In a society fueled by social media readily available at the world’s lightning-fast fingertips, everyone’s connected.
Trust in major media sources has hit an all-time record low; in fact, brands are now among the most trusted sources of information.
Genuine connections are essential, and celebrity endorsements on social media have proven a great way for brands to make those connections.
People want to see a face, a personality, something they can relate to. In this post, you can check out 10 examples of this marketing tactic in action. But first, how does celebrity endorsement work?
Why Celebrity Endorsement Matters
If you’re a brand with the times, you’re using celebrity endorsement to promote your business.
I’m not joking — 75% of marketers use influencers as a marketing tool, and 43% plan to increase spending on this form of advertising.
Marketing has moved beyond commercials. While still popular, social media platforms are on the rise as the top way to promote your business.
YouTube videos and celebrity promotions on platforms like Twitter and Instagram have had massive impacts on promoted items.
Celebrities and brands who team up both stand to see huge wins.
What Makes a Celebrity Endorsement Work?
The rules for making an endorsement work are pretty simple: choose a partnership that makes sense and be sure to never insult the product that’s being endorsed.
While this may seem simple, not everyone has been able to follow along.
When Lebron James partnered with Samsung in 2014 to promote the new Samsung Galaxy Note III, for example, a not-so thought-through tweet made things go downhill.
Lebron complained about his new phone erasing and restarting itself.
Still, when celebrity endorsements work, they work well.
To learn about some of the most successful campaigns companies have launched with celebrities, keep reading below.
1. Travis Scott & McDonald’s
When McDonald’s teamed up with American rapper Travis Scott in September of 2020, they had no idea what they were in for. The meal they came up with, called “The Travis Scott,” was so popular it managed to created supply shortages wherever it was released.
That doesn’t mean it was a bad idea. Not only did the meal become one of the chain’s bestselling menu items, but Travis Scott saw a chance to gain, as well.
Forbes estimated that he earned approximately $20 million combined through endorsement and product sales. That’s not a bad number.
The Travis Scott was the first time McDonald’s had attached a celebrity’s name to one of their products.
I’d say it was a good idea, wouldn’t you?
2. Amy Schumer & Tampax
Stand-up comedian and actor Amy Schumer had a mission when she joined forces with Tampax in July 2020. Together, they would educate others on an important, if slightly socially taboo topic: periods.
The tampon brand released a series of YouTube videos featuring Amy Schumer talking about personal health and hygiene. Known for her blunt humor, these videos are no different.
At the same time, they manage to come across as heartfelt with a personal message.
“No Shame In Our Tampax Game,” along with many others, got across a critical point: There’s no reason to be ashamed of a normal bodily function.
The campaign saw great success as it went viral across social media. Who knew education on a touchy topic could be so entertaining?
3. Snoop Dogg & Corona
When famous rapper Snoop Dogg paired with Corona in August of 2020, it was go big or go home.
An ad starring Snoop Dogg, also featuring Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, was shown during the Golden Globes. Before the eyes of those tuning in from across the nation, the rapper remained iconic with killer costumes and a fashionably strange shell phone.
Snoop Dogg did go big with this endorsement. He earned a neat $10 million for the deal, not too shabby for one commercial.
A talented musician who has gone by many names, Snoop Dogg absolutely made even more of a name for both himself and Corona with this one.
4. Ryan Reynolds & Mint Mobile
Renowned actor and film producer Ryan Reynolds made the news when he and Mint Mobile became involved. He started by partnering with Mint Mobile and later went on in November of 2019 to buy the entire company.
Yes, Ryan Reynolds now owns Mint Mobile. The celebrity has fully embraced endorsing the company, saying on the company’s official website,
“While every other tech titan is off chasing rockets, I’ll corner the budget-friendly wireless sector. Like most people, I only use rockets 10-12 times a year but I use my mobile service every day.”
So, how’s that going?
Pretty well. Mint Mobile, a four-year-old company, has seen tremendous growth in the past three years: their revenue has been boosted by 50,000%.
