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Selasa, 19 Mei 2009

Celebrity Endorsements, Product Placement, and More

How to get your product noticed

Celebrity endorsements are everywhere you look. From celebrities to athletes, everyone seems to be associated with a particular product or service. Often times, these "endorsements" don't come cheap. Companies sometimes spend millions of dollars for a celebrity to be closely affiliated with their product(s).

There are a number of other methods, that don't cost millions, that you can use to get your product in the hands of famous actors, actresses, movie stars, and others who are recognized by the public at large.

In particular, there are three methods a marketer can use to associate his product with a celebrity. The three methods are: Product Seeding, Gifting-the-talent, and Barter Relationships. In this article I will define each method and explain the benefits of each.

Product Seeding gives marketers the control to place products with specific types of celebrities. However, it offers less control over how these products get used - if used at all. "Taken by itself, Product Seeding is a gamble", says Jonathan Holiff, a PR expert for the Hollywood Madison Group.

"If you send enough freebies to Hollywood, but you don't have a creative strategy, a celebrity might be photographed using your product or evangelizing it on a talk show. But if one looks at Product Seeding as one tactic in a larger celebrity product placement effort, it can pay big dividends, particularly in identifying celebrities who have a true affinity for your product."

A good example of this is when a celebrity takes to a specific product, like an energy bar, that fits in with his lifestyle. If/when that celebrity mentions the product in interviews, those who aspire to be like him/her respond to the positive messaging.

Gifting-the-Talent is a great way to get your products in a position where they can get noticed. Many companies provide celebrities with free samples of their product or service, usually in the form of a gift bag.

This approach is quite popular for publicized events like award shows. Companies provide all attendees with a gift bag that includes products they would use or wear. Sometimes the value of the gifts given are quite high, but consider the payback. If you're selling sunglasses and the latest pop star is seen wearing them, you'll have trouble keeping your sunglasses in stock!

Barter Relationships involves a commitment from a celebrity to participate in promotional activities in exchange for a specific product or service. This type of public relations is most common with large ticket items like boats or cars. By entering into a barter agreement with a celebrity, marketers are often able to use the celebrities name in conjunction with outreach efforts, press releases, websites and promotional pieces.

Using any one of these product placement techniques can get you started in the product placement game. The real key is to have a specific strategy that targets the "ideal" celebrities who can represent the unique selling proposition of your product. One of the worst things that could happen is for your product to be seen with the "wrong" celebrity.

To keep your risk to a minimum, only target those celebrities who match your company's core values and image. Focus on a small group and don't be afraid to experiment. Creative ideas can take you all the way to the Sunset Strip!


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