Written by • Published 10th December 2014

We all know celebrities are a powerful tool when it comes to promoting a consumer product or service. When it works, having a celebrity photographed with one of your brand’s products or services can be the best form of advertising, and in many cases can be much more cost-effective than an advertising campaign within a glossy magazine. When it doesn’t, the celebrity and the brand could be on the end of some tough criticism!

A prime example of this is the Kate Middleton effect. The second Kate is pictured in an outfit from the Great British High Street it is guaranteed to sell out within hours. Zara, Reiss and Whistles have all benefited from the Kate Middleton effect and even better, at no cost to the brand given Kate’s support of the High Street and insistence on paying for all her clothes and not accepting freebies. Take a look at some of her most popular outfits

So given the power behind a celebrity endorsement, it is really important for consumer brands to get it right and make the most of it to ensure it is of benefit to the brand. We are very accustomed to sourcing and working with celebrity endorsements, so here are our top tips to making it work:

Choose the right celebrity

Many brands don’t have the luxury of Kate Middleton walking into their stores so in these cases, an approach to a celebrity’s agent will be the foot in the door. When approaching celebrities to gift them products or a service it is important to ensure the offering is beneficial to both parties. For the celebrity, if they are going to be talking about a product or service, it must be something they like and believe in so they can talk genuinely about it. For the brand, it is key to ensure the celebrity is right for the brand and is influential to the target market.

A particularly successful celebrity project we ran was with LighterLife. We sourced and appointed Pauline Quirke as an ambassador to the brand which achieved more than 30,000 new clients leads for the diet company. This was so successful because Pauline was the perfect fit for the brand, she ticked all our boxes of a high-profile celebrity with weight to lose and who was well-known amongst the LighterLife demographic. Take a look at our work here.

Make the most out of their support

Maisie Williams

Image Courtesy of Nickleby1453, flickr.com

For brands that succeed in gaining celebrity fans it is important you use this as a promotional tool. Strike up a conversation with them on twitter about their favourite products, promote via the brand’s online platforms and customer newsletters. Tapping into their fan base is likely to generate new fans for the brand and in turn, lead to further sales of the product.

An example of this is the work we did with Red Driving School with Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams and sing-songwriter Nina Nesbitt.

Be careful

Over recent months it has become apparent to the media and public about brands who gift celebrities or pay for their endorsement but do not share this information publicly. When gifting a celebrity and using social media channels to promote this, it is important to be honest about where the products were bought by the celebrity.

A good way to highlight this is through social media, a simple tweet to the celebrity asking if they received their gift or if they liked their gift means it is clear that the product is not something they have paid for. For those under contract as an ambassador, introduce them to fans and followers as the new ambassador.