5. Jon Lovitz & Playology
Here, we’ve gotten to the most adorable entry on this list. Although it may be rare for pet companies to pair up with celebrities, Jon Lovitz and Playology did it fantastically.
Playology makes toys for senior dogs, and actor Jon Lovitz is most known for his time on Saturday Night Live.
Working together, the two in September of 2020 managed a winning combination of hilarity and cuteness that won over audiences’ hearts.
It’s the internet, we all know that dogs and humor go hand in hand – Jon Lovitz & Playology showed the great advantage of that.
6. Shaquille O’Neal & Papa John’s
Shaquille O’Neal has done it all. A prior pro basketball player, rapper, and sports analyst on the TNT television show Inside the NBA, he certainly has a full portfolio.
Now that portfolio includes pizza. In June of 2020, Shaquille O’Neal partnered with pizza chain Papa John’s to create a specialty pizza – The Shaq-a-Roni pizza that O’Neal pitched himself.
The custom pizza was a huge hit, selling over 3 million units and raising 3 million dollars for charities within two months over the summer. The Shaq-a-Roni pizza supplied many an at-home pizza party.
It doesn’t end there, either. Following close to Ryan Reynold’s footsteps, Shaquille O’Neal wanted to get himself involved with the business as well. As of now, he is a board member of Papa John’s. A sportsman and a businessman.
7. Chrissy Teigen & Blue Apron
Not only known for her modeling and television presence but also her hilarious tweets, Chrissy Teigen decided she wanted to expand her horizons further.
She wrote a cookbook and, just before its release, used a successful Blue Apron endorsement to promote it.
A home delivery meal-kit service with the unique option of adding a wine pairing, Blue Apron relied on the in-touch humor of Chrissy Teigen for their celebrity branding.
Teigen’s own hand-crafted recipes were featured for a period of time in June 2018. It wasn’t hard for her to get the word out, as the model was already famous for posting beautiful pictures of her food frequently on Instagram.
8. Patrick Stewart and Mark Hamill & Uber Eats
It was a rival between stars as they traveled throughout the stars.
Patrick Stewart, famous for his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the sci-fi series Star Trek, went neck-in-neck with Star Wars actor Mark Hamill in September of 2020. Who created the campaign? It was an already trending company that saw a legendary rise in 2020: Uber Eats.
In this cross-over commercial that pitted two battlers against each other in the stars, the fight wasn’t about what you think.
No, they fought over the proper way to say “tomato.”
And it was a hit: critics raved at the tongue-in-cheek humor. The real lesson here? There’s mighty power in laughter.
9. Naomi Osaka & Beats by Dre
We’ve talked about actors, musicians, and models. However, they’re not the only kind of celebrity who can harness the heft of celebrity endorsement. Tennis player Naomi Osaka gave herself not just a powerful brand image but also a platform.
For the second time in November 2020, trend-setting headphone company Beats by Dre endorsed sports player and political activist Naomi Osaka. The results were a riveting commercial with a powerful message.
Osaka isn’t new to using her celebrity to speak about important issues. She’s done it many a time before, including raising her voice to talk about Black Lives Matter.
The commercial for Beats by Dre has one simple yet far-reaching message.
“Silence is Violence.”
10. Eva Longoria & L’Oreal
Here’s another company that used YouTube to endorse their brand with a significant effect. In May of 2020, haircare brand L’Oreal teamed with soap opera actor and producer Eva Longoria.
Similar to Tampax, the two came up with a series of useful how-to YouTube videos to promote the brand while also receiving help from McCann Paris.
With long luxurious hair, Eva Longoria was a perfect fit for the endorsement.
Here’s yet another example of an ad that’s not quite an ad yielding excellent results.
Everything is changing, including the way people buy products. Modern consumers are looking for a personal recommendation from someone they could view as a friend, not just from anyone.
And who doesn’t want to be friends with their favorite celebrity?
Marketers are looking more and more towards celebrity-endorsed products to increase their brand. As social media’s influence extends its ever-reaching arms, if you want to sell a product, put a face to it. Preferably a likable face.
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