Rob Glen / Sep 04, 2020
Welcome back to Thirstie’s series on “Celebrity Endorsement in the Digital Age”. This 3-part series offers advice on how to successfully leverage celebrity endorsements, and also highlights what to watch out for when managing a celebrity endorsement.
Below is the final segment in this three-part series.
For parts one and two, click the following links:
Part one: https://rb.gy/8f3he1
Part two: https://rb.gy/zzixgm
Beverage Alcohol Industry Recap
Brands within the beverage alcohol industry use celebrity associations and endorsements in many ways. Just a few examples…
- Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey is associated with Conor McGregor, Irish professional mixed martial artist and former Ultimate Fighting Champion.
- Benicio del Toro currently promotes Heineken in television ads
- Sarah Jessica Parker in ads for Stella Artois beer
- Aviation American Gin is a brand of dry gin, most recently purchased by Diageo, with actor Ryan Reynolds remaining as part owner and well recognized spokesperson.
We at Thirstie are proud to work with many celebrity-backed brands and have been contacted by many others across music, sports, and film.
Celebrity associations/endorsements can be quite effective by:
Building awareness and sales opportunities: Utilizing celebrity endorsements can boost sales and build brand loyalty. If you leverage the appropriate celebrity to endorse your brand, consumers will purchase and support your brand simply because they have an affinity towards that particular celebrity.
Inspiring consumer confidence: Celebrity endorsements can inspire consumer confidence in your brand. A high-integrity celebrity that is willing to associate their personal brand to promote a product, gives consumers more confidence in the products or services your brand is offering.
Showcasing their investment and passion for the brand: Celebrities who have “skin in the game” and invest dollars in the brand are extremely effective and authentic spokespeople. Over the last 5 years this has become quite common in the Beverage Alcohol industry.
Tips on Execution
Acquiring the appropriate celebrity to elevate a brand above the competition is priority one. Once you have the “ideal” celebrity for your brand, how you leverage them makes a real difference.
Below are a few items to contemplate when crafting your brand/marketing programs with a celebrity association/endorsement.
Continuity: Companies should plan on giving the relationship between the celebrity endorser and the brand some time to solidify and link the brand personality to the celebrity image. View celebrity endorsements as an investment that will take time to garner results. As a celebrity’s popularity and impact on the target consumer decreases, decisions on continuation will be impacted.
Digital match: Companies should ensure there is a good profile match between the brand’s social community and the endorser’s social following. This will maximize potential influence and referrals within mutual social communities.
Monitoring: Companies should monitor celebrity endorser’s behavior, conduct and public image to understand popularity and minimize potential negative publicity. Celebrity appeal can turn on a dime in today’s digital and social world. Q-scores is an excellent celebrity popularity measurement tool. (https://www.qscores.com/)
Unique endorsers: Companies should select celebrity endorsers who have not been previously associated with similar or competitive products to ensure a clean and authentic transfer of celebrity appeal/identity to the brand.
Timing: As celebrities command a high price, companies should be on the lookout for emerging celebrities who show future promise and engage with them in their formative years.
Influencer Marketing: The digital age has exponentially expanded the scope and impact of influencer marketing. I define influencer marketing as tactics involving direct endorsements from people or organizations having a purported expertise, knowledge or social influence in their field. ROI can be significant.
Usage restrictions: Companies should ensure that the celebrities they hire understand the program and are legally papered to ensure they do not use competitors’ products within the same product category. I have personal experience, where a hired spokesperson was photographed in celebrity publications using a competitive smartphone. Not good!
It’s just a channel: Companies must realize that having a celebrity endorsing their brand is not a goal in and of itself; but rather a part of the communications mix that falls under the broader category of sponsorship marketing.
I hope this review was useful/insightful as you look to develop marketing plans that leverage a celebrity endorsement. Today’s digital age opens up many more avenues to showcase your brand in connection with well-known personalities. When done appropriately, the benefits can be significant.
Rob Glen, CMO Thirstie Inc.*
About Thirstie, @areyouthirstie
Thirstie, a New York based e-commerce company, is the leading technology and logistics solution provider for beverage alcohol brands, founded by Devaraj Southworth and Maxim Razmakhin in 2014. Thirstie helps brands to power consumer on-line transactions within an industry three-tier system complaint platform through a robust API and expansive retail network. The Thirstie platform also provides brands with transparency into all data, consumer insights analytics and ROI to improve performance marketing. For more information about Thirstie, please visit thirstie.com.