Why Do Some Celebrity Marketing Campaigns Succeed and Others Don’t?

celebrity marketing

Avoid the most common pitfalls of celebrity endorsements and use society’s obsession with celebrities to help grow your brand quickly.

Celebrities are a powerful way to quickly differentiate, gain the customer’s attention over thousands of other daily messages, and build awareness for a marketing campaign.

There are reasons why celebrity supported campaigns don’t meet expectations. Knowing the reasons will help you create a celebrity endorsement that works for your brand.

  • Celebrity for the Sake of Celebrity. Celebrities work when the celebrity complements the campaign. Some brands make the celebrity too big a focus and results have been disappointing.
  • Signing a Celebrity with Multiple Endorsements. Endorsing multiple products at the same time can lessen credibility and believability. How often are the other brands running ads? Are the other brand endorsements believable? Your celebrity can’t be confused with other brands so timing of the marketing campaign vs. other endorsements is important.
  • One Off Small Campaign or Program. These don’t usually have the budget or sustainability to meet expectations. Consider using a celebrity endorser in social media instead at a lower cost to accomplish your goals.
  • No PR Push. Without PR, a celebrity is limited in their ability to build awareness and break through the clutter.
  • Negotiating for Advertising Only. Celebrity use to be leveraged in advertising only. This limits your ability to influence consumers who are online and using social media.
  • Cost Outweighs the Benefit. Many brands would love to associate with a celebrity like Michael Jordan, for example. Yet, for many brands there are other celebrities more affordable who will accomplish campaign objectives even better.
  • Selecting Your Favorite Celebrity I’m amazed how often this happens. Don’t assume your perception or your marketing team’s perception is the same as your customer. Use research to confirm your opinion.
  • Celebrity Overtakes the Brand and Message. With the best of intentions, sometimes I see brands try to change campaign focus to entice the celebrity to sign on and the message gets lost.
  • Just Another Paid Endorsement. Seek a celebrity who uses and or strongly believes in your brand so they can provide a credible and believable third party endorsement.
  • Not Relatable to Target Audience. Using the kind of celebrity your target audience identifies with is crucial. Don’t get caught up with celebrities who are trendy or hot.
  • Looking for a Quick Paycheck. In the negotiation process, you can get a feel for a celebrity who is in it for the money only by the questions their agent doesn’t ask. The agent should be concerned about the creative, the campaign messages and want a say in the content and who the director is.
  • Inconsistent Brand Communication Plan. Sometimes a marketing challenge or opportunity presents itself mid-year and it’s tempting to react. Just be sure your celebrity marketer and your brand message are aligned with your long term marketing goals.

photo credit: Justin in SD via photopin cc


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