Why Voice-Over Partnerships are Still Important to Celebrity Marketing

Tommy Lopez (pexels)How consumer trends are shaping voice-overs and how your brand can benefit.

Partnerships don’t need an appearance on camera to be effective. Voice work existed long before television marketing in the form of the radio, which may make the practice seem dated. However, current consumer data continues to prove voice-overs are an effective marketing tool.

Previously I outlined “Five Reasons to Add Celebrity Voice-Overs,” but here I want to revisit voice-overs in celebrity marketing and its relevance in a rapidly changing marketplace.

Here are three reasons voice-overs are still valuable to celebrity marketers.

1). The Emotional Connection

If you are a regular reader you understand my fondness for personalization in digital marketing. This concept should extend to the traditional voice-over medium as well.

A recently released survey of marketing professionals compiled by Voices.com found the most desired element in a voice-over partnership was maximizing the emotional connection to consumers.

Now that sounds quite vague and it’s supposed to be. The magic of celebrity marketing firms like Burns is an ability to identify the best candidate to achieve emotional connection.

Even if the celebrity isn’t a recognizable A-lister, the right voice can elevate a brand’s connection to consumers.

2). The Potential for Broader Demographic Reach

Voice-over marketing does not have to be restricted to a commercial setting. With the evolving world of advertising moving towards digital monopoly, marketers can preempt the trend by incorporating voice-overs into their digital marketing.

As voice actress Joan Baker puts it, “It seems more and more [that] technology leads to the need for more voices to humanize the tech experience. It’s the nature of communication to want to spread information to a wider and wider range of people, and people overwhelmingly prefer to be spoken to by other people.”

Another finding by the Voices.com study backs up Baker’s point. At 93%, a large majority of consumers would rather hear a natural voice over an artificial one.

This gives marketers a great opportunity to apply voice-overs to their digital marketing strategies to personalize customer experiences and better shape an online identity.

3). The Ability to Re-brand

Voice-overs are also a great way to kick off a re-branding process. Many brands including Allstate, Progressive, Coors and Weight-Watchers had massive success establishing their voice.

Carl’s Jr. and Hardees’ is a great example. They have taken a lot of flack over the years for their controversial advertising campaigns that objectify women, but recently shifted strategy with a new partnership. Using Matthew McConaughey in a voice-over, they re-established their brand with a recognizable voice who immediately associated the brand with southern comforts.

They may not be the best quality or most viral ads on the planet, but sometimes they don’t need to be. Using voice-overs in celebrity marketing is still a highly effective means of emotionally connecting with customers and building the brand. The data proves it.

photo credit: Tommy Lopez via (pexels)


Enhancing Voice Experiences with Celebrity Marketing

AI Post

Using voice technology, brands distinguish themselves amongst competition and develop strong customer relationships.

Artificial intelligence are two words that have become common place in this newfound digital world. It is a form of reasoning and problem solving that allows computers and machines to function and guide intelligently. As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, voice-based devices have erupted onto the scene, leaving a lasting impact on the advertising industry.

With the introduction of voice search, consumers are more likely to speak into voice-based devices than enter a typed request. According to MarketingProfs, approximately 55 percent of teenagers and 41 percent of adults use voice search at least once a day.

In one year alone, sales of voice-based devices have quadrupled, from just 6.5 million devices sold in 2016 to more than 24.5 million in 2017. As consumers become more comfortable with voice-assistant technology, brands are forced to adapt to an environment of minimal control.

Brands must convey their messages in an almost subliminal manner accounting for consumers’ time, location and circumstance while retaining the value of the message. Keyword search is changing too, and as a result, SEO needs to take a more conversational approach, forcing brands to create new, engaging content to reach their audiences.

While creating new content in an ever-changing digital world may seem intimidating, there are several opportunities for advertisers with voice-based devices, including partnering with a celebrity.

Voice-assistant technology exposes a new form of “always-on” interaction between consumers and brands. It forms an instant, open dialogue, creating a conversational user experience.

Although there are a few voice assistants that dominate the market, like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant, the barriers to entry are low, allowing brands both large and small to enter the voice technology space.

