In 100 Words: Celebrity Endorsement

Using celebrities as part of a marketing strategy is as old as the hills, with examples such as Pears Soap and Kodak stretching back over 100 years. And with good reason. If handled correctly, the business case for increased awareness and sales is well-established. For a clearly written case study, see this link on the rise and fall of Tiger Woods as a brand ambassador.

But does it work for every industry, and specifically is it working for Direct Selling? Hakki Ozmorali at DS Consultancy documents a range of examples, including Avon's association with Reese Witherspoon and Patrick Dempsey, Amway with Sandra Bullock and Ronaldinho, Herbalife with Messi, and LR Health & Beauty with Heidi Klum and Bruce Willis, to name but a few.

But as we've already alluded to with Nike and Tiger Woods, celebrity endorsement can be a double edged sword. So, with this in mind, we were happy to contribute some ideas and words of caution to Hakki's request for expert opinion on the subject.

Our view? Celebrity endorsement within direct selling has great potential to help consumers identify with the channel as well as the endorsed product itself. Younger generations in particular can ‘associate’ with a celeb by imitating them – behaving the way they do, as much as buying what they buy. But beware setting a goal for a celeb to bring ‘cool’ or ‘trendiness’ to a brand – such status is transient, and won’t last forever. Direct selling firms must be sure to ‘cast’ their celebrities well. That means looking back into a celeb’s past for any profile indiscretions, as well as imagining a future where their fans represent your brand.

Read the full article here.