How Celebrity Talent Campaigns Are Evolving for Digital

By Tim Hale  | 

Advertiser and celebrity talent partnerships seem to be stronger than ever, both in television campaigns and online. Why is it that advertisers are investing in more celebrity partnerships? Is the growth of video and social media playing a role in this upward trend? Here are a few ways that advertiser-celebrity relationships are changing in the digital age:

  • More types of celebrities to work with, thanks to social media
    One outgrowth of the popularity of social media is the growing range of “social media celebrities” who now populate platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and beyond. A recent study on celebrities and brand advertising found that social media stars were the second-most popular category of celebrity advertising talent, surpassed only by film actors. Increasingly, this allows advertisers more options to create celebrity campaigns that gain traction via digital channels, not just via TV.
  • More one-off campaigns rather than long-term partnerships
    As more brands partner with a broader range of celebrity talent, they also tend to run those campaigns for shorter periods of time. Additional data from the same talent survey suggests more brands are doing campaign-specific or one-off contracts. Such shorter-term relationships allow advertisers more flexibility in terms of campaign options and allow opportunities to assess performance in case the endorsement doesn’t prove effective.
  • Budgets for celebrity campaigns are hard to predict
    A continued challenge for many advertisers is estimating the cost, and finding room in the budget to pay for celebrity talent. Between newer social media “celebrities” and known film stars, there’s a big range of potential outlays, making it challenging for agencies and brands to forecast potential campaign costs. Accurate forecasting requires leveraging experts in the area of celebrity negotiations and licensing, people familiar with both the current market dynamics, and requisite contract terms and conditions.
  • Ensure campaigns include a variety of distribution rights
    It’s no surprise that advertisers have more digital placement options for celebrity campaigns than ever before. That’s why it’s essential that negotiations with celebrity talent consider options for an increasing list of potential uses, including internet, mobile, TV, social, IP-addressable media, and more. Those decisions need to be made in advance, so it’s important for brands to think through all potential uses of specific campaigns in order to have the contractual rights in place. In addition, the ability to monitor the use of video ads online – both paid placements and in social media – is a critical piece for advertisers. When ads run out of compliance, big fees are incurred.

 The nature of advertiser relationships with celebrities is evolving along with the entire industry. As the range of opportunities for advertisers and celebrity talent to work together in the digital sphere continues to increase, it’s the perfect time to start leveraging these opportunities for brands to connect with their audience.

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