As voice technology grows globally, brands have the opportunity to monetize their audiences through “voice-native” ad experiences.

Importantly, millennials are driving the market for voice-based assistants. With millennials at the helm of voice technology, brands are able to target this large group of consumers by utilizing artificial intelligence marketing.

Voice technology can also be heightened by the power of celebrity. By partnering with a celebrity while also using voice-based devices, brands attract more consumers and develop a stronger relationship with their audience.

For example, Oprah became the first celebrity voice featured on Amazon’s Alexa, promoting the Favorite Things storefront on Amazon. While her voice is not a permanent feature, her audible presence helps draw attention to voice-based devices and the potential the technology holds for brands. The familiarity of a celebrity voice like Oprah is comforting and encouraging.

Screen browsing could soon become a thing of the past. Voice technology is game-changing technology with the potential to flip the digital world upside down. Brands who learn to adapt beyond the screen and into a world of voice-dominated advertising will settle market share and competitive advantage.

photo credit: Adam Bowle via Flickr.com

How to Incorporate Celebrity Marketing into a Brand’s Mobile App


Three clever ways celebrities can increase an app’s popularity and credibility.

Since 2016, mobile and tablet internet usage has surpassed desktop internet usage for the first time in history, according to web analytics firm StatCounter. There is no hiding that using mobile applications has become a typical part of our daily routine.

Mobile applications can build brand awareness and consumer engagement if they are professionally built and practical to use. As another form of marketing, mobile apps pose an opportunity for celebrity endorsements.

Below are three strategies to creatively incorporate celebrities into a brand’s mobile app.

Celebrity voice overs: Voice overs are a classic tactic for traditional commercials that can also be successful on mobile apps. Celebrity voice overs are a less expensive option for celebrity marketing, and if done with a recognizable person, they can be just as effective.

The mobile app navigation system Waze has partnered with multiple celebrities to voice directions. A new partnership was announced in early May 2017 with Mr. T. Waze has also partnered with other celebrities around the time of their movie releases. Kevin Hart provided voiceovers for the brand in 2013 for the promotion of his then upcoming film “Ride Along.” Arnold Schwarzenegger, acting as The Terminator, produced voice directions for Waze in 2015.

Celebrity branded apps or contribution: For many celebrity marketing campaigns, a company will be looking for a specific “type” of celebrity that fits with the product. For example, if a celebrity who suffers from diabetes is the spokesperson for diabetic medicine, it gives the endorsement more credibility.

This strategic partnership can work well for apps too. By having a celebrity pair with an app it will not only draw their fans in, but also convince skeptics that experts support the company. The music streaming service/app Tidal is backed by multiple celebrities. Jay-Z bought the app from its parent company in 2015 and has since garnered the support of many other big name artists to endorse the app. Celebrities including Rihanna, Calvin Harris and Usher have all shown support for the service on their social accounts.

Celebrities using the brand’s application: In a way, this is almost similar to celebrity gifting. If the public sees a celebrity wearing a new shoe brand then the celebrity is influencing their fans to go out and buy those shoes. If a celebrity is seen using a mobile application, then their fans will be prompted to download it and try it out themselves.

The transportation service and app Uber has had celebrities tweet about their use of and support for the brand. Kate Upton, Ashton Kutcher and Neil Patrick Harris have all promoted Uber on their social channels.  Another app that has been used by celebrities is B.J. Novack’s app “li.st.” Celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Lena Dunham, and Mindy Kaling all helped the app launch successfully by being some of the first to start accounts.

photo credit: Dijoantonycj via commons.wikimedia.org

Celebrity Marketing: Five Reasons to Add Celebrity Voice-Overs

The incorporation of celebrity voice-overs into your marketing mix can be a winning strategy for your brand.

The use of celebrity voice-overs has grown significantly over the past decade. Consumers tend to have an emotional response to a distinct celebrity’s voice and are drawn in by this marketing tactic.

