Tag Archives: celebrity endorsement

Celebrity Endorsement in Technology Still Requires Innovation to Succeed


Is it a bird or a plane? No, it’s just Henry Cavill using his new Huawei P9+, making him the Ying to Scarlet Johanssons Yang. Both celebrities have cleverly signed up to be the new ambassadors for China’s most recognised international mobile handset brand, Huawei. As two of the most recognised actors on the planet with a box office track record that spans 44 films, which when aggregated amount to almost $8 billion in box office takings (with an average earning of $190 million for each film), why wouldn’t you? After all, Scarlett Johansson has a history of brand ambassador success (if you ignore the disastrous Sodastream ambassador role), which includes Moët and Dolce & Gabbana. She is also one of the worlds most profitable actors, with her movies making on average $84.90 per $1 spentthe highest grossing being Marvels The Avengers.

Johansson, with her own tech credentials in Her and as the indestructible enigma in Lucy, is a credible weapon in Huawei’s armoury, whose current mobile device market share equates to 7.3% (making it the third largest mobile handset manufacturer behind Samsung and Apple in global shipments). Yet in the West, ask anyone about the brand or how to pronounce it, and it would seem that few have heard or know about the most innovative tech firm to come out of China.

Cleverly, Huawei has not only scored with its choice in celebrities, but also in bringing the brand closer to the psyche of its users. For instance, by partnering with Leica, the German lens and camera manufacture of premium photography devices, they add traditional Western brand credentials to what, in tech terms, is a relative newcomer with ambitious plans. As Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Business Group, comments, “We believe in cultural technology, born out of people’s curiosity and desire to be creative by changing the way they experience the world around them. With the P9, working with Leica, we have challenged the norm of what was possible in lens technology – a game-changer for smartphone photography.”

In comparison to other brands, its challenges are huge:  How do you engage with an audience who has likely never heard of your brand? Leica, Scarlett, and Henry are good starts to carving out positioning to a wide audience and extending the brand appeal through these partner choices, but it’s the look, feel, and ability of the product that ultimately wins through.

Working on how to engage with audience and retail partners, to convey brand message and vision, is crucial as Huawei embarks on this ambitious ATL product launch. As with any mobile brand, the carrier message and being recommended as the product of choice, will more than likely convert curious shoppers of the brand into customers — who will hopefully not only become advocates, but also loyal brand users beyond their first P9.

The challenge for Huawei is competing against the budgets of other handset manufacturers and creating a cost per acquisition, which makes commercial sense by bringing the ATL to TTL at this critical stage, to engage with carrier staff and ultimately consumers. No celebrity endorsements or brand associations will achieve the cut through your desired target audience without a good product that attracts the backing of retailers and networks to evangelise about your brand and your vision. These will serve to set your brand apart from the usual suspects and achieve financial and customer satisfaction for all.

Establish the brand without gimmicks, lean on your Android platform credentials, become the product innovators to establish your channels, and work hard to develop them. Once you’ve created your core, increasing confidence in your product and brand, go bold and take it to the mainstream — being mindful that you want to keep your premium status whilst remaining profitable, and avoid being yet another brand struggling in a saturated market.

What these clever brand associations and celebrity ambassadors allow Huawei to do is make some significant noise in the market, an enviable position to be in which other brands will scrutinise with envy. This opportunity to make an impact and a positive first impression with many via this campaign, if carried through successfully, will establish and increase brand recall to spark the desired curiosity in the product. This curiosity can be captured and developed by Huawei to become the brand that splits the mobile handset market and gives consumers a choice. Variety in a bland market makes consumers rethink which device to settle for, rather than opting for the default brand they’ve become accustomed to or network they’re familiar with selling.

Now, whilst glamour is assured, I’m not sure if Henry or Scarlet can break the market alone for Huawei. But, with the assistance of an established and respected brand such as Leica and some clever routes to market activation, it’s fair to say that Huawei is in a better position than most to grow market share in a crowded market and position themselves as a recognised brand.

