February 27, 2018
Celebrity endorsement is not a new marketing tool, however, with the rise of social media, brands can now reach a much larger audience by pairing up with stars to promote their brand.
Brands recruit celebrities in order to appeal to the celebs audience as they usually have a passionate following on social media. This provides an instant brand awareness boost and gets the brand in front of a potentially new audience.
Instagram is a prime platform for celebrity endorsement due to its visual nature. Recently, reality stars have been the target of many brands with the likes of Love Island, Geordie Shore, and many more promoting brands on their Instagram account to an audience of usually millions.
Calvin Klein’s #mycalvins campaign shows how the right celebrity partnership can increase conversions and brand awareness. When Justin Bieber’s debuted with the brand in 2015, the campaign video received 10.5 million views on YouTube due to his star power.
Bieber gained over 3.6 million extra followers in the days following the release of the ad and the campaign's hashtag generated 1.6 million mentions.
The #mycalvins hashtag was also a social success, with nearly 200,000 Instagram mentions in two months. On Facebook, posts containing the hashtag received 1.5 times as many likes as the average post, and on Twitter, #mycalvins tweets generated 4.2 times more interactions.
The brand translated its social payoff to a financial payoff with the new modern cotton collection selling out in the US and Europe. Calvin Klein saw e-commerce underwear sales increase by 21% which proves that influencers can drive sales as well as social buzz.
We’ve taken a closer look at some other well-known celebrity endorsements, to see how these have benefited different brands over the years.
Charlize Theron has worked with Dior since 2004 and is the face of many of the brand’s perfumes. The J’Adore Dior "The absolute femininity" ad was the most shared ad on social media during a week in October 2016, receiving 157,246 shares.
This is great promotion for Dior and proves the power of social media. A share is gold dust for brands and ads that get the audience talking are prime for sharing online. By continuing to use the same actress for the last 14 years, Dior has planted its brand in audience’s minds when they see Theron.
Kate Moss has been the face of Rimmel since 2002. The model is an ideal fit due to her familiarity to the British public, which marries in with Rimmel’s focus on the British element of its brand and its famous tagline “Get the London look”.
The brand is very active on social media which encourages users to engage with the content as it stands out from the crowd due to the fun and bright ads. Rimmel also creates individual hashtags for each campaign giving the audience a way to keep up with all its products, keeping the brand in their minds. Again, the constant use of Kate Moss for the past 16 years aids brand awareness and resonance.
One of the longest-running partnerships is between Walkers and Gary Lineker. The ex-footballer first appeared in Walkers ads in 1995 and the celebrity endorsement shows no signs of ending. Lineker’s value is his ‘ordinariness’ with his narrative passed down through generations.
Former Walkers marketing boss, Martin Glenn, said that: "He’s the average age of the population. He’s not out of touch with the population demographic, he’s salient." One time marketing director of Walkers, James Boulton, agreed saying: "Gary is a personality that crosses the generations, he has extremely broad appeal to both men and women."
Walkers even named a crisp flavour after Lineker – Salt and Lineker. An ideal way to boost crisp sales, by naming it after a well-known sports personality.
David Beckham signed a lifetime deal with Adidas 20 years ago and the partnership enabled the brand to bring out Beckham’s own range. Due to the popularity of the former England captain, Adidas launched the x David Beckham Capsule Collection to celebrate their 20-year relationship, which included a remastered version of the Predator Accelerator.
Beckham won various trophies at club level while donning the famous Adidas boots. With an army of fans looking up to Beckham throughout his career, and still to this day, the boots are a must-have for many.
His success while wearing the boots proved a vital part in launching the collection. Beckham himself claimed the Accelerator was his favourite boot which was bound to see sales of the boots rise, not only in the UK but worldwide due to the footballer playing for international clubs such as Real Madrid, AC Milan, and LA Galaxy.
Real Madrid fans invested in Adidas when Beckham joined the team and Adidas saw product sales increase. Brand awareness of Adidas also reached the Far East as a result of matches abroad and World Cup exposure.
Since 2003, actress Nicole Kidman has represented the fragrance brand which has been the number one fragrance in the world almost continuously since its creation in 1921. Throughout the partnership, there have been tips to the glamourous Hollywood life which reinforces the perfume’s status as luxury and glamourous.
Kidman wore Chanel No. 5 in a Moulin Rouge-inspired advertising campaign and reprised her role as the cabaret dancer in the lavish two-minute advert, directed by Moulin Rouge's Baz Luhrmann.
The "two-minute trailer ... for a film that has actually never been made” was the biggest marketing investment in the history of the famous brand at the time. Despite the expense, the commercial was cut to 60 and 30-second spots that ran for the following three years, so it was well worth the cost.
This long-lasting campaign will continue to resonate with audiences and the investment helps to position No 5 as the ultimate luxury brand of the market due to its glamour and uniqueness.
Chanel said in a statement that: "Ms Kidman was chosen because she represents a unique standard of elegance and embodies the spirit and modernity of Chanel."
Previously, brands often used rising stars, but Kidman’s global appeal is just what Chanel wanted and by being linked to the most expensive, elite perfume, Kidman reinforced her position as the most elite and desirable of actresses.
So, there we have it, some of the most well-known successful celebrity endorsements that brands have seen. Interested in boosting your brand awareness and sales due to an endorsement? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, or for all the latest news you can follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.