Here are five reasons why a celebrity voice-over campaign should be considered:  

1. It Ensures Your Brand Remains Center-Stage

Because the celebrity is off-screen, you eliminate the possibility that they will overwhelm your marketing campaign. The brand name is supported and driven home by the unique voice, music and copy.

2. It Makes Commercials Memorable

Celebrities really do grab people’s attention. This is the exactly the reason why animated films are so successful today, because of the use of distinctive celebrity voices.

But, a memorable voice doesn’t have to come from a highly recognizable celebrity. B, C and even D level celebrities have distinctive voices and great ability to alter tone, grabbing people’s attention

The key is for the voice to be memorable.

How many consumers know the actor Dennis Haysbert? He is the voice for Allstate insurance. Even though he wasn’t a household name, Allstate chose to use him because his voice is so distinctive and memorable.

3. One Up the Joneses

Once one of your competitors is using a celebrity voice-over, it creates an opportunity to do it better–much better.

Like the saying goes, “one up the Joneses.”

You can use metrics like E-Poll http://www.epollresearch.com/corp/products/escoreCelebrity.view to identify a celebrity who resonates much more with your target audience, and whose voice ends up helping you take more market share.

4.Cost Effective

Celebrity voiceover provides an opportunity to spend little or a lot and be very successful.

Fees are typically less because the time commitment for the celebrity is less. They can head over to a local studio and be in and out quickly recording the message.

Voice-over is about as easy as it gets for celebrities who excel delivering copy.

Some brands spend one to two million dollars for an A-list celebrity while others spend MUCH less and achieve similar or better results.

5. Empowering the Message

For success, the voice needs to match the campaign theme and tone, making an emotional connection with the consumer.

Distinctive and emotional is a powerful combination.

It is more important for the voice to fit the campaign than for the talent to be famous.

photo credit: B.C. Gouveia. via photopin cc

Celebrity Marketing: The Danger of Negotiating with A Celebrity Directly

celebrities and brands

“He who represents himself has a fool for a client” – Abraham Lincoln

President Lincoln’s quote is true in a court of law, yet is it true in the marketing world with celebrities?

Many marketing executives believe it is as easy as calling an agent and negotiating a deal similar to any other project they might work on. Unfortunately, this mind set is hazardous to a marketing budget and hiring the celebrity a brand wants.

 If you or your brand is involved in litigation with thousands or millions of dollars at stake, do you represent yourself, or do you hire a litigation attorney who specializes? When your company seeks a new senior executive, does it scan the want ads or hire an executive search firm who specializes in your industry? 

Even when companies work on specific projects, expert consultants are frequently used.  With any celebrity endorsement, how many companies have essential inside information on competitive conflicts, other contract fees, and their fair market value?

The answers are obvious, so why do brand marketers continue to personally negotiate celebrity contracts? 

In many cases, the lure to negotiate and ultimately befriend a star is irresistible.  Sometimes this “star-blinded” marketer assumes negotiating with an agent should be straight forward and even is some cases, easy.

Negotiating directly with celebrity agents without knowing the fair market value and estimated fees for other current contracts grossly exposes marketers to serious problems, especially overpaying. The money issue then turns into the question of perceived value versus actual value, not a very good point to be at in the decision-making process.

Why would it cost me more money to negotiate with a celebrity directly?

Let me answer with the following real example:

One ex-NFL Pro Bowl quarterback was paid $500,000 for a one-year campaign by an ad agency representing a new client eager to break into the sports industry. Why did the client overpay by up to $375,00.00? Because the agent played hardball and gave them a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum and the client was afraid that all similar names would be as expensive. Unfortunately for the client, the athlete had signed another spokesperson deal within the year for $375,000 less less than what the eager company paid.

Not knowing fair market value is dangerous and could even cost a brand its first choice. No one should settle for second, third or even fifth choice and risk not meeting brand objectives.

So what is the best way to proceed?

With billions of dollars spent on celebrity endorsements annually, it will remain a fixture in mainstream advertising.  Yet, even as the task becomes more daunting with ad budgets and sales revenues at stake, many marketers continue to blindly negotiate with celebrity agents.  To avoid this trap, many brands use an expert to step up to the plate.

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