Brand-Building and the Celebrity Effect

by | Oct 27, 2014 | Uncategorized

It’s generally understood that we are all influenced by branding. We buy Oakley sunglasses, Starbucks coffee, Nike shoes, Apple devices, etc. These products are personal to us, they make us feel a certain way and they reflect how we see ourselves in society, if not some of our innermost values.

In some cases we buy these brands because of a celebrity’s association with the brand. Obviously the financial gains to brands are enormous, and they can build extraordinary equity by associating with the right celebrities. But anything that powerful also has risks.

In 2013 we were all witness to one of the largest celebrity falls from grace in recent history. Lance Armstrong finally admitting to doping. There has never been an instance where someone fell from such majesty to disdain in such a short time. He was dropped by sponsors such as Nike, Anheuser-Busch, Trek, Oakley and RadioShack, to name a few.

Trek’s revenue was $100 million when he signed with the company, and it reached $1 billion in 2013. “Who’s responsible for that?” he asked, before cursing and saying, “Right here.” He poked himself in the chest with his right index finger. “I’m sorry, but that is true. Without me, none of that happens.”

It appeared that they did not like being lied to, nor did they like being linked to such arrogance. Right or wrong, his statement is correct, and without the notoriety of winning seven Tour de France races, Trek would not have been as popular.

I admit it, I liked cycling when he was racing. I bought a Trek because he rode one (a tad higher-end than mine, of course), and I liked the feeling of raising money for his foundation and riding in the Ride for the Roses in Austin, Texas. This made me feel like I was adding value, being part of a bigger vision, and helping people with cancer while pushing my own limits. It was a popular time for cycling, and I was one of the many who gave him the benefit of the doubt. Even under such scrutiny, he might just be superhuman? Oh, well.

Brand-building with human beings is transcendent – organizations gain so much from people and celebrity. Look what John McEnroe did for tennis, Tiger Woods for golf and Michael Jordan for basketball.

About Psycho-Sensory Brand-Building

What Makes Psycho-Sensory Brand-Building Different from Common Brand-Building? Brand-building is the strategic process of imbuing a product, service, …

Read more

That power, however, comes with risks … and the successes notwithstanding, there are failures as well. Some, like Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods, more spectacular than others. Here’s a sampling of blowbacks of celebrity associations.

Ten endorsement deals gone bad:

 

Kate Moss and Chanel and H&M
ESTIMATED VALUE OF DEALS: $7 MILLION

Susan G. Komen and KFC
ESTIMATED VALUE OF DEAL: $4.2 MILLION

Michael Vick and Nike
ESTIMATED VALUE OF DEAL: $2 MILLION

Lance Armstrong and Nike
ESTIMATED VALUE OF DEAL: $10 MILLION A YEAR

Madonna and Pepsi
ESTIMATED VALUE OF DEAL: $5 MILLION

O.J. Simpson and Hertz
ESTIMATED VALUE OF DEAL: $1.5 MILLION A YEAR

Tiger Woods and Accenture
ESTIMATED VALUE OF DEAL: $10 MILLION A YEAR

Gilbert Gottfried and Aflac
ESTIMATED VALUE OF DEAL: $100,000 A YEAR

Charlie Sheen and Hanes
ESTIMATED VALUE OF DEAL: $1 MILLION

  • Select category:

Subscribe today to get our latest content delivered to your inbox
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Follow us

Christopher Nagle
Chris has more than 20 years of design and art direction experience with work that spans multiple industries and areas of application. His drive to uncover what sparks the motivations of his target audiences is what has led to a career of not only award-winning work, but work that moves the needle for his clients. Chris’ extensive background working with researchers and strategists has also given him a strong understanding of how to ensure that visual communications are true to the brand while reaching the right audience in the intended manner.

Related blog posts

Ready to talk?