Four Things to Keep in Mind When Considering Celebrity Endorsements
Using the fame of celebrities to enhance response to a cause or campaign has its positives and negatives.
In the Feb. 2 post on the blog “Cause-Related Marketing,” author Paul Jones, principal of integrated marketing consultancy Alden Keene & Associates, looked at the issue of using celebrities to get constituents to respond to a campaign.
While celebrities will attract public and media attention, give a campaign credibility, donate money, expertise and time to your organization, and even connect you with their personal contacts and potentially greater funds, Jones recommended that organizations considering alignment with celebrities keep the following in mind:
1. Cost. The courting of a celebrity alone costs time and money and, as Jones said, “even celebrities who are free are probably going to cost you something,” whether it’s that they need to be put up in a hotel, need a first-class flight, a limo, special meals or extra rooms for their entourage. Most organizations also will want to assign a staff person or volunteer to attend to the celebrity, which costs time and/or money.
2. Fame is fickle. Competition for A-List celebrities — most of whom will only be on the A-List for five or six years — is intense. And what do you do with a celebrity endorser once his or her fame has faded?
3. Chemistry with your cause or campaign. Not all celebrities will work for your cause, or be the right match for the target market of all of your campaigns. Some sports stars, for example, may be popular in one market but lackluster in another. Consider the celebrity’s intended use and market, and keep in mind his or her professional affiliations. As Jones said, “if you’re trying to get publicity you may find that an entertainer closely associated with one TV network may get the short shrift from another.”
4. Scandal. Celebrities and scandal often seem to go hand in hand. Jones relayed a story of a well-known professional athlete who appeared at a charity event and then asked his volunteer driver to take him to a strip club and wait for him. Be wary of celebrities associated with or prone to scandal.
All in all, he advises organizations use celebrities if/when it makes sense for them, but “do so with your eyes open and looking out for trouble.”
To view the original blog post in full, http://causerelatedmarketing.blogspot.com/2007/02/using-celebrities-to-enhance-your-cause.html