Typically, brands engage a famous actor, musician or athlete to help sell insurance or tampons.
That was the case before.
Experts in partnering brands with celebrities and influencers claim this method is rapidly evolving. Company communicators publicly dedicated to a cause are beginning to connect themselves with corporations aligned with divisive politicians, climate change, Black Lives Matter marches, and an election year that grows more acrimonious the tweet.
“The tide is changing,” said Marc Ippolito of Burns Entertainment.
‘Republicans do too.’
Burns Entertainment, now in its 50th year, has worked with celebrities like Joe Montana for Hanes, Jamie Lee Curtis for Activia, and Brie Larson for Nissan. For fear of criticism, many firms avoided working with stars who took sides in cultural conflicts like gender inequity or financial disparities, said Ippolito. Brands are increasingly redefining this potential risk as an asset.
Consider the shift from Michael Jordan, who said in 1990 that “Republicans buy sneakers too,” to Colin Kaepernick, who said in 2018: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” Nike sponsored both men at the time.
In recent months, our clients have been more interested in celebrities who are transparent about their beliefs and actively involved in movements they support. A spokesperson for the brand said, “We were asked to discover talent which supports Black Lives Matter, social [and]criminal justice reform, women’s rights, and LGBTQ+ pride.”
And, as different polls and social media outcries reveal, modern customers want businesses to get involved in current concerns like sustainability and racism. Companies are choosing celebrity and influencer partners who share the same values as the company is critical.
A celebrity spokesperson’s position is instantly viewed as the brand’s viewpoint, says Stacy Jones of Hollywood Branded.
Mae Karwowski of influencer marketing agency Obviously, says marketers are asking the same concerns. How do they view sustainability? And what do they do to promote diversity and inclusion internally? They need to know they’re disseminating messages and ideals that correspond with their own beliefs.
Both parties at danger
This identity shift can be detrimental to either the brand or the endorser. A brand’s reputation can be damaged if a celebrity spokesperson says or does something contradictory to the brand’s ideals.
Unsavory or offensive public figures’ activities can hurt a business’s finances. For Spotted, which provides disgrace insurance to brands and film and TV studios, there have been two recent spikes in demand: during and after the #MeToo movement and recently during the Black Lives Matter rallies.
This content was originally published here.