Read more at: http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2016/05/10/celebrity-endorsement-in-technology-still-requires-innovation-to-succeed/

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Celebrity Endorsements Have the Potential to Transform a Brand

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Historically, sporting personalities have proved the most successful, though there are exceptions. The most memorable and longstanding endorsements involve a great match between the values of a brand, the quality and type of product, and the right celebrity face to champion it. For example, Michael Jordan and Nike created possibly the founding father of the “mega” celebrity endorsement when they teamed up in 1984 and Gary Lineker’s long-term association with PepsiCo and their Walker’s crisps brand in the UK works so well because both the brand and celebrity are down-to-earth and originate in Leicester. Outside of sport, George Clooney and Nespresso are such a good fit because both have an air of sophistication and suavity which neatly complements the other.

Meanwhile, badly thought out endorsements have the potential to negatively impact a brand. However, there’s a new breed of celebrity endorsement that goes beyond these examples of the traditional transient coming together of a celebrity and brand. It has the power to completely transform the performance of a brand, without sacrificing any of the equity or integrity of the celebrity. By evolving beyond paying a celebrity for their involvement alone and instead giving them a voice and, more importantly, a stake in the product, stronger ties are formed between brands and celebrities. Simply put, celebrities will be more willing to get involved with a brand partnership if it helps raise their profile and ultimately their bank balance. It’s not a new phenomenon – one of the best examples of this kind is the George Foreman Grill, which has sold over 100 million units for Salton since 1994, with Foreman taking 45 per cent of the profit.

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Recently, in addition to his already successful partnership with H&M, David Beckham teamed up with drinks brand Diageo to launch Haig whisky, aimed at people who don’t think they like whisky. This is a shrewd bit of branding, an icon to many who imitate his style, many consumers might not think of David Beckham as someone who likes whisky but think again, the stylish Millennials as portrayed in the high profile Guy Ritchie directed ATL may make you change your mind – or at least try it.

This clearly goes further than being a celebrity endorsement and Beckham is no mere brand ambassador. Instead, it’s a business partnership, with Beckham surely being one of the reasons the whisky is being packaged in its uniquely square blue bottle, rather than the more traditional tall clear bottles, immediately placing itself apart from the fusty whisky crowd. And, while the terms of the partnership weren’t disclosed, one imagines that Beckham has a financial interest in the success of the brand, which gives him a reason to be more deeply involved in its success or failure. It’s likely Diageo hopes to replicate the previous success of its brand Ciroc’s partnership with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs in 2007. Comb’s partnership with Diageo saw sales jump 40 fold, and led to a subsequent 50/50 partnership between the two for DeLeon Tequila, which sells for between $120-1000 per bottle. As Combs said at the time of the DeLeon deal, “With Ciroc we dated. Now with DeLeon, we’re married. This deal is way better.”

Interestingly, this new model of brand partners and ambassadors has even spread beyond brands such as Rimmel with Rita Ora, but also to the high street; look at the aforementioned H&M collaborations, Dorothy Perkins with Kim Kardashian, and Top Shop with Kate Moss. So when David Gandy and M&S announced their partnership, many industry jaws dropped. To most, M&S pants conjures images of Middle England, and perhaps middle-aged men who aren’t that interested in fashion but want reliable, quality underwear to wear. But by going into partnership with David Gandy, M&S has made a huge statement. It’s potentially transformative for its menswear section and, more specifically, consumer perception of the M&S brand globally.

David Gandy isn’t just the model face on the posters and adorning buses, he also had an active role in the design of the new range. By being involved in the product development, he will undoubtedly gain from their sales, clearly a strong collaboration. Some of the UK media commented that it risks alienating some of M&S’s core market, but to me it’s obvious that by forming such a daring partnership with arguably the world’s most recognisable male model, M&S are targeting a new demographic by taking the brand into Calvin Klein territory, opening the door to a much younger male audience and perhaps those men who still have their underwear bought by their significant other. Gandy and M&S may well have just pulled off the most surprising and profitable celebrity endorsement of the year, the benefits of which will no doubt extend across many categories and territories.


Read more at: http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2014/11/11/celebrity-endorsements-have-the-potential-to-transform-a-brand/

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