In today’s world, celebrities are everywhere. They are there when we turn on our TV’s, use our smartphones, in the check-out line on tabloids, and even when we step outside and walk down the street we are exposed to advertisements featuring familiar famous faces. Jennifer Aniston, Michael Jordan, Dr. Dre; these are but a few of the celebrities that have attached their famous face to a Brand. But what impact does said face have on marketing a Brand?
Does using celebrities actually impact consumer buying behavior? After all, the whole point is to get your target audience to purchase and interact with your Brand after they see their favorite star using that same product or service. The key for any Brand that decides to dabble with using celebrities as endorsers is to use a celebrity that aligns with the established Brand positioning and messaging.
Celebrity endorsements are nothing new, with the first one dating back to the 1760s when a British entrepreneur created pottery and chinaware and used Queen Charlotte as an endorsement; which would later give his products the name “Queensware.” With royalty backing his vision, his products took off, as people associated the product with the class and sophistication of the queen herself. This was the first real use of using a famous face to promote a positive Brand image and position it in the marketplace. Now what would the reaction have been if he used American Revolutionary War general Benedict Arnold? Something tells me his endorsement wouldn’t have given this pottery and chinaware Company the same perceived value as having the Queen – who was known to love tea – endorse and use the product.
Carefully choosing your celebrity endorser is vital to the success of any campaign, ensuring that the specific celebrity is able to create a positive Brand image in the minds of the target audience and that the connection between the Brand and the famous face makes since. You wouldn’t ask Howie Mandel to the be the spokesman for a new Dove men’s shampoo line for thick hair for the same reason you wouldn’t ask Ellen DeGeneres to be the spokeswoman Omaha Steaks … it just doesn’t make sense
Building a positive Brand image begins before attaching a famous face to it, it starts at creating an impactful name for the product or service. If you go through the Brand naming process without a clear purpose and direction on the future messaging and positioning of that Brand in the marketplace, it will be more difficult to instill consistency as the Brand matures. You can’t choose an appropriate spokesperson if the Brand itself has no consistent direction or defined personality.
To win what Business Insider called “a deadly game of Russian Roulette” – referring to the use of celebrity endorsers – you need to combine a strategic Brand name, with a focused messaging and positioning strategy, and only then can you correctly choose the famous face that aligns with both to endorse your Brand.