Celebrity Brand Ambassadors • THINK Global Research

Who is fit for the role?

The minute you turn on your TV, flick through a magazine, use public transport or walk through the city you are bombarded with celebrity advertisements. The fashion and cosmetic beauty industry are particularly fond of utilising brand ambassadors, yet the concept of celebrity endorsement goes far beyond this commerce.

The face of the brand

A brand ambassador most commonly is the face of the brand. It is a positive, credible personality that represents and promotes the brand to increase visibility and enhance sales. Usually these people are celebrities, either well-known actors, sports stars or TV personalities that showcase new products of big business and brands to their fans and admirers.

Which ambassador belongs to which brand?

Celebrity endorsement is a very common marketing and branding tool. As not one day goes by without being confronted with a brand ambassador, I challenge you to do complete this little task:

The right fit

I bet you have completed this puzzle within seconds. While we are all able to match the star with the brand, I personally wonder whether these people are a credible fit. After all, the appeal for companies to use an ambassador is that they act as a source of credibility for their products. But, does Beyoncé really just drink Pepsi, or does she secretly stock her fridge with Coca Cola? Does Nicole Kidman actually fly with Etihad, or does she prefer the luxury of a private jet? If we were to meet Keira Knightly, would we be overwhelmed with the lovely smell of Mademoiselle? And would Scarlett Johansson offer us a homemade soda water if we were to visit her? I seriously doubt it.

Clearly George, Nicole, Scarlett, Beyoncé, Jennifer, Roger, Keira, Curtis and Miranda aren’t recommending these products just for fun. In fact, companies are willing to spend millions of dollars for the latest and most famous celebrities to convince us they are just like us, and that we too can look, smell, travel and eat and drink just like they do.

Obviously businesses carefully consider their endorsement strategy as well as the endorsee. They will try their utmost best to find the right fit in someone that is authentic and reflects their brand in personality, values, style and appeal. The best fit is found when there is a match where the brand and its ambassador can leverage off one another. However, when aligning your brand with a celebrity you can imagine there are risks involved. Who does not remember the case where Weight Watchers were not amused when Jessica Simpson fell pregnant? That Tiger Woods’s affairs cost him more than just his marriage? Or that time where Britney Spears did not get her soda straight? I guess celebrities are indeed “just like us” after all. As businesses are at the mercy of their ambassadors’ lives and lifestyles, they should think twice on whether or not to include firm rules and boundaries in that multi-million dollar contract.

Aren’t we all fit for the role?

To my opinion celebrity endorsements are great and can be very successful to any business, as long as companies have the budget and choose their endorsement strategy and brand ambassador wisely. When the right match is made, companies not only have a wonderful spokesperson, but also guaranteed access to the celebrity’s network and fans that is likely to match the brand’s target market, opening doors to many more prospective customers.

Speaking of target markets, perhaps brands should choose ambassadors that would or actually do use their products. What if business were to use their true brand ambassadors, people that are truly just like you and me. Aren’t we more likely to take on the advice from a trusted, lifelong friend rather than a celeb? Would social media have the power to achieve the same outcome as celebrity endorsements? Or are we blinded by these stars’ appeal, so even though we are aware they don’t actually use the products they are promoting we still run to the stores to buy them anyway?

Whatever the case, I am off to make myself another Nespressso and let the Mrs. Roma in me have a little indulging buzz moment with Mr. Decaffeinato.


Written by Rose Visser – Research Consultant, THINK Global Research

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