Celebrity endorsement- how do you find the perfect match for your brand?

25 Feb

brad-chanelAfter reading an article about celebrity endorsers on the PR Week blog, I started looking at different celebrity endorsers and wondering why they have been chosen by the brand. Some are a perfect fit for the brand, and others seems like an odd match. However, how do companies make sure they choose the right person?

There are some great risks in harming the brand by choosing wrong celebrity endorsers, as for example a cheating athlete or a hard-partying star. High-profile companies as Nike, Burberry and Nivea have learned this the hard way. They have been forced to drop their endorsers as Tiger Woods, Kate Moss and Rihanna because of their behaviours and personal escapades.

Moreover, non-paid endorsers can also harm brands’ reputation. The American brand Abercrombie and Fitch took preventive measures when a member of The Jersey Shore cast wore their clothes under the filming of the series. The brand did not want to be associated with the series, and they took action and ensured that the cast member was not allowed to wear their clothes.

So how do a company choose the right celebrity endorser?

1. Start by matching your brand’s story with the persons you are considering- do they have values that your brand can highlight?

2. Use the similarities between the brand and the chosen person, and pitch these factors to the talent. Celebrities are looking for strong strategic fits that can bring them opportunities both personally and professionally.

3. Create a narrative for the partnership that includes your story and the story of the talent. Try to make a narrative together of what you can do together for the audience.

Good and bad examples

There are both good and bad examples of celebrity endorsers that have been chosen over the last years. Some of the most bizarre might have been:


Eva Longoria for Sheba cat food

The Desperate Housewife star signed a deal to promote Sheba cat food internationally earlier this year, and she does not even own a cat! However, the surprising collaboration came about because Eva is apparently a ‘passionate cat lover’.

Brad Pitt for Chanel no. 5

Brad Pitt signed a deal to become the new face of Chanel’s iconic perfume Chanel no. 5  in 2012. The strategic reason for the chosen endorsement is still quite confusing, and when Pitt was asked why he did it he answered: “”I kind of liked it… I respect what they do,” he said of the fashion house. “They do some really quality things”. Despite this rather weak explanation, the campaign has certainly  brought attention and a breath of fresh air to the brand!

Furthermore, here are some of the best celebrity endorsements over the last years:

Simpson helmet 2009(1)

Red Bull’s wide range of celebrity endorsers

Red Bull sponsors a range of different celebrities in different sectors as extreme sports athletes and musicians. They sponsor celebrities like Eminem, Shaun White, Felix Baumgartner and Kelly Slater in their campaigns, in an effort to reach their target market of young males



Justin Bieber for ProActiv

Justin Bieber is one if the biggest teen idols in the world. Teens are also the target group of ProActiv’s acne removing products, which makes this a match made in heaven. The millions of fans who beg their parents to take them to Justin Bieber concerts will most likely also beg them to buy the products that he endorses.

Which celebrity endorsers do you think are the best and the worst when it comes to reflecting the chosen brand’s values?






Images in courtesy of: JustJared 2010, PopSop 2012


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