Knowing the ropes of celebrity partnerships can be an integral part of any marketing campaign, whether your organization is for- or non-profit. Take heed of these three entertainment marketing “need-to-knows” and you’re on your way to a successful and impactful celebrity partnership.
No. 1: Content is king
Carefully crafted celebrity partnerships help brands “tell their stories” from a credible third-party and highly influential perspective. More and more, a major part of this storytelling includes, and relies on, content – and lots of it. Engaging, creative content helps corporate and nonprofit brands differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace where people are increasingly looking for honest, transparent and “human” brands. To do this well, clients are tapping into relevant celebrities and entertainment partners to bring their stories to life.
When American Cancer Society celebrated its “Choose You” cause campaign in the spring of 2011, Cone Communications partnered the nonprofit with Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank to create the “Choose You” documentary, telling the powerful stories of three women on their journeys to put their personal health first. The full-length documentary was released nationally and promoted through social media channels.
No. 2: Celebrities and brands are social
Social media continues to be one of the most quickly evolving areas in public relations. Social platforms are no longer leveraged as “add on” tactics, but can be the foundation of some of the most successful campaigns. As social platforms continue to rise, so does the impact of celebrity voices.
During Fair Trade Awareness Month in October, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, a Cone client and the largest purchaser of fair trade coffee in 2010, sought to drive awareness of the impact of fair trade with an authentic and powerful campaign for its Green Mountain Coffee brand. Green Mountain Coffee harnessed the power of social media along with Michael Franti and Grace Potter – two up-and-coming music artists who deeply care about fair trade – to raise the volume on the issue. Both artists hosted exclusive live performances on Green Mountain Coffee’s Facebook page to educate consumers on how small choices – like the coffee we drink – can help drive big change.
No. 3: Celebrities can work to draw attention to important issues
Nonprofits have been using celebrities to generate awareness, support and funds for many years… and the strategy still works, if done well. Whether a nonprofit is launching a new platform, trying to raise money for new research or continuing to keep an important issue top of mind among people nationally or globally, the power of celebrities – and the many people they touch both on and offline – is invaluable. However, choosing the right celebrity, and making sure the celebrity is doing it for the right reasons, is a must.
American Kidney Fund, a Cone client, recently launched Pair Up by partnering with spokesperson Laila Ali who has a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure, both which put her at risk for kidney disease. She signed on to be a spokesperson because she has a passion for the cause, and with her personal connection, she was able to deliver campaign messages authentically.
-Cone Communications' Entertainment Marketing Group