Turkey, by nature, is a country that likes, easily appreciates and imitates the celebrity. When this is the case, celebrity usage in advertising becomes inevitable. When we look back at the most remembered 15 ads of 2012, a celebrity was used in six of them. In some of these – especially in the banking industry – either the celebrity usage has shadowed the brand or the celebrities have not exactly paired up with the brand in the eyes of the consumer. There is also the group of consumers who are tired of seeing a celebrity in every ad and who have lost confidence. One must know the secret to address this crowd without breaking away from the brand essence and resolve the mystery.
There are various ways to use a celebrity in advertising: Indicating in the ad that a famous person or organization uses the product, the jingle or only the voice-over... Research shows that even though a certain celebrity is well-known and admired by the consumer, hearing his voice-over instead of seeing him in the ad results in low brand-product pairing. In other words, while the celebrity voice-over has an effect on the brand hook, in the long run, its effect on brand value is undeniably low.
If the budget spared is way above average, it pays more to consider the long term effect. One must avoid the “no matter how” attitude when using a celebrity. Leave aside having an advertising strategy, these ads cause us to think they do not even have an established marketing strategy. They mostly serve no more than creating short-term agenda and then falling into oblivion. Considering correct celebrity selection for your brand is half art and half science, the trigonometry of correct celebrity usage has six main steps.
1. ESTABLISH TALENT SYNCHRONIZATION
Imagine a triangle whose corners are the brand, the consumer, and the product. The difficulty is in finding the celebrity who will match these three variables. Some celebrities pair up better with the brand, some with the product itself, and some achieve a more ideal fit with the consumer. The objective is to be situated at the triangle’s center of gravity and achieve talent synchronization.
2. TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE INVISIBLE BUDGET
The rights a celebrity requires vary according to talent and popularity. When planning a unique campaign, one must not overlook the following: Will the celebrity be seen in the ad, is it a global campaign, will only the celebrity’s voice-over be used or are the rights to a song to be bought? Aside from these, will the celebrity want to travel first class or on a private jet or require VIP accommodation? Costs that are previously overlooked may later cause cuts on the ad seconds.
3. DO NOT LIMIT CREATIVITY
Lately, it is not in fashion to build a campaign around the celebrity but it is to combine creativity with the spontaneous talents of the celebrity and enhance the naturality of the message given in the ad. It would be beneficial to keep in mind the improvisation feature.
4. MAXIMIZE MEDIA COVERAGE
Which celebrity will receive the most media coverage? Which PR team can get more slots on TV and radio? Aside from these, brands must pay attention to crisis communication in order not to become the agenda with the celebrity’s past infamy.
5. INCREASE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FOOTPRINT
Today’s celebrities are not like those of our mothers’ times. We are talking about 7/24 social media usage. Brands must not miss out on social media with their own digital companies in order to be at the center of attention the whole time. They must not lose popularity by benefiting from the advantage of the celebrity’s official accounts.
6. SEIZE A SOUL CONNECTION WITH THE CELEBRITY
Has the celebrity tried your product/brand/service at least once? Or is all he wants money, money, and more money? Are the messages he might give contrary to the brand essence? Success stories are born from the combination of the brand with a celebrity who uses it naturally or at least has sympathy for it.
Recent Trends in celebrity usage:
• In the ad, indicating that a famous person or organization is using the advertised product is out of fashion as well as expensive. Brands must now discover and evaluate the famous client, famous boss/employee, celebrity sponsorship options.
• Local celebrities are not enough anymore. Foreign ones are imported from far away continents. Lately, celebrities like Adriana Lima, Penelope Cruz, Megan Fox, and Pamela Anderson have made a habit of coming to Turkey often.
• We now have in our lives social media celebrities and consequently, social media ads. One must follow celebrities who use Twitter effectively.
• Longer lasting agreements are in fashion. Celebrities are required to stay connected with the brand for two to five years. Contracts under one year are regarded as too short and inconsistent.
• Real estate, education, finance, second-hand car industries and B2Bs head the line for celebrity usage.
• Instead of investing all in a certain product, the celebrity investment is made for the flagship of the brand.
• Big brands have started to tend towards less discovered and less polluted celebrities from the sports scenes such as successful boxers, wrestlers, shooters etc. instead of Bolly/Hollywood-based ones.
• Aside from ads, celebrities have started to attend contests, sales meetings and similar gatherings in the name of the brand.
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