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Celebrities aren’t all that.

From the Silver Screen to TV ads, celebrities are in our faces all the time. But when it comes to advertising, the question is: Should brands be relying so heavily on the status of celebrities to drive their visibility and recognition?

For every perfume, clothing line, grooming product, new tech, cold drink or health snack that comes on to the market, there’s a celebrity attached. A bit exaggerated – but the point is that it’s commonplace for celebrities to endorse products and services these days. Off the top of my head I can name a few:

  • Ryan Reynolds and Alec Baldwin, BT Mobile.
  • Mo Farrah, Quorn Foods.
  • Harvey Keitel, Direct Line Insurance.
  • Kevin Bacon, EE Network.
  • Jennifer Aniston, Smart Water.
  • Ellie Goulding, Pantene.
  • Nicole Kidman, McCauley Culkin, Compare the Market.

But are celebrity endorsements effective?

From the vast majority of the research conducted, there’s a mixed bag of opinions. A good handful seem to think that celebrity endorsements are a huge waste of money, fraught with risk: While the rewards at first may seem appealing, if anything goes wrong and the celebrity finds themselves in hot water, it’s clearly not good – and can even be detrimental to business.

Look at Grand Slam tennis player, Maria Sharapova, and one of the most successful professional golfers the world has ever seen, Tiger Woods. Both were publicly humiliated for their actions respectively which saw many of their sponsorships fall away. Simply because it’s bad for business. 

The opposite applies too. Businesses have often found themselves to be the pariah for some reason or other and if a celebrity is associated with it, it can be just as damaging to their personal brand. Either way these things can end up in court, costing the parties involved huge amounts of money – probably more than the endorsement is worth.

As a society we tend to buy into celebrity endorsed products and services for many reasons. The biggest being that they make the products/services look fantastic, look trustworthy or are seemingly worth the money simply because so-and-so endorsed them. Secondary to that, which for some is actually a primary consideration, our social status if only for a little while is elevated and makes us feel good about ourselves. It’s capitalism wrapped up in shiny must-haves. Genius.

Choose longevity, not risk of sudden death

But that doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for a brand to do – not with all the possible risks involved: the inevitable celebrity scandal, opposing views, awkward moments, brands overshadowed by celebrities and more.

Wouldn’t it be better for you to spend your money finding out ways on how to make your brand stand out rather than throwing money at celebrities? Isn’t tapping into the endless knowledge and skills of experts who understand brands inside out a better idea?

They’ll set you apart from the competition by increasing your brand’s impact, attractiveness and more which will lead to long-term rewards. With absolutely no risk. Why?

Because you can bet they’ve done their job well.

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