Celebrity Endorsements: Still Crazy, after all these Years…


THE RED CARPET:  The most powerful branding arena in the world.  Well, almost.

As Super Bowl weekend is now upon us, it was important to stop and reflect, on the nature of this beast.  Everyone is already commenting on the power of a super-bowl advertisement and u-tube has released the contenders.  But, has anyone been wondering like I have, where the celeb endorsements have gone?  The product has loomed  larger on the horizon making the BRAND of beer or chips bigger than one poor human star can manage.  The old school days of a sports celebrity endorsing a product has taken a bit of a second or third place showing behind the branding platform and the sheer fun of the ads.

Lately, these sorts of deals have been fraught with difficulties (e.g. TIGER WOODS) and consumers are fairly educated at this point.  They know that celebrities are “paid” by these endorsements and so the “bloom” may indeed have worn off.   But statistics show that when a celebrity attaches their name to a product or service, the sticky factor goes up.  Quite simply, people remember a product or service that is attached to their favorite name.  But, in the Superbowl things are just not what they used to be (yawn). The gathering of eyeballs might be the last great “old school” measurement left today, and, already, this has “broken down” as new media channels carry the message to all corners of the earth.

But, take heart: there is still one place that the celebrity endorsement has remained a powerful platform:  The Red Carpet. Billed as the “superbowl” for  fashionistas, this is now a well established spectator sport. During ACADEMY AWARDS season, many of the filmgoing audiences are less interested in the films and more interested in the fashions. The actresses are now paid or “unpaid” endorsers for the clothes that they wear so its a unique way for brands to be associated with not only the beauty and elegance of a performer but the “brand” of their own work in film or television which also becomes part of the mix.  Its been a successful partnership between fashion, beauty and fame for over a decade, and shows no signs of stopping.  Many a career has been revived, died or gone to heaven on the carpet which has become serious business. Back in the day, Edith Head was the true “Red Carpet” designer, by making her gown for Grace Kelley when she won her Academy Award. This is now, a rare occurrence as now the Couture Designer, has become a critical “it” factor in an Actresses media legacy.  The interesting mix between an actor, a product and a project has created some unique synergies in the advertising world.  When you combine that with the diverse media strategies and channels that are available for luxury products, its a whole new game.  Let the games, begin.