In today’s society, a celebrity is simply a famous person. That’s it. It doesn’t matter how you become famous. Or if you become famous overnight. People are so fascinated by those who live in the spotlight. This wasn’t the case decades ago. The term celebrity meant something. It was reserved for famous people who gained fame doing honourable things i.e. sportsmen who excelled in sports, politicians who managed to unite people e.t.c.
Times have changed. Today anyone can become a celebrity doing anything. In fact, there is a new crop of celebrities (socialites) who are becoming famous for unknown reasons.
Our focus is on celebrities who have gained their fame honourably i.e. being masters in their respective fields. As a result, their fame has had more of a positive effect on society. Over the years, the business world has recognized the power celebrities have on brands. This has spurred numerous partnerships between celebrities and the business community as brands look to cash in on the influence some of the most respected celebrities have on the public.
Although there are some endorsements which haven’t worked out, most endorsements with respected highly influential celebrities have lifted brands which were little known before. This article is going to focus on what celebrities can do for a brand. Below is a detailed discussion on the power of celebrity endorsements. Because we are curious of what impact a celebrity endorsement has on you!
How influential are famous figures?
To understand how powerful celebrity endorsements are, it is important to look at some of the top deals that have had the best/biggest impact in the past decade. These endorsement deals will help us understand exactly what celebrities are capable of doing for a brand.
Some famous figures cant help but endorse whatever brand they wear. Kate Middleton makes every article of clothing worn into a worldwide must have!! For example, her latest public outing, Middleton stepped out wearing a $35.90 necklace from Zara. Hours after the images hit the internet the necklace was sold out on Zara’s site! Known to be a woman of style, the Duchess of Cambridge has turned many fashion items into need to have frenzies.
P. Diddy and Ciroc Vodka
P. Diddy’s endorsement deal can easily qualify as one of the most successful celebrity endorsement deals of the decade when you compare what both parties have done for each other. Back in 2007, P. Diddy decided to partner with Diageo to promote their latest premium vodka (Ciroc). Since then, P. Diddy has been walking away with 8 figure earnings every year from the deal. Diageo on the other hand has managed to boost Ciroc Vodka sales by a record 700%. Ciroc Vodka sales have soared worldwide from 100,000 cases per year in 2007 to almost 1 million cases in 2013. Nothing more needs to be said.
P. Diddy has successfully done his job and gotten paid for it. In fact, he is expected to earn over $100 million if Diageo ever thinks of selling Ciroc Vodka. All P. Diddy had to do is to capitalize on his influence and connections in showbiz to promote Ciroc as the most ideal premium Vodka brand in the market today. He singlehandedly managed to introduce Vodka to the hip hop community. Today, Ciroc Vodka competes with popular Champagne brands like Ace of Spades and Cristal which have enjoyed dominance for years among hip hop artists and fans.
Jay Z and Armand de Brignac Champagne
P. Diddy isn’t the only hip hop celebrity to successfully endorse a brand. Jay Z has also done it. Thanks to Jay Z, Armand de Brignac Champagne popularly known as Ace of spades is the most popular champagne among hip hop artists and fans. Jay Z decided to boycott his previous favourite champagne choice Cristal after his efforts to popularise crystal in his videos were rubbished as lowering Cristal’s brand value. Looking back, Cristal executives made the worst decision ever.
Ace of Spades Champagne which was little known in 2006 is currently the biggest Cristal rival today thanks to Jay Z. He decided to use his influence to promote Armand de Brignac Champagne just like he had done for Cristal. This time however, he got handsomely rewarded. Jay Z earns over $4 million per year for endorsing Armand de Brignac Champagne. And most of the biggest names in Hollywood have been photographed enjoying the champagne. When you look back at Ace of Spades Champagne before Jay Z, the brand definitely needed a celebrity like Jay Z. No wonder Ace of Spades executives agreed to split profits equally with Jay z.
Downside of celebrity endorsements- Celebrities make mistakes.
Tiger Woods can easily qualify as one of the most successful golfers and celebrity endorsers in the world. He has managed to dominate golf for over a decade wining over endorsement deals amounting to $100 million per year. In 2010, Tiger Woods’ cheating scandals ended his marriage. The scandals also took a toll on his career given the fact that Woods lost numerous sponsors and endorsement deals. Many people focused on the brands that he represented and waited for them to drop the athlete.
In 2010 alone, Tiger Woods lost over $22 million in endorsements. Fast forward today, his endorsement earnings are back to the $100 million mark. There can only be one explanation. Tiger Woods’ influence is unmatched. As long as he continues to dominate the game of golf, his influence remains. Luxury brands have discovered this which is why they would rather continue endorsing Tiger Woods regardless of his personal problems. Tiger Woods best displays the power celebrities have over brands. Rolex continues to dominate among the wealthy as the best Luxury watch brand over many other equally good watch brands i.e. Omega simply because of celebrities like Tiger Woods. This is proof that brands desperately need celebrities.
Do brands need celebrities?
Verdict: From the above examples of some of the top celebrity endorsements of the decade, it is accurate to conclude that brands need celebrities. Let’s now shift our focus on some of the main reasons why brands need celebrities.
Celebrities establish brand credibility
As seen from some of the most successful celebrity endorsement deals in the past decade i.e. Jay Z and Armand de Brignac Champagne deal, it is obvious that Jay Z established credibility for the Armand de Brignac Champagne brand making it easier for Jay Z fans and the entire Hip Hop community to embrace the Champagne and ditch Cristal. Jay Z’s Cristal boycott automatically eroded the brand’s credibility.
Celebrities create brand attraction
Celebrities also create brand attraction. Because celebrities already have a huge fan base, they automatically make the brands they endorse attractive. This helps to divert customers from other brands to the ones celebrities are promoting. This process is automatic which explains why brands can’t help but partner with celebrities to stay relevant or maintain attraction.
Celebrities create brand remembrance
Brands also need celebrities for remembrance purposes. Over time, business executives have discovered that celebrity endorsed brands are easier to remember compared to brands which appear in traditional adverts. If brands want to be remembered longer, they have no choice but to partner with celebrities.
Celebrities give brands status
Luxury brands can’t afford to ignore successful celebrities in society today. This has been proven many times by celebrities like Jay Z, Tiger Woods and P. Diddy. Before their endorsements, the brands they now represent weren’t associated with high status as much as they are now. Before 2006, Armand de Brignac was just another Champagne brand. Today, the Champagne rivals with the best Champagne brands. The same goes for Ciroc. Before P. Diddy, Ciroc Vodka didn’t have the high status the Vodka enjoys today. Rolex and Nike brands also risk losing their status if they stop associated with top/successful celebrities like Tiger Woods.