Celebrity Marketing and Negotiations: Phase One


Before finding a celebrity for your brand, it is crucial to pre-plan and discuss exactly what the campaign is, what you want it to accomplish and who you are trying to reach.

When it comes to celebrity marketing and negotiations, Burns Entertainment has developed a proven approach to guide marketers through a practice that can often be difficult and erratic. The “Burns Method” is a four-step process that creates structure among the chaos. The first of the four phases is pre-planning. Marketers must establish realistic expectations across all brand partners and/or multi-agency platforms. As the key objectives of a celebrity partnership are determined, it should be a top priority for all strategic partners to have a seat at the table.

A key component of the pre-planning phase is for brand partners to communicate all relevant information about the campaign.

Five key questions to think about when pre-planning celebrity marketing would be:

  1. What does the campaign program entail? Is the celebrity going to use networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote your brand? Is the campaign going to be on television, print or digital? Are there going to be events that involve your celebrity?
  1. What is the campaign creative / messaging?
  1. Who is your target demographic?
  1. Who is the “ideal” celebrity partner and why?
  1. What is the main objective? Are you looking to drive sales? Create brand awareness? Re-brand?

It’s also imperative during this phase to clearly identify the key objectives of the campaign. There should be no confusion as to what is expected from all parties to meet the key objectives. The campaign must be successful as a whole, not just via one avenue only. Some things to think about are:

  1. Is this a new product launch or an existing product?
  1. How long will the campaign live?
  1. Where will the campaign live? Is there potential for other markets to pick up the campaign after its initial launch?
  1. How many days of work will be required from the talent? Where and when? Any social media asks? Will any interviews take place?
  1. Through what mediums will the campaign be executed (TV, radio, digital, print)?
  1. Will it require product exclusivity?

The final thing to consider during the pre-planning phase is the budget and timeline. Putting a set timeline and budget at the beginning of phase one will allow all parties to manage their portion of the celebrity negotiations to the best of their ability. It’s important to be aware that there are associated costs when celebrity talent is involved, including but not limited to hair stylists, travel and wardrobe. Accounting for these costs and having a set timetable will streamline negotiations in the most efficient way possible.

Although the pre-planning process is important in order to fully understand the campaign, it’s also important to have a Plan B. Sometimes the “ideal” celebrity is not the right fit for a campaign, or there is not an organic partnership between the brand and the celebrity. It is very important to have an objective point of view when moving into the second phase of the celebrity marketing and negotiation process.

photo credit: Photopin.com


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