Very Important People: The Relationship Between Celebrities, Influencers and Brands

Posted on: August 21st, 2014


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ce – leb- ri- ty



a famous person.

synonyms: VIP, very important person, personality, name, big name, face, star


It’s often the first thing mentioned at the boardroom table of a mega bucks campaign discussion and for some, seemingly the answer to every brand’s prayers. But celebrity endorsements/talent ambassadors, call them what you will, are still a hotly-contested topic in our industry. The contest ultimately being: getting ‘bang for your brand’s buck’; investment vs reach; consumer influence and of course, relevance.


On that note, it’s imperative to recognise and address that the term and necessity of ‘celebrity endorsements’ have been left in the traditional marketing dark ages, with the likes of direct mail and MySpace.


As our industry continues to evolve thanks to the World Wide Web and our best buddy social media, so must our perceptions around how we engage consumers and tell effective and authentic brand stories. The answer? Effective brand partnerships.


Brands that are winning in this game are those targeting and engaging individuals in an authentic, strategic brand partnership, to help deliver the brand message straight to the consumer.


Enter the influencer.


Influencers are often experts or personalities in their field with a more specific (digital) reach but deeper impact. They have the sole capacity and power to be a compelling force on the actions, behaviours, and opinions of others, which directly correlates to the masses of data that suggests that consumers primarily trust their (online) networks for purchasing influence, more than a celebrity face. Sorry ScarJo.


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That being said, there’s still a role in our industry for both celebrity ambassadors and influencer partnerships for the foreseeable future and your choosing will ultimately depend on your campaign, brand or product.


BUT, if you were still unsure on whether the next X Factor champion should be promoting your new bowel movement tablets, here’s Stellar’s round up of the industry’s celebrity endorsement winners and fails:




Proving he’s still got the goods, Jean-Claude Van Damme won gold in Volvo’s Epic Splits TVC


Hip hop mogul and entrepreneur Jay-Z exudes cool in HP’s The Computer Is Personal Again campaign.


And proving that if your number one target isn’t playing ball, you could always ask their little brother, just like Virgin Mobile Australia’s ‘Fair Go Bro’ campaign: featuring Doug Pitt.




The ‘it should have been viewing genius but wasn’t’ award goes to Brad Pitt in CHANEL NO 5’s There You Are TVC


Confusing Australian’s nationally was PETA Activist’s (and apparent cricket enthusiasts) Madden Brothers for KFC’s Good Times campaign


And lastly, demonstrating that ‘sex doesn’t always necessarily sell’ is Soda Stream’s Set The Bubbles Free TVC


Do you have any #WINNING or #FAIL campaigns that have stuck with you? We’d love to hear them!


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By Lauren Emmett

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