People’s “fame” has been used for a very long time as a marketing tool to create associations with brands. Such endorsements have proved themselves as being effective in building credibility towards a product.
Depending on the company’s overall strategy and the specific product, the endorsing personality can be a movie star, musician, model, athlete or even an ex-politician. Even if the company has operations in various countries, the chosen celebrity figure does not always need to be an internationally known figure. Generally, the characteristics sought-after are the familiarity of that figure to the target audience, his or her trustworthiness and attractiveness. For instance, explaining how Avon selected its partners, ex-CEO Andrea Jung said , “We are seeking partners who share the same core values of the company. Somebody who fits with the personality and culture of our brands, and more importantly somebody who will resonate with our customers and representatives.”
So, the effectiveness of a celebrity marketing program depends on finding the right figure for that product and obviously, on succesfully managing the program after that. The celebrity’s personal stability and dependability are very important as well. When all the pieces fit in, such campaigns can bring in huge benefits. On the other end, there are also big failures ruining both the brand’s and the company’s image.
While some of the celebrities appear merely on product catalogues, web sites or ad campaigns, others’ involvements might go deeper to include being a spokesperson or the “face” of the brand for longer periods of time.
Direct selling industry is no exception when it comes to wishing to benefit from celebrities. Here are some examples:
Probably the most interesting of all celebrities that direct selling companies had worked with was ACN’s pick: Donald Trump . He featured ACN in his TV shows, pitched ACN’s products and made paid appearances for the company.
Avon has a long history and a long list of celebrity partnerships. The famous baseball player Joe DiMaggio , and the stars like Rosalind Russel , Claudette Colbert , Cher and Catherine Deneuve were only a few of the icons that worked with Avon in the past. Then came in other international stars like Jacqueline Bisset , Julia Roberts , Fergie , Reese Witherspoon , Patrick Dempsey , Megan Fox and Salma Hayek .
Mannatech is another company who chose working with athletes. Former basketball player nicknamed “Lady Magic” Nancy Lieberman is an example to these. Besides athletes, Mannatech was also endorsed by Ben Carson who then became a Republican presidential candidate in the upcoming U.S. elections.
The largest European direct selling company Oriflame does not have long list of stars yet did work with some very familiar names like the actress Demi Moore and the tennis player Caroline Wozniacki . Oriflame works with local fames as well: Ezgi Mola in Turkey, Juliana in Kenya and Huma Qureshi in India.
The last example we will cover will be USANA. USANA works with quite a number of individual athletes and sports teams and gets endorsements from them. The company was also endorsed by Dr. Oz as his “Trusted Partner”
Back in 2012, I asked several prominent figures from the industry their opinions on celebrity marketing and direct selling. You might want to check here the different views.