Turn on a TV right now and there’s an 80% chance you’ll come across an advert starring a celebrity grinning from ear to ear like the Chesire cat while promoting the hell out of one product or another.
A celebrity brand ambassador is a great idea. They provide your brand with a personality and also act as third-party credibility (consumers will trust the word of an actual human over that of the brand itself) while using their celebrity status to target a broader audience of potential consumers than your brand initially could’ve.
However, choosing a celebrity brand ambassador isn’t just about picking the most famous face with angelic bone structure. There’s a lot of stuff to consider.
Because the last thing your brand needs is a Lance Armstrong/FRS Energy drink debacle.
- THE CELEBRITY SHOULD BE WELL LIKED BY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE AND EASILY RELATABLE: Something else worth noting is that it’s possible for a celebrity ambassador to meet one requirement (being liked) and not meet the other (being relatable). Be sure to pick a celebrity who meets both.
- THE CELEBRITY NEEDS TO EMBODY YOUR BRAND’S VALUES: Celebrity brand ambassadors shouldn’t be picked based on popularity and size of social media followings alone. That Nollywood star you desperately want representing your brand because of how much they’re tweeted about might only be talked about so much because of how insanely problematic they are. Make sure the celebrity has a clean public image.
- THE CELEBRITY HAS TO GENUINELY LOVE/USE YOUR BRAND/PRODUCT: Pick a celebrity that uses and genuinely enjoys your product/services. If you don’t, the credibility required to persuade potential consumers will be obviously absent. This will lead to insincere ads and appearances which can alienate everyone you’re trying to reach. (Even brand loyalists.)
- NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE INTELLIGENCE OF YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE: This one requires an example. Let’s say your company is trying to market a new line of slimming tea. The nature of this product automatically means that the target audience is people trying to lose weight. Even if you assume that these people are desperate, NEVER assume that they’re stupid. Don’t pick a celebrity that obviously hit the jackpot with the genetic lottery or one whose social media accounts are chock full of videos of them working out and then pay them to claim (lie) that it’s your product and your product alone that helps them maintain their washboard abs. Consumers will see right through this and ignore your product.
- BEWARE OF THE THE UBER-PROMOTER: There’s no need to throw shade here but there are celebrities out there who will endorse anything and everything they get the chance to. Eventually, consumers will get tired of seeing the same face promoting everything (from milk to condoms), realize they’re only in it for the money and no longer take them seriously. (And by proxy, your product.)
- BEWARE OF THE CELEBRITY WHO IS CLEARLY ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY: You can usually tell from their body language. They show up to meetings and are weirdly aggressive while constantly talking about how busy their schedules are and how they “charge for everything.” This celebrity has most likely realized they don’t have much time left in the spotlight and is trying to gather as much money as they can before they’re thrown headfirst into obscurity. Cross potentials like this off your list. They don’t care about your product at all and will do the barest minimum when promoting it.
- DETERMINE THE RIGHT PLATFORMS TO BETTER MAXIMIZE THE PARTNERSHIP: Choose the best advertising platforms to better show consumers the genuine connection between your celebrity ambassador and your brand. A great example of this is the series of Peak milk adverts now-retired Nigerian footballer player, Kanu Nwankwo, appeared in back in the 90s. Peak’s slogan at the time was “It’s in you” and Kanu’s story of growing up from nothing to becoming a world-famous footballer and overcoming health problems to keep playing aligned perfectly with the message Peak was trying to send. This is why it’s important for a celebrity brand ambassador to not just bring a name or face but also a story.