The celebrity endorsement certainly adds a huge glamour for a brand but does it actually work? Are we as consumers seduced by these supposed partnerships? And perhaps just as importantly do the celebrities actually care about the products they're being paid to endorse?
At the recent CES show in Las Vegas a stream of celebrities were queuing up to endorse all manner of products. And one couldn't help but be just a little sceptical as to some of credence of the chosen celebs as they parlayed their chosen wares on behalf of various companies. Yes, you can appreciate that Mr ‘Voice’ himself will.i.am may know a little about the uber headphones he was endorsing and helped develop but some nobody from Jersey Shore (I cannot bring myself to search out the name) - really?!
Of course it isn't just tech shows that attract celebrities looking to sell their wares. Sporting events and film shows are all sold to us as more often than not on the strength of celebrity. The poor, beleaguered film and TV star can supplement their wages when they decide to put their face to say a watch or a clothing brand. The sporting stars agents are only too keen to put their client forward to endorse a brand.
However there are pitfalls when a company buys into the demographic of their chosen celebrity. With the celebrity comes the territory. As was highlighted when the previously untarnished images of Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong were dragged through the mire their sponsors were quick to jump ship.
Of course it has always been thus. Since the dawn of time (okay perhaps not that long back!) brands and companies have been keen to align themselves with stars.
I still recall two of the TV biggest from the 70s and 80s, Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter and their coming together on the Cinzano advert. So certainly they are remembered and certainly an increase in sales must be noticeable. And for many a long year I’ve hankered after owning the same watch as ‘The King of Cool’ Steve McQueen’s Tag Heuer Monaco watch or maybe an Omega like Bond!
Yet is it the star in question or just a great advert? I’m not so sure. Would I be willing to take a punt that a given star would increase my sales sufficiently and would not go off the rails and take my brand with their tumble? Would my brand become more prestigious with a star endorsement? I’m not convinced but I’d be open to offers if Rachel Weisz or Angelina Jolie wishes to give me a call!Steve Wilkin