At Heard, we’ve got years of experience leveraging big names as brand ambassadors for our clients – such as humanitarian, athlete and author Turia Pitt, who’s been the face of two successful Avène campaigns, while model and radio host Bec Judd has an ongoing relationship with haircare brand Klorane.
Bec and Turia are a couple examples of how an engaging public personality can be game-changing for your brand. But beware: an ill-considered campaign (think Kendall Jenner's controversial Pepsi ad) can have the opposite effect, completely turning consumers off engaging with your brand or buying your products again.
If you’re thinking your next product launch needs star power, here are our top tips for a celebrity endorsement done right:
Set your long-term objectives
Sure, a celebrity will get your brand attention in the here and now. But after their contract is over, what are the commercial outcomes you want to have hit? Make sure your objectives and performance metrics are clearly defined from the get-go – before you even engage an ambassador. In fact, having these in place first, is what will help you determine the best person to partner with.
Today’s consumers are savvy enough to see through companies who simply slap a famous face on their products. Likewise, any reputable celebrity will only want to establish a relationship with a brand that adds credibility and authenticity to their image. So take your time. Do your research about which personalities resonate the strongest for your target audience, then start a conversation about how your brand will mutually benefit theirs. We approached real estate agent and MillionDollar Listing New York star Ryan Serhant after identifying him as having a strong appeal with active property buyers – and his personal brand got a huge boost of local publicity when he visited Sydney to promote Highline Westmead.
Utilise the right channels
You’ve found your perfect spokesperson; now don’t waste them in the wrong marketing channels. If your celebrity religiously uses Instagram, don’t force them to cross-post their campaign over other social media. If they’re charismatic in still photography but wooden in video content, rethink those YouTube pre-rolls. Show your celebrity in their best light, and that light will shine back on you. For example, we highlighted nutritionist Lee Holmes in a video-driven campaign for The Good Sort after recognising her strong following on social media and on-camera presence.
Test, test, test
Don’t forget the beauty of a digital campaign: it can be incredibly agile. Establish a sprint time period to test how your celebrity is performing in the marketplace, evaluate your results, then optimise if needed. It’s that easy, and it may make all the difference to your campaign!
The reasons for using a celebrity to promote your brand are obvious: they elevate your products and expose them to a much wider audience. But at the end of the day, make sure the true star of your campaign is what you’re selling – not who’s selling it. Because a quality product is what will make consumers remember your brand.