In today's digital age, influencer marketing and celebrity endorsements have become a powerful tool for brands to reach their target audience and drive sales. With the rise of social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, influencers and celebrities have gained a massive following, and brands are taking notice.
We've explored the benefits of using influencers and celebrities in marketing and how it can help brands build brand awareness, increase sales, and reach new audiences. We’ve collated some of our favourite moments where celebrities and influencers have promoted a product, whether it’s their own or another brand.
In 2022, a clip of Kendall Jenner cutting a cucumber backwards was featured on an episode of The Kardashians. Due to the unique cutting techniques, the clip went viral on social media. The video was widely shared and sparked speculation that it was part of a clever marketing campaign designed to promote Kendall's tequila brand as she was wearing an 818 hoodie during the clip.
While it's impossible to know whether the video was a deliberate marketing ploy or simply a candid moment captured on camera, several factors suggest it may have been part of a strategic marketing campaign. For one, the hoodie Jenner was wearing prominently featured the logo of her tequila brand, which could be seen as a subtle form of product placement.
If the video were part of a marketing campaign, it would represent a savvy use of social media influencers to promote the brand. By featuring a high-profile celebrity like Kendall Jenner doing something both controversial and entertaining, the brand has tapped into her large fan base and the individuals sharing the video to criticise her.
By strategically using social media to showcase their products and lifestyle, the Kardashians have been able to turn their family name into a powerful brand that resonates with consumers around the world and, in hand, supports their individual business ventures.
In the early 2000s, Starbucks made a strategic decision to market its coffee cups as a fashion statement, and it did so by enlisting the help of high-profile celebrities. The company paid celebrities like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan to carry their Starbucks cups around in public, effectively turning the cups into a status symbol.
Their influencer marketing strategy effectively created buzz around the Starbucks brand and increased its visibility among younger consumers. By associating its products with popular celebrities, Starbucks was able to tap into the aspirational desires of its target audience and position itself as a trendy brand.
The campaign also helped to establish Starbucks as a lifestyle brand rather than simply a producer of coffee. By creating a sense of exclusivity around its cups, Starbucks was able to differentiate itself from other coffee shops and cultivate a loyal following among consumers who valued the status and prestige associated with the brand.
While the celebrity endorsement strategy was controversial and drew criticism from some quarters, it ultimately increased Starbucks' sales and brand awareness. Today, Starbucks continues to leverage its brand power and cultural cachet to create innovative marketing campaigns that resonate with consumers and set it apart from its competitors.
During the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show, Rihanna made headlines not just for her performance but also for a quick moment where she was seen touching up her makeup using her own brand, Fenty Beauty. When the singer blotted her face using Fenty Beauty’s Invisimatte Blotting Powder, Google searches for Fenty Beauty increased 883% (Forbes, 2023).
As soon as the clip of Rihanna using Fenty Beauty products went viral, fans of the singer and beauty enthusiasts alike rushed to buy the products she used. This resulted in a significant increase in sales for Fenty Beauty. Rihanna's use of her own products during such a highly publicised event served as a powerful endorsement for Fenty Beauty. It showed that not only does the brand have the seal of approval from the singer herself, but it also demonstrated the quality and effectiveness of the products.
Rihanna's brief makeup touch-up during the Super Bowl halftime show was more than just a quick moment caught on camera. It served as a powerful endorsement for Fenty Beauty. It also had a significant impact on sales, showing the power of celebrity endorsements in driving consumer behaviour, and the influence of viral moments in sparking consumer interest.
It's important to note that celebrities can also hurt brands if their actions or behaviours conflict with the brand's values or reputation. In 2010, the reality TV show Jersey Shore was popular, and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi was a key cast member, with her popularity skyrocketing but often for the wrong reasons. Snooki's fashion sense and actions were often referred to as 'trashy' by the public, so when she bought her first Louis Vuitton handbag and began wearing it while being photographed acting unsociable, the LV brand was taking a hit.
Shortly after this, Snooki was sent multiple Gucci bags and began wearing these daily. It is rumoured that this was a tactical stunt initiated by Louis Vuitton to stop the celebrity from wearing their brand and instead damage their competitor's reputation.
A celebrity wearing or using a particular brand, can create a sense of desirability and social status associated with that brand. This can increase brand recognition and promote sales among consumers who want to emulate the lifestyle or image of the celebrity. Equally, celebrity endorsement of a brand can also work adversely, as it did in this situation.
Overall, the impact of celebrity endorsements on brand perception can vary widely depending on factors like the celebrity's reputation, the authenticity of the endorsement, and the brand's overall marketing strategy. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that celebrities can play a powerful role in shaping public perceptions of brands, for better or worse.
Creative Pod and Bagelman
Creative Pod, recently worked with Bagelman on the launch of their new store in Brighton. As part of our strategy to generate brand awareness, we utilised influencer marketing by partnering with a range of social media influencers. Bella Hill, with her significant following on TikTok and Instagram, was one of the influencers who attended the event. By having a range of influencers attend and promote the event on their social platforms, we were able to reach a wider audience and generate buzz around the launch.
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If you're looking to take your marketing strategy to the next level, including utilising influencer marketing, don't hesitate to get in touch! Let us help you reach a wider audience and achieve greater success with your marketing efforts.