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I’m ashamed to say I’m a sucker for celebrity endorsement. Put Jennifer Lawrence in a product and I’m sold and while Felix Baumgartner doesn’t make me want to do a supersonic free fall, he does make me want to buy a Red Bull.
Using a powerful personality to increase public awareness of a brand or campaign is a well-known method to add momentum and credibility. However, this assumption shouldn’t be taken as gospel and celebrity ambassadors should be a carefully considered aspect of any PR plan.
Here at Media House, we follow these top four rules for choosing the right personality and celebrity ambassador for any campaign:
Ensure the celeb is fully in support of the cause or product. The celebrity’s values must tie in with the ethos and values of what they have been asked to support.
Joanna Lumley fighting for the rights of the Gurkhas to settle in the UK is a brilliant example of a celebrity forcing a Government to act. This was successful because she was 100 per cent behind the cause.
The audience should always remember more about the product or cause than the celebrity
Once the appropriate person has been found, it’s vitally important that the celebrity doesn’t attract more attention than the campaign itself. The message that your ambassador presents to the public or target audience should be informative and considered. The audience should always remember more about the product or cause than the celebrity themselves.
Young people are more influenced by celebrity culture than older generations, so give plenty of thought to the target audience and, if it’s appropriate, choose the right personality to encourage support. Celebrity endorsements that are not well thought out don’t work.
In a world saturated in celebrity branding, creativity will help carry a message and create a talking point. Jamie Oliver’s endorsement of Sainsbury’s had such fantastic influence and longevity because he was the first to tie-in his own recipes and lifestyle into the supermarket’s marketing campaign.
The public bought into the carefully constructed image the collaboration portrayed – not just the celebrity. Stay ahead by looking not just at celebrities but at influencers who can deliver a message.
Media House International has implemented many highly successful campaigns for clients over the years using celebrity ambassadors. Recent examples have included Kelly McDonald endorsing Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity’s (formerly Yorkhill Children’s Charity) Christmas appeal and Beth Tweddle launching The Dairy Council’s healthy eating campaign, as well as Nick Nairn launching the upcoming Scottish grouse shooting season on behalf of The Gift of Grouse campaign.