Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
21 July 2010
Celebrity as your brand: It can be a trap
Today’s item about the drop of Madison Square Garden stock caught my eye, not only because I chuckled at the speculative trading (LeBron’s coming to the Big Apple!). It also reminded me of a brand trap many fall into during these celebrity-drenched times: Hanging your brand on the shoulders of one celebrity.
We have, of course, seen this backfire recently with brands that tied themselves closely with Tiger Woods, which caused companies such as Accenture to scramble for a new campaign.
“It’s speculative brand management, and it’s something you want to be careful about.”
Having a celebrity spokesperson to lead your way as its advantages but potential pitfalls. The advantage is that celebrities often have instant brand meaning and your brand can trade on that equity without having to actually build it. (Think of the easy-going charm of James Garner and Mariette Hartley from the Polaroid commercials from the early 80s.)
In recent years, athletes have become the primary endorsers of products because they represent “winning,” a brand face that Nike was particularly adept at using.
In those cases, many of the athletes just blend into each other as you would have to bring your own sports knowledge to distinguish the players or hope they have their own distinct personality, such as Peyton Manning. In the cases of those who are extremely high profile (Tiger, Lance Armstrong, Michael Phelps, etc.), then your brand is entirely wrapped in the individual person. If that person does not hold up their end of the deal, off the field as it were, then your brand has some serious backtracking to do.
It’s speculative brand management, and it’s something you want to be careful about. The more effective and long-lasting way is to find the highest emotional intensity in the market and build on that, instead of trying to find the quick fix.
ESPN+ Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 23 January 2019 UFC sets the future of ESPN+ UFC fans are ushering in the future of streaming television, and ESPN+ is reaping the rewards. The streaming app collected more than a half million new subscribers after...
Great British Bake Off Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 22 January 2019 Turn off Hell’s Kitchen, tune into The Great British Bake Off For years, my wife and I dawdled with lackluster cooking shows. Gordon Ramsey, whose brand now reeks of cliche, leads a litany...
Chevy ads Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 21 January 2019 Toyota calls BS on Chevy ads Ha ha ha. It’s about time someone (other than me) called bullshit on the Chevy ads that are insipid at worst, outright deceiving at best.You know the series of ads. The...