How Celebrity Marketing can Transform Intimidation into Motivation for Non-Techies

In the exponentially growing world of technology, products must be easy to grasp before they can be fully trusted, that is where celebrity marketing comes in.

Many companies have adopted artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive cloud technology, allowing them to implement software API’s and frameworks to increase internal efficiency. Unlike the technology used for the consumer products Apple Siri or Amazon Alexa, cognitive computing technology uses data mining, pattern recognition, and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works.

Despite negative stigma of these technologies, powerhouse tech brands Dell and IBM are paving the way for a tech friendly mindset for all, and not just business insiders.

How are they doing so? By partnering with celebrities that exude a suave sense of authority.

Other than tech insiders, no one truly understands how applicable these technologies can be. In fact, those who are aware of AI are fearful of what the technology can do. According to a global Pegasystems study, 72% of respondents indicated some level of fear of AI and 25% feared that the technology could eventually take over the planet.

Dell Technologies no longer stands for a desktop computer. The company has expanded to information security, business analytics, virtualization and cloud computing. To help make the brand more palatable for the average consumer, Dell debuted “Let’s Make It Real” starring actor Jeffrey Wright. Following his role on the critically acclaimed sci-fi hit West World, Wright was a great fit to unveil the true magic behind Dell Technologies. Wright’s soothing voice and calm demeanor helped emphasize the message that reality is not all that far from our wildest fantasies.

Ultimately, this technology is being utilized in ways that can really help the day-to-day life. Uber is now pre-packaging machine learning algorithms to service their app developers, making the app as route efficient as possible. Software companies SAP, Deloitte, and IBM have all extended their cognitive clouds to partner with companies to aid in areas such as personal tax services and sales efficiency.

IBM strives to achieve brand appeal among the average consumer with the help of their cognitive pal Watson. When Watson isn’t utilizing its cognitive capabilities to predict weather patterns or compile cancer research, it is helping consumers file their taxes. Prior to the Super Bowl, H&R Block partnered with Jon Hamm, the debonair actor of Mad Men fame, to help show how Watson can make filing taxes personal and simple.

The first set of ads featuring Hamm were intentionally humorous to get consumers to engage quickly with the product and “get their taxes won”. Hamm eventually lent a more serious tone in later spots to shed light on the importance of Watson’s expertise. Kathy Collins, H&R Block’s CMO said that Hamm’s range is what really made him the perfect tax-season spokesperson.

In order for tech brands to be digestible to the “non-techie”, they must relay their complex messages through trustworthy celebrity figures.  

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Celebrity Marketing: Put Your Product in the Hand of A Celebrity

celebrity gifting

If a consumer sees that a celebrity likes your product, it provides instant validation and can catapult sales. 

The terms Influencer Marketing, Gifting, Seeding, Buzz Building and Added Value can sometimes be used interchangeably.  This is an inexpensive way to reach celebrities and market your product.

Here are three ways to snag that coveted celebrity photo with your product:

1. Direct to celebrity gifting

When gifting to celebrities directly it is important to create a strategic and succinct list of those that are truly relevant to your products’ target audience.

A lot of times, packages with a great product get passed over for something else that has more “bling”. It’s important to make sure your package stands out making an immediate impact.

Many “brokers” claim to represent celebrities and are not the exclusive representative. Working with them lessens the chance of your gift getting to your target. Hollywood celebrities typically have an agent, manager, and/or publicist, plus an inner circle of family and friends who filter everything.

Consider using a celebrity gifting service with the connections and leverage to make sure your product arrives in the right hands, along with compelling reasons for the celebrity to see it.

2. Set-up shots

It might be hard to believe (said sarcastically), but not all photos in entertainment publications are impromptu or “real”.

While some images are of celebrities are in their own environment, many celebrity photos that include products are actually taken and coordinated on behalf of a brand.

These are called “Set-up Shots”, and are products ranging from clothing to luxury accessories to CPG products. These staged photos are used for editorial and social media purposes.

The idea behind the photo is that it looks “real” and used as another form of product placement. The end cost ranges from $2,500-$20,000+, depending on the product and the celebrity. But, it is still an affordable way to promote your product with the potential for a great return on your investment.

3.    Lounges and award shows

Almost every major award show has a gifting suite or gift bag.

Lounges are a great execution for brands who want photos for social media, and digital executions. Celebrity gifting is also great for brands which benefit from an in person explanation.

Participating in lounge gifting opportunities allow clients one-on-one interaction with celebrities to deliver brand messaging.

Most lounges are set up in a large room or space where celebrities and influencers are invited to walk around, interact and be gifted by the participating brands.

Depending on the size of the venue and specific event you partner with, each brand will receive either a high round bar table or 3-6’ table. Sometimes, brands will get their own suite in a hotel as well.

The attending celebrity numbers for each lounge can range anywhere from 25 to over 150 people a day.

An entry fee for these opportunities varies from $5000 to $40,000.

Other fees include cost of the product you a gifting to each attendee, as well as the execution fees (agency fees for staffing, PR follow-up and out-of-pocket expenses associated with travel).

photo credit: Rainforest Action Network via photopin cc