Duck Dynasty: The Dangers of Tying Your Brand to Celebrities
So, before you decide to partner with a celebrity, be they musician, actor, reality show star or athlete, it's a good idea to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. And if you're pitching a celebrity tie-in for a promotional products campaign to one of your clients, it's good to have these conversations, both internally as well as with your clients, right up front.
The Benefits of Hiring Celebrity Endorsers
It is no surprise why brands hire celebrity endorsers. Celebrities can enhance brand equity and increase recognition for a product. For one, your brand gets to dip into the celebrity's network and fan base. If the star is known internationally, then your product gets valuable worldwide exposure. Celebrities can also help build brand credibility with their fans. People are more likely to try a product if they see their favorite celebrity using it.
With the Duck Dynasty franchise, apparently both male and female viewers of all ages are able to relate to the cast and characters. Even those who don't identify with the lifestyle still find the show funny and this overall broad appeal has translated to significant product sales.
The Risks of Celebrity Endorsement
Consumers have grown smarter and not easily wooed by celebrity endorsements. The question most often asked is 'does the celebrity really use the product they endorse?' (For instance, my wife is pretty sure that Sarah Jessica Parker does not use the Garnier products she endorses for her own personal hair color. Who am I to argue?) Choosing someone who is trustworthy—read that "believable"—is key in the selection process. Cost is also a factor you need to take into consideration, as celebrity endorsements are typically not inexpensive. You need to know the projected revenue will pay for the cost of your campaign and/or promotional products initiative.
Jeff is executive director of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). Prior to that, he was responsible for developing safe and compliant brand merchandise for Michelin. He has worked with brands in publishing, consumer products, broadcasting and film for over 30 years. Follow Jeff on Twitter, and QCA on Facebook.