As the “royalty” status of Hollywood stars has risen, so has their effectiveness as key influencers in consumer purchasing behaviors. Celebrity product placement is considered an “influencer-marketing” approach for helping brands increase their competiveness in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Marketers and small business owners can harness that power through strategic product placement opportunities that have proven to garner national attention from the media, significantly increase sales, and provide additional revenue streams such as co-branded merchandise or licensing endorsements. I can vouch for this phenomenon from my personal experiences with marketing Glamajama. Many of our high profile media features and retailer relationships resulted soon after word of these much coveted celebrity sightings spread.
One of the great things about celebrity product placement or “product seeding” is that it is a relatively inexpensive strategy that can be implemented by anyone regardless of their company’s size. It doesn’t matter how big or small your brand is. The playing field is even. That being said, there are certainly do’s and don’ts for helping ensuring your efforts are effective.
- Make sure your pitch is on target: Always research to make sure you are pitching the right celebrity, the right product, and at the right time. For example, if you sell jewelry with birthstone gems search for celebrities that have worn similarly styled jewelry, have an upcoming birthday, and gift them jewelry with their birthstone. Include a personal message explaining the significance of the stone and why you selected it for them. Establishing a connection with the celebrity that resonates with them will help increase the odds they actually wear your product.
- Make it easy for celebrities to respond: Ultimately the end goal of any celebrity product placement is to receive some type of collateral that can be used in your marketing efforts. Examples of this “collateral” could be pictures, testimonials, thank you notes, video, or autographed products. When planning your celebrity outreach campaign, don’t just blindly send your product and “hope” for the best. If you want a hand written thank you note to display at your next tradeshow booth, include a self addressed/stamped thank you note for them to fill out.
- A successful placement is the beginning of your marketing efforts, not the end: Don’t confuse a successful placement with successful completion of your celebrity marketing efforts. Receiving marketing collateral from a high profile celebrity isn’t nearly as important as how you leverage that placement. Ideally, once you receive a confirmation from the celebrity or perhaps a picture, send out a press release announcing the sighting, contact media outlets, and let your customers and audience know about the great news.
- Stand out so you don’t get lost in the shuffle: Celebrities are approached by hundreds of brands, companies, and services all hoping they can attract their attention. Improve your odds of being memorable by making your product stand out. This can mean sending a unique item, using creative packaging, or even including a heartfelt, sincere message. Brainstorm ways to help differentiate yourself as you strategize not only what product you send, but the delivery of that product as well. Merely sending your widget in a plain FedEx envelope with a bland “dear john” letter isn’t likely to get a second glance.
As the power of celebrity increases, product placements will become an increasingly valuable form of influencer marketing. Brands that can effectively harness that power are sure to gain an advantage in our crowded marketplace. Achieve star status for your brand by following these do’s and don’ts. For more information, visit www.celebritymarketing101.com , or feel free to email me [email protected].