Marketing Strategy – Should You Market With Celebrity Endorsements?

Marketing Strategy – Should You Market With Celebrity Endorsements?

When it comes to marketing, should you play the fame game? 

The 2008 Beijing Olympics has been a fascinating study in marketing, advertising and public relations.  From great ads for big brands to the major (if sometimes faltering) public relations campaign of the Chinese government, it’s been a wild ride.  We’ve also seen many companies venture into the land of celebrity endorsements.  One of the more interesting endorsements?  Gold metal swimmer Mark Spitz for Botox.

Of course, most marketing professionals will never confront the challenge of choosing a celebrity to endorse their brand.  In fact, we may use most of our time advising against it.  Celebrities (already aging Olympic athletes) have their proportion of scandals.  It’s hard to tell when a grainy, compromising photo of your squeaky-clean spokesperson may show up in a tabloid.  And, a few will choose to badmouth your brand after their contract has ended.  It happens.

On the plus side, certain celebs may have strong pull with your target market.  For example, Mark Spitz tested well among the Botox-buying set.  The best bet when choosing a celebrity to endorse your product?  Don’t get caught with stars in your eyes.  Test the spokesperson carefully with your consumer groups, choose them for a good reason and vet them as you would a vice presidential pick. 

Once you have your celebrity on board, be sure to keep them happy — already if they have signed a firmly-worded contract.  And once their contract is up, try to continue a relationship with them.  Celebrities give a lot of interviews, and what they say (or don’t say) can make a big difference for your brand. 

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