How To: Book and Leverage Celebrity Endorsements

In today’s ad-saturated world, getting your product, or service, to stand out amongst the proliferation of advertising is increasingly difficult.

In today’s ad-saturated world, getting your product, or service, to stand out amongst the proliferation of advertising communications is increasingly difficult. However, there are many strategies that can be used to give your advertising the added ‘oomph’ needed to attract customers. This article outlines the aspects of one such strategy: the use of celebrity endorsements.


Why Brands Should Consider Celebrity Endorsements

Brands have long been using celebrity endorsements. The advantages of leveraging celebrities for branding efforts include, but are not limited to:


  • Reach Your Customers’ Subconscious

    People’s fascination with “celebrity” is forged on a personal basis. When people watch a movie with their favorite actor in it, or listen to a song by their favorite musician, it makes them feel connected to that artist on a personal level. Seeing that person on film, stage, or on an album cover gives the viewer a feeling of familiarity, and the same goes if they see them in an advertisement. Ads featuring celebrities are thus more likely to reach the consumer on a subconscious level – and, nine times out of 10, they trust the endorsement because of their familiarity with the personality.

  • Refresh Your Brand Personality

    If wisely selected, a celebrity endorsement can also add extra character to your brand, service, or product. You can achieve this by infusing the celebrity’s personality into your brand. So, for a fitness product, a celebrity renowned for their healthy lifestyle – say, Usain Bolt or David Beckham, would be an enviable choice, or for a luxury hotel, a celebrity known for their lavish lifestyle: Jennifer Lopez, for instance, and so on and so forth.

  • Associate Your Brand with Success

    People often feel that celebrities are role models and admire their work and achievements – essentially, many people want to be the celebrities they adore. With a celebrity endorsement, you offer people a chance to sample their success by proxy – and this taps into a major element of consumer psychology.

  • Build Awareness

    According to Supermarket News, celebrity endorsements are the most potent form of advertising for building brand awareness (i.e., the number of people who recognize your brand). This is further proof that a recognizable face can instantly attract attention and indirectly impact sales.


How to Land Celebrity Endorsements


  1. Create a short list of celebs.

    Decide which celebrity would be the best fit for your product. To illustrate, you would probably want to hire someone like Demi Lovato for a trendy product and perhaps, someone like Phil Mickelson for golf clubs. Meanwhile, don’t overlook local celebrities in various markets or industries, if your budget doesn’t allow you to engage national and international celebs.

  2. Contact their representative.

    Most celebrities have an agent or manager who handles their business. You can utilize celebrities contact databases like Booking Agent Info that will give you access to the contact information for a bevy of celebrities, celebrity representatives, and entertainment companies. With these powerful resources, you can quickly find the star that appeals to your target market.

  3. Use a celebrity endorsement agency.

    For people who want more guidance, there are many middle-man agencies available that will guide you through the process, and do most of the work for you. They will assist you in everything from finding the right celebrity to actually negotiating the deal. For example, The Kluger Agency brokered a deal with Plenty of Fish in 2010 that allowed the website to be featured in Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s “Telephone” video leading to a 20 percent increase in traffic.

  4. Send a written request.

    Send a written email to the celebrity’s agent asking for their endorsement. Make sure you include background information for your company, how you plan to implement their services and why you believe they would be the best fit. Include any relevant items to help your cause such as press releases, milestones and marketability. According to Douglas J. Wood of the Reed Smith agency,”All offers should be in writing. Never make an unconditional offer. Make the offer contingent upon the negotiation and execution of a full written agreement.”

  5. Make your proposal all about the celebrity.

    Let them know exactly how their endorsement would benefit them. Include statistics on additional publicity and exposure. As Wood explains, “A high priced celebrity has a busy schedule. Their first priority is generally their acting or performing career. Advertising endorsements come in a distant second and are almost always subject to the celebrity’s commitments in their primary entertainment field.”

  6. Follow up.

    In-demand celebrities are extremely busy, they are getting pulled from all sides. So, if at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again. It may be that they just have not had the time to read your message. Make your follow up call polite and concise. “Negotiations with celebrities take time, often weeks or months depending upon the complexity of the deal. On occasion, negotiations may not be completed when production must begin,” says Wood. “Proceeding to production without a signed agreement is very risky, but not uncommon. In such instances, it is advisable to either sit behind closed doors until a deal is signed or, at a minimum, execute a short form agreement that insures that the advertiser will be able to use the materials produced even if a full agreement is not completed.”

Advertisements featuring familiar faces are guaranteed to stand out from a crowd of others that don’t, especially if they are well-constructed and of high quality. If your small business has the resources to make it work, on a local or national level, a celebrity endorsement is absolutely an excellent boost to your business and brand.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Billy Bones is the founder of BBE Booking Agency, a music booking agency that provides entertainment for corporate and college events. Connect with @bonestx on Twitter.


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