Walking, Talking Advertisements

A company’s prime objective is always to reach their target audience. If they can’t do that, then what’s the point? A common and smart way to reach a marketable audience, especially if that audience is millennials, is to use celebrities to promote your product for you. Teenagers and young adults are extremely impressionable, so it makes sense that they would want to use the same products and services as the people they look up to and want to be like. They also tend to trust their favorite stars and therefore believe in their opinions.

Depending on their targeted audience, a company may choose a celebrity of a certain ethnicity or race to promote their product to try to appeal to said audience. A celebrity’s level of attractiveness is also important. Research and studies found that viewers first impressions of a product were positive (before they even saw it) if the celebrity endorsing it was attractive. Celebrity expertise in the product’s area is important too. If Michael Jordan were selling bass fishing equipment rather than basketball shoes, consumers might not find him to be such a reliable source. It needs to be a good “fit.”

For example, Kendall Jenner recently became the face of the cosmetics company Estee Lauder. This was clearly a good fit, because she is a 21-year-old woman who appeals to girls anywhere from early teens to late twenties. This is a very marketable audience for Estee Lauder, because those are a lot of the girls that will be buying their makeup products. No doubt a big part of their choice was the fact that Jenner has been coined the “Ultimate Instagirl,” with (as of Oct. 2016) a following of over 67 million.

kendall
Kendall Jenner promoting makeup company Estee Lauder with the hashtags #KJ4EL and #EsteeModel.

Another example is the use of Brooklyn Beckham (son of David and Victoria Beckham) to shoot Burberry’s newest fragrance ad campaign. Real photographers were angry about this because the 16-year-old boy clearly wasn’t chosen for his talent or expertise as much as his name and social media following. It was very controversial because people assumed it was his 6 million followers on Instagram that got him the gig. However, it seems understandable since that is quite a large audience that Burberry can reach just by having Beckham post pictures to his account where everyone will see. Even Domenic Venneri (the founder of the digital marketing agency Vokent) said that he won’t hire people, even people working behind the scenes, without them having some sort of social media presence.

Consumers see these glamorous, attractive celebrities promoting a product and then they want to get it for themselves. Especially in the fashion industry, current trends are all about imitating what you see everyone else doing. The people that usually start those trends are celebrities because the platform they have gives them so much power and influence. For example, Jennifer Aninston’s hairstyle from the show Friends in the ‘90’s was groundbreaking. Every woman on the planet seemed to want “The Rachel.” If a company can tap into something like that and put their brand’s name to it, they have themselves a walking, talking advertisement.

By: Alanna Goodman

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