composers can be involved in writing one song. Each of these composers may be represented by their own publisher. A music publisher, to generalize, acts as the representative of the composer for their individual rights in regards to anyone using their song.

In order to clear a song, it is necessary to locate and contact the representative of each composer, confirm their ownership or administration percentage rights (i.e., do they own 50% of the song?), and negotiate a fee for use of their share of the song.

Negotiating a fee for use of a song is based on the type of production you have (such as a film, television show, corporate meeting, trade show, commercial, CD-ROM, web site, compilation record, etc.) Other factors involved in the negotiating process are how much of the song is used, and the manner in which it is used. There are a number of rights within different media, that can include synchronization rights, mechanical rights, performance rights.

Clearing a master recording

If you would rather use the Sid Vicious version of “My Way”, than the Frank Sinatra version, you can locate the proper record label and negotiate a use. Different artists will have different record labels and some artists have recorded on several different record labels during their careers.

Clearance of the master recording has nothing to do with clearance of the song. Publishing companies and record companies are almost always are totally separate entities. “My Way” was recorded by Sid Vicious, Frank Sinatra and many others, but was originally composed by Jacques Revaux, with French words by Gillis Thibault. Subsequently, English words were written by Paul Anka.

This is a perfect example of how complicated an apparently simple music clearance can be.

photo credit: Horia Varlan via photopin cc