Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Avoiding Babylon in the land of celebrity tie-ins...

Sometimes, marketers just need to make their products and services stand out, and one of the standard tools for doing so is the celebrity spokesperson or tie-in. Each month, scores of items on the approach brim from professional industry trades and -- in the best and worst cases -- the mainstream press. Here's a list of articles on the subject that are worth checking out.
. "Celebrity branding suffers a slump in star quality" from the Sunday Herald Online (UK)
. "Cashing in on celebrity: how to achieve a brand’s perfect fit" from Media Week (UK)
. "Celeb image or brand credibility –it’s truly a game of two halves" from Media Week (UK)
. "Record drop in number of ads using celebrities" from Brand Republic (UK)
. "Celebrity Ads Get Attention But Don't Always Deliver" from Research Brief (US)
. "Stargazing; The celebrity endorsement, driven more by gut feel than hard data, remains a bit of a black box for ROI-focused marketers" from CMO Magazine (US)
. "Cross Media Case Study: Stylin' Hair" from OMMA Magazine (US)
. "Marketing Focus: Catherine Zeta-Jones on Line One" from Business 2.0 (US)

Though each of these stories features mission critical highlights, Thomas Mucha's Business 2.0 piece is a brief case study of a successful approach. Since 2002, T-Mobile has featured the glamorous Ms. Zeta-Jones in their TV, radio, online and print campaign elements as their spokesperson. But this development came only after the firm's principals realized that they needed to promote their brand shrewdly to steal market-share from their competitors, and they needed to focus on educating consumers on their unique solutions and customer service. So, with a sound strategy in place, the company then found the right individual to address their specific agenda -- and have since poured an estimated $400 million per year into a poised, polished campaign.

A few more links to check-out from the high-stakes celebrity endorsement casino: Kobe Bryant; Steve Madden; Martha Stewart; Rosie O'Donnell; Oprah Winfrey; Lance Armstrong; Lebron James; Paris Hilton; Donald Trump.