Celebrities have for years acted as key traffic drawers and created the” pull factor” for many brands. From fashion icons, sports stars to musicians, big business has made full use of the power of fame. As an example, Tiger woods earns hundreds of millions from his contracts with Nike, Gillette and Accenture. Similar statements can be made about Kate Moss, Beyonce, Fifty Cent ( real name Curtis James Jackson III), Cheryl Cole and many others.
Much recently though the shift from featuring streamline personalities appears to be shifting into newer territory.
Red bull appears to have commissioned a Dancehall Reggae artist, Beenie Man (real name Anthony Moses Davis) to write a song glorifying their drink. The song topped the Dancehall charts in Jamaica. Red Bull is no stranger to celebrity endorsements and recently partnered with New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush to front their campaigns. Earlier, Clarks (C & J Clarks International), the British shoe Manufacturer and retailer saw their sales soar in Jamaica when another Dancehall artist, Vybz Kartel (real name Adijah Palmer) wrote a song hailing his favorite shoes. This song also grabbed the number 1 spot, although the guardian reported here that Kartel wasn’t paid a penny for this(???), including that counterfeits infiltrated the shoes market as a result.
All in all, there is probably no greater brand attractant or purchase motivator than an endorsement from an actor or famous musician, such that millions of dollars are spent every year on engaging celebrity ambassadors.
Personalities do certainly play a significant role in branded content similar to the role they play in content in general, and bigger names have a potential to attract bigger audiences. However, while celebrities may act as a key traffic drawer and create the pull factor at the initial stage, if the content of the advert itself is not good, it’s not going to be sustainable, and in some cases, it may work to the detriment of the brand. In addition, it is important to carefully consider the risk associated with celebrities because historically, there have been many examples of celebrities getting involved in non-desirable or controversial behaviour, and this could affect the brand since consumers may by this time have developed a close association with the brand through this particular celebrity?
This could be the case with Beenie Man, who in the past has been associated with homophobic lyrics.