• How celebrity endorsers can give you problems

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    When we see celebrities endorsing multiple products and brands, who do we blame? Is it overexposure or conflict of interest? Should we blame the brand or the celebrity endorser? Yes, some celebrities think they can endorse multiple brands in the same industry.

    Examples are Kris Aquino, Manny Paquiao and some current TV stars. The question, of course, is how can they generate integrity for a brand when they’ve diluted the message?

    What message is sent when a celebrity endorses milk and simultaneously encourages everybody to drink beer? Lots of it. We are left confused and many times duped with these brands. So why do brands retain the services of celebrities who promote their products as well as those of their competitors? Where is the intelligence in that?

    Launching any product is not easy, and it is even more difficult if it is a consumer product. How do we market it? A promise can be made for a product, but use and advantages are not enough. Surveys can promote preference or acceptance in the marketplace to generate integrity at launch. And then a celebrity endorser can piggy-back on the popularity of the celebrity to endorse the product. Great idea.

    But what happens if the celebrity runs afoul of public acceptance: a DUI, a few takes of a restricted substance, or questionable YouTube videos? Maybe even a misinterpreted Twitter statement. The human factor is volatile. Piggy-backing is a problem, but add competing product endorsements and it’s an even bigger problem. What to do?

    With crisis management, the rule is never to let the brand or product die no matter what. That being the case, maybe celebrity endorsement is not a good idea. Why use celebrities when you can opt for a strategy that is not volatile? Branding. Sure, we must be cost effective, but we have to face reality. Most marketing strategies will cost you a bundle if you wish to enter the seemingly impenetrable consumer industry with thousands of competing brands in the marketplace. And celebrities don’t come cheap.

    I recommend Superbranding. Merely keep the brand promise, generate integrity and celebrate the brand.

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