It’s our favorite time of the year, but not because the temperatures are cooling or the leaves are turning rich shades of red and brown. As entertainment junkies, we are most excited about the new fall TV season and the awards season that’s not far behind. It’s exciting to see new talent and new shows, and to reunite with returning shows and familiar faces. We also get to watch as viewers accept some upcoming stars while others lose their luster. For brands looking to add celebrity power to their campaigns, fall TV season provides a host of new opportunities.
Entertainment marketing is one of the fastest growing services within the marketing mix, with some campaigns seeing upwards of a 20% increase in sales as a result of celebrity endorsements. Knowing when and how to capitalize on stardom can be a powerful tool to build your brand.
As entertainment marketing professionals, we need to make sure we select the celebrity that feels right for our brand, appeals to our consumer and knows how to deliver the message. Selecting a celebrity to act as a media spokesperson or brand ambassador isn’t always a perfect marriage, but it can be a rewarding relationship. In an ideal situation, the celebrity participates in every aspect of a marketing campaign — from advertising and social media to public relations and promotions. However, when the celebrity can only participate in the public relations campaign, brands must remember that a critical gatekeeper stands between their messaging and their consumer: the media.
The media acts as a conduit to reaching our consumer. If a celebrity doesn’t appeal to the media, their story will never reach our consumers. And while brand teams often choose A-List celebrities they think best appeal to their target consumer, that celebrity is, more often than not, unaffordable, unattainable or even be unattractive to the media.
If you are considering hiring a celebrity to represent your brand in a PR campaign, there are creative ways to find the ideal fit. If budgets are small, consider an expert blogger with a strong following, perhaps a chef on the rise or an author with a new book. With the advent of social media, “celebrity” encompasses more than “on the big screen or in your living room.”
But if you truly can’t resist the call of Hollywood, consider an up-and-coming star, a show that’s just beginning to get buzz or a celebrity going through a transformation (such as having a child or getting married), or supporting a cause close to their heart. Most importantly, you must be comfortable with someone who may just be slightly south of the bull’s eye for your target consumer but dead-on for the media.
While not every brand can afford the biggest celebrity “diamond” for a campaign, there are some brilliant small ones out there that can shine just as brightly.