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The Value of a Celebrity Endorsement


The Value of a Celebrity Endorsement

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Celebrity endorsements are not a new thing. This extremely effective form of marketing is believed to have originated in the 1760's when Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, producers of pottery and chinaware, used royal endorsements as a way to demonstrate value to potential customers. Towards the end of the 19th century, trading cards that had images of celebrities and well known individuals were introduced. Actors, singers and sports celebrities were incorporated into product packaging and were collected by fans. Cigarette brands leveraged celebrity trading cards as a way to create product loyalty and increase demand from customers who wanted to collect all the different cards.

Celebrity endorsements became increasingly effective and popular in the 1900's reaching a breakthrough point in the 1980's when companies began creating products around celebrities. One of the most well known examples happened in 1984 when Nike designed a shoe around then up and coming basketball star Michael Jordan. From that point on, celebrity endorsement became mainstream. There are numerous examples of celebrity endorsements that set companies apart, including Priceline (William Shatner), Smart Water (Jennifer Aniston), Beats (Dr. Dre), Godaddy (Danica Patrick), Vitamin Water (50 cent), Calvin Klein (Brooke Shields), Weight Watchers (Oprah Winfrey), George Foreman Grill (George foreman), Shoedazzle (Kim Kardashian), Jell-O (Bill Cosby), and perhaps the greatest ever - Kyrie Irving as Uncle Drew for Pepsi.

  • Visibility, recognition and awareness. The fact that celebrities are the center of attention shines a light on the products and services they use and support. Even the best products can disappear if the market doesn't hear about them. Marketing campaigns are typically broken down by reach and frequency. The suggestion is that in order to have people become aware of a product, they need to be reached multiple times. Celebrities have the ability to continuously introduce a product to the same audience without it feeling like an intrusive marketing campaign.
  • Image and credibility. Customer faith in brands has been dropping rapidly over the last 15 years. Younger audiences do not have the same attachment to brands that older generations do. Consumers today look for different signals about the quality of a product. These often come from peer recommendations, online influencers and, when matched correctly, with celebrities that have credibility with a specific audience. For example, when Michael Jordan played with Nike shoes he signaled to fans that those are high quality shoes. Otherwise, he would have never used them in such a competitive and demanding environment.

We do not match celebrities with startups for the sake of matching. We match you with celebrity partners that are an authority figure in that specific startup's space and our audience research tools show that they are likely to influence the relevant audience and viewed by that audience as someone they should trust. We believe this is the key to a successful relationship.

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Saturday, January 12, 2019



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