Celebrity endorsements are a staple in advertising, with more than 20 percent of all ads today featuring a famous face, voice or likeness. Even smaller businesses are using celebrity spokespersons. The reason is simple: Celebrities sell. Consumers pay attention to celebrities because they are attracted to the familiar. But celebrities don’t have to be major national names. Local and regional “celebrities” can also help pitch a marketing message for your small business. Three ways your business can use a celebrity spokesperson are:
1. Advertising: Celebrities can pitch your product via print, television, radio and even online
2. Appearances and events: Celebrities can make personal appearances for your business at events ranging from charity fund-raisers to grand openings.
3. Media opportunities: your spokesperson can speak on your behalf on TV talk shows or at press conferences, trade shows or other media events.
Here’s the 411 on getting some star power:
Define your objectives
Determine what you expect from your partnership with your spokesperson and how to best use their talents. Clarify your needs and expectations from the get-go.
Links and resources: Brooks International and Burns are two agencies that specialize in booking celebrity and sports talent. These talent brokers can help you assess your needs.
Find the right fit
It’s important that the spokesperson you hire is a good match for your product or service.
Links and resources: The Hollywood-Madison Group uses a proprietary database called the “Fame Index” to match businesses with appropriate talent. The Fame Index contains the names of 10,000 stars and uses 250 categories to match talent to businesses and products.
Plan well in advance
When deciding on a celebrity spokesperson for your business, start early. You should plan at least six months out. The bigger the name, the longer the lead time.
Links and resources: Celebrity Focus and The Celebrity Source are two talent agencies that can connect your company with talent and help you navigate the celebrity maze.
Consider the costs
Talent fees and celebrity endorsements run the gamut from a few hundred dollars for a single appearance by a local DJ to far more for a big star.
Links and resources: If you’re looking for major star power, you can go with Hollywood biggies like William Morris or PMK/HBH Public Relations. On a smaller scale, you can contact many local celebrities directly or through their management or their public relations agency.
Talent agencies, entertainment marketing firms and even speakers bureaus can put you in touch with potential celebrity spokespeople. Contacting talent can be easier than you might think.
Links and resources: The Screen Actors Guild provides an actor-locator service. If you want a big-name author, call his or her publishing company and ask for the public relations department. A few have their own speakers bureaus: check out the speakers bureau at Harper Collins.
Here are a few other suggestions when hiring spokespersons:
• Don’t be afraid to ask. Maybe that certain superstar is not out of your reach or budget.
• Consider “B-List” stars who may be more available and less expensive.
• Local celebrities or athletes may turn out to be your best bet.
• Make sure you have an “out” clause in case your celebrity gets negative press or is involved in a scandal.
About the Author
Lou Bortone is an award-winning writer and video producer with over 20 years experience in marketing, branding and promotion. As an online video expert, Lou helps entrepreneurs create video for the web at www.TheOnlineVideoGuy.com. In addition, Lou works as a freelance writer and professional ghostwriter, with a ghostwriting site at www.GhostwriteForYou.com and a blog at www.GhostwriteGuru.com.
- Tags: actor, actress, advertising, athletes, Branding, celebrity, celebrity spokesperson, endorsements, entertainment, marketing, models, promotion, public relations, spokesperson, talent