Book Club - Celebrity Marketing

February’s book of the month is No BS Trust Based Marketing by Matt Zagula and Dan Kennedy.

One of the items we highlighted from the book was a comparison between the accountant down the street and Suze Ormon. If you’re not familiar with Suze Ormon, she is known for making personal finance easy, accessible, popular, and even fun,  particularly to her primary audience of women.

Is she the best accountant in the world? The smartest? The one who has accomplished amazing feats of accounting wizardry?  No, but she has written several books and made many TV and radio appearances.  She’s a household name, because she has a knack for explaining complex concepts simply, has made herself available to the media, and is always ready with a short, quotable explanation or great infographic.

What is it about celebrities and marketing?

Many of the members of our Marketing Mastermind groups hire celebrity marketing spokespeople.

They do this because it works.

We’ve seen this done in aviation as well – Breitling has featured famous pilots like John Travolta and Brad Pitt.

NBAA has featured famous pilots and aviation patrons like Arnold Palmer and Warren Buffett prominently in its “No Plane No Gain” advocacy efforts.

Tanis Aircraft Products is endorsed by airshow pilot Michael Wiskus.

All of these endorsements can be very effective – after all, you may figure, if a Tanis preheat system is good enough for Michael Wiskus, who needs superior performance and travels all over the place, it’s probably good enough for me!

In the words of our friend Shawn Buck

1. Celebrities stand out. The average consumer sees more than 3,000 ads per day. Of those 3,000 ads, our subconscious absorbs less than 200…and roughly 30 actually make it into our conscious mind. A celebrity endorsement not only enables the ad to stand out among the rest (people are more likely to pay attention to a celeb than they are a randomized spokesperson—no matter how model-esque), but it drastically increases the likelihood of the brand reaching the conscious mind of the consumer.

2. Celebrities have the power to make people believe that their product contributed to their celebrity status. According to Aveeno, Jennifer Aniston’s flawless face is all thanks to their line of natural lotions—and has nothing to do with the team of beauticians she’s been employing since her super-star debut in 1994. Even better, Mobile One’s use of NASCAR driver Tony Stewart inspires the idea that Motor One oil contributes to his car’s performance—and, of course, his success.

3. Celebrities can spur memories. And not just with their faces. Anytime you hear Dennis Haysbert’s deep, booming voice, you likely associate him with Allstate—even when he’s in the midst of trying to stop the latest terrorist attack on the hit TV show, 24. And let’s be honest, every time you see Hallie Eisenberg in Bicentennial Man, don’t you want to reach for a Pepsi? Celebrities not only increase the likelihood of prospective clients remembering the brand name, but those ads will probably come to mind the next time they see that celeb on the big screen.


But there are downsides to hitching your brand to a celebrity.

The first downside people think about is cost.   Recognizable spokespeople tend not to donate their time, unless it’s for a nonprofit or other situation that enhances their own status.   Unless we have a very swanky, high-end consumer product, this is not likely to be their motive. So the more well-known and respected your chosen celebrity, the more money they will expect.

The second, and more important downside, is that celebrities, like the rest of us, are human.  They make different decisions. They fall in and out of favor. Their careers have ups and downs. And they get themselves involved in inconvenient scandals.  And your brand will be dragged through whatever ups and downs their career may have, long term.

Better strategy – be your own celebrity!

Nobody can advocate for your brand, your product and your company as passionately and articulately as you can.  So, why not give yourself the advantages that other celebrities do?  In our last webinar, we discussed the process by which an ordinary person can become well-known and respected in their specific niche – essentially becoming a “very big fish  in a very small pond.” Personal Branding is not just for the rich & famous!

Some of the basics:

  • Use the respected podiums and platforms that exist in your niche. There are specific trade shows, magazines, blogs, podcasts, and forums where “everybody” in your niche spends their time to get industry-related information.
  • Create materials that appeal to this constituency.  Webinars, videos, infographics, photos, ads, social media conversations, articles, whatever is the most effective with your audience and most in-line with your own preferences and capabilities.
  • Lose the self-consciousness. If you’ve lived a low-profile life, you may feel weird about “putting yourself out there” with your thoughts, opinions, and imperfect face, voice or writing style. Understand that you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you stop focusing on how much you can’t stand your own voice and focus on how much you love your subject matter and how much you love helping people solve their problems by using your solutions, you’ll do fine!
  • Get a publicist. Every celebrity (or celebrity salesperson) has an entourage of people whose job it is to show up prepared for every event, briefed, looking great, and armed with the perfect collateral.  Most celebrities do very little of their own writing and research on the causes they advocate.  Speaking gigs, podcast guest appearances, articles, and press releases can all elevate the perception of their authority, credibility and expertise.  Publicists and marketing consultants manage the heavy lifting of identifying opportunities, submitting proposals, and doing the research and writing involved to  leverage their time. Why not give yourself the same advantage?

How to Get Started

LinkedIn is a great place to start.   LinkedIn was noted as the “most respected” social media by a majority of the respondents to our annual Social Media Survey of Aviation Professionals.

Looking better on Linkedin costs nothing but some time, and can really help you be found by, and seen as, a thought leader in the industry.


0/5 (0 Reviews)