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Celebrities as brand ambassadors

April 15, 2015

Brand ambassadors have become a key component of the strategies that companies use to generate awareness of their products. It’s nothing new, really. In the 1950s, the second golden age of Hollywood as it were, companies counted on glamorous film stars to become the face of their brands.

For many companies, tying themselves to a well-known personality is a key to success. It allows them to differentiate themselves from the competition and to stand out from the crowd. According to a study carried out by German communications and marketing consultant Vok Dams, association with a celebrity can help a company to increase its visibility by up to 25%. What’s more, 60% of the companies surveyed had invited celebrities to their events to increase their appeal to the media. 70% of consumers were found to consider a product more appealing if promoted by a well-known figure who helps to associate the brand with success.

Choosing which high-profile personality to approach is a fundamentally important step for the company as they will effectively become the face of the brand. The choice of celebrity is key to achieveing commercial objectives; not all celebrities are appropriate for every brand. There are certain things that need to be considered:

• The celebrity’s personality: Their personality has to be completely compatible and complementary to the company’s values and objectives. It’s important to find someone capable of transmitting the brand’s key messages and of appealing to its target audience.

In addition, they should have a clean and scandal-free image to avoid unpleasant surprises like that suffered by Nike who, for a number of years, counted on Tiger Woods as a brand ambassador. When the golf star became embroiled in a high-profile sex scandal in 2009, the brand suffered. Other brands with which he was associated, among them Gillete and General Motors, opted to tear up their contracts with him to avoid further bad press.

• Make the aims and duration of the collaboration clear: When choosing a celebrity it also has to be made clear exactly what the collaboration will consist of. An online marketing stunt? The launch of a new product for the media? What the collaboration consists of will also determine its duration. A long-lasting relationship will, over time, see the brand and celebrity become closely associated, often intrinsically so. After a while, consumers will automatically associate a person with a brand. The success of this approach is clear to see. Would Nespresso have the same stylish reputation without George Clooney?

Finding the right person to represent the brand isn’t easy. For this reason, companies often turn to PR and communications agencies to find the perfect candidate. It’s the most efficient way of doing things and agencies go through a meticulous process to find the right person. Strategies are devised that set out clear objectives, the relationship that the brand wants to have with the celebrity and the actions to be carried out. The next step is to assess the identity of the brand and, in the process, define the kind of person needed. Studying the both the company’s and celebrity’s target audience comes next, before finally reaching out and coming to an agreement with clearly defined conditions.

Manuela Velles

MdC is very familiar with this process and has a track record of choosing celebrities that fit well with their clients’ identities. Thanks to its professionalism and experience the MdC team successfully organised the TRESemmé MFShow A/W 2015-16 with Manuela Vellés, a high-profile Spanish actress best known for her role as Luisa in TV series Velvet, as brand ambassador. MdC chose her specifically for her youthful, fresh and fashionable image. Manuela presented the TRESemmé prize for Best Designer at the event.

Magnum’s 25th anniversary event is another example of MdC’s strong experience in this field. Opting once again to use brand ambassadors, the agency secured the involvement of actress Adriana Ugarte, designer Juan Vidal and master cakemaker Paco Torreblanca. MdC brought these three ambassadors together with Magnum in a creative and innovative way through one of the prestigious and exclusive red carpet events in the world: the Cannes Film Festival. It was the perfect opportunity for Adriana Ugarte to showcase her new dress designed by Juan Vidal, while Paco Torreblanca later produced an exact replica of the dress made entirely of chocolate. Both events proved a great success and obtained extensive coverage in the media.

Adriana Ugarte y Juan Vidal

Using celebrities as brand ambassadors is a risky yet potentially very beneficial strategy. Ultimately, the ability to stand out and generate awareness among consumers by featuring a celebrity in marketing campaigns can lead to higher profits.

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