It is a risky proposition when you partner a celebrity with your ad campaign. You are relying on the image of a public person to represent your brand. Not only that, your company will be inextricably linked with this person if say, they get busted for drug possession. Or if it’s revealed to the public that said person’s spouse went after them with a golf club after learning of extramarital affairs. Something to that extent. However, the risk is often worth it. Let’s take a look at a few favorable pairings.
William Shatner for Priceline.com
Shatner has crafted a quirky personality for himself over the years, both onscreen and off. He has been the Priceline.com spokesperson for years as “The Negotiator”, helping people negotiate in strangely effective ways. The public seems to respond well to the goofy nature of William Shatner and his lovable persona boosts Priceline’s credibility as the go-to site for travel needs.
Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake for Sony
What do a Superbowl ring wearing quarterback and a Grammy award winning singer have to do with electronics? Simple: what do you watch on your tv? Sports and entertainment. It’s a natural pairing and the most recent campaign is to promote Sony’s new 3D tv. Sony is hoping that Manning’s likability and Timberlake’s comedic chops will sell their cutting edge technology. The two have also been featured in past ads as panel experts on electronics.
In these two examples, the choice of spokesperson is built upon preconceived celebrity images. Sony wanted to link up with modern, relevant personalities to represent their slick electronic offerings. Priceline continues to work with William Shatner because he has established himself as a pop culture icon.
Another example of a celebrity endorsement is a recent campaign designed by StimulusBrand for iXP Corporation, a prominent national provider of public safety and emergency response solutions. Yogi Berra, NY Yankee Hall-of-Famer, was chosen for the ads because he has an established reputation of being trustworthy and a history of success, excelling in 14 World Series over his career. For iXP, accountability is a large part of their corporate culture and thus Berra is a natural representative.
For companies with strong brand representation, any issue with public image can affect their campaign. Take Tiger Woods, who I not so subtlety referenced above. He lost endorsement deals with Accenture, Gatorade and AT&T. Only Nike remains. A controversially received ad was released not long after Tiger’s scandal broke. Take a look…what are your thoughts on how Nike repositioned their campaign?
- Jordyn Haas