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April 29, 2014 — As followers of celebrities and lovers of TV and film, we can’t help noticing the use of the  “celebrity spokesperson.” But could this marketing practice be starting to phaseout because of high-profile falls from grace and the  catch-you-at-your-worst paparazzi?

According to our Mullen/Frank About Women National Survey, most women recall with accuracy celebrity spokespeople more than 75% of the time. With this in mind, brands must calculate and make sure that any celebrity partnership has a recipe for success. Brands and celebrities must get to know each other and be able to find common ground. Because, we have seen the good, the bad and the ugly effects a celebrity can have on a brand choosing to use this campaign tactic.

Celebrity partnerships can take a brand to another level in a good way and skyrocket the brand name and perception by the mere endorsement and the public’s belief that the celebrity could be using the product or service. Take GoDaddy and Danica Patrick, for example. No matter your thoughts on the ads themselves, Danica made the GoDaddy brand a household name.

As for the bad, a brand can spend crazy amounts of money to land a huge celebrity only to have him or her flop on their next endeavor, yielding no long-term results for the partnership. Then again, Chanel No. 5 may not have had the success it desired in its partnership with Brad Pitt, but it did lay the foundation for some of the funniest parody spots of all time. Check them out here!

And finally we have the ugly, when a celebrity endorsement turns into a PR nightmare because those we held in high esteem fly off their rockers faster than Usain Bolt in the Olympic Games. From Tiger Woods and Accenture to Martha Stewart and Kmart, from Chris Brown and Wrigley to Paula Deen and the Food Network. In these instances, it’s hard to believe in “any press is good press.” And what can we, as marketers, do to protect ourselves, our brand and our customer perception while still being relevant to our oftentimes fanatical consumers?

What is the next step in the celebrity spokesperson evolution? Do we continue with recognizable voiceovers like Morgan Freeman and Julia Roberts? Or will bloggers and other more modern influencers soon become our next endorsers? What do you think?

Contact Shaun Stripling, chief marketing officer for Frank About Women, at 336.774.9397, or email her to continue the conversation.



Source: Mullen/Frank About Women National Survey, April 2014

Elizabeth Bragg About the Author
Elizabeth Bragg Former Account Director

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