There are a lot of obvious pros and cons of having a celebrity endorse your product or service. A true celebrity can help expand reach, but they might goof up and do something stupid, which could ultimately hurt your brand.
So, what are the additional considerations?
Celebrity Pros –
- Exposure to a different audience – For some brands, selecting an individual whose following is markedly different from your current audience can offer an expansion in a potentially unexpected way. Example: Cadillac hired Matthew McConaughey for their new round of ads to appeal to a bit younger than their typical audience.
- Shorter timeframe to achieve brand recognition – An A-list celebrity (highest tier) can expedite the often-slow process of bringing a product to market. The most notable category where celebrities are prolific is all things fashion and beauty.
- Can build credibility of the brand – A celebrity that has taken a personal stand on an issue, and then later endorses a product that supports that stance offers the highest impact. However, that is not the only opportunity. A social media endorsement post is likely to evoke a trustworthy response from their followers or fan base. Celebrities have also been credited with bringing back a few fledgling brands like Kirstie Alley for Jenny Craig or Jamie Lee Curtis for Activia. Consider the celebrity and why they are a celebrity. Think Tonya Harding for example.
Celebrity Cons –
- Cost – No doubt about it, even D, E, and F-list celebrities (assuming an alpha sequence) are going to have a ticket price. Today, even non-celebrities who are influencers are getting paid handsome fees. ROI must be clearly analyzed in advance with consideration to a percent of profit as part of the payment structure.
- They don’t end up doing it your way – This is a larger issue with social media than with a produced advertisement. Authentic content is socially essential. But, so are all the proper page tags, hashtags, key words and unicorn fairy dust that must go into making the results happen.
- Lose their star power – It does not take long for a mid-level celebrity to fall off the radar. Contract length is a consideration, especially with those not on the A or B List. Concessions or opt-out options should address the ongoing impact for more long-term contracts.
Can it work? Yes. Does it always? No. Considering changes in advance can help you be prepared to make decisions quickly when necessary. While there are certainly alternatives to celebrity endorsements, there are times when they can be an effective tool in a marketer’s tool belt.