Don’t let your brand bubble pop!
Ok, so we don’t know what impact, if any, this will have on the brand, but the point is that you have to be careful. If people take offence at the part Ms Green plays in her lover’s infidelity, Topshop sales could be completely for the chopping block before the company executives can even say ‘hot convict’.Pepsi also hit a snag when it caused controversy earlier in the year when their advert saw Kendall Jenner join a protest and diffuse tensions by offering a police officer a can of Pepsi. Because, as everyone knows, obviously that’s how tensions are diffused (perhaps on Mars, maybe…).
Of course, anyone with a modicum of sense knows how misplaced such an ad was in today’s world. And Kendall Jenner may not have had any creative input in the advert but she was still the famous face at the helm of it, so it’s not going to be forgotten as easily as it would have been without the celebrity endorsement.
Granted, Pepsi haven’t seen an impact on sales but they will have certainly lost a big wodge of cash on an expensive advert on which they pulled the plug long before it could pay for itself.
It seems they never learn. Pepsi made another faux pas using a familiar pop icon to promote their brand back in the late 80’s when they paid the undisputed Queen of Pop, Madonna, $5 million for a one year deal to promote the ‘pop’. Oh, yes, they planned to use her ‘what they clearly thought was a wholesome’ hit, Like a Prayer. You know the one: that wholesome little number full of sexual innuendo and burning crosses.
For some reason unbeknown to us and, well, quite frankly anyone, the Pepsi execs hadn’t seen the song’s video until the adverts aired.
Yes, you guessed it, another ton of money down the drain.
Then, barely a decade later, in 2002, they teamed with rapper Ludacris, in a bid to target the hip-hop audience. Yep, you guessed it, there’s a theme here. More huge losses and a pulled advert thanks to immoral lyrics. Another rap(per) on the knuckles for Pepsi.
It truly seems that Pepsi’s morality knows no bounds. And their mistakes are endless too. Like the time they hired the other pop queen, Queen B (Beyonce for those of you that have been in outer space) to promote the brand, only to discover that she had also agreed to be part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move fitness campaign. Another smack on the booty for Pepsi. And Beyonce, for that matter.
It doesn’t stop with fizzy pop though.
Kelloggs hired ