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Cult of celebrity: Do you really need a celebrity spokesperson or spokesmodel to promote your business

By Lisa Goldsberry

When celebrities talk, people – and the media – listen. This may be why many companies desire to have celebrity spokespersons or models as the faces of their brands. If this is something you are thinking about for your company, there is important information you should know, because making the wrong choice can be costly.

Why it may be beneficial for your company to have a celebrity spokesperson

The people we see on television and in movies are considered beautiful, sexy and desirable, so it’s no wonder that companies hire them to be associated with their products. They are hoping that the public will associate the attributes of the celebrity with what they are selling.

Most people want to be better looking, have more money or experience more excitement in their lives. Popular celebrities appear to have all these things and, although we cannot live like the stars, we want to believe that by using the same products they do, we are a bit closer to being more like them.

If a company wants people to buy its product, it first has to make people aware of what it’s selling. Consumers will purchase a product that they feel is familiar or memorable.

Another benefit of having a celebrity spokesperson is that it will most likely get your product noticed more than using someone unknown. When people see familiar faces, they are apt to slow down and pay attention to what their favorite stars have to say or how they look in the advertisements. This can be a shrewd tactic when you want to introduce a new product or appeal to a specific group.

Even non-profit organizations and charities use star power to bring attention to their causes: Groups such as the Red Cross and Special Olympics feature famous faces to help increase both awareness and donations.

Is there really a difference between a celebrity spokesperson and a spokesmodel?

A celebrity spokesperson tends to be a professional athlete or Hollywood actor who endorses a product or service. You might have seen Julia Roberts in ads for Lancome or David Beckham in those ubiquitous Jockey underwear commercials.

There are also advertisements that use only the voices of celebrity spokespersons, meaning you never see their faces in the commercials. While this technique has been used and gone fairly unnoticed for decades, it has now become more visible as people use the Internet to quickly solve the mystery when they hear a voice that they cannot immediately place. Among some of the more recent examples:

  • Tim Allen for Chevrolet and Campbell’s Soup

  • Juliana Margulies for Pampers

  • Jeff Bridges for Duracell

The term “spokesmodel” is usually used to refer to a model who also serves as the face of a brand. Spokesmodels are typically seen in advertisements for products such as cosmetics and apparel. Current examples include:

  • Miranda Kerr for Victoria’s Secret and Reebok

  • Gisele Bundchen for Pantene

In addition, the expression is also used to describe the lesser-known models who promote products at tradeshows and events.

How do you know if a celebrity spokesperson is right for your company?

There are many factors to consider when deciding if you should hire a celebrity spokesperson for marketing and promotion. You must carefully examine issues such as budget, whether you can find the right celebrity to represent your company and exactly what you will be getting for your money.

Axia Public Relations understands the importance of strategic management and making the most of your promotion and publicity dollars. We will work with you to establish the best methods for increasing recognition of and awareness for your company.

– Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter at @axiapr.

photo credit: discutivo via photopin cc

Topics: public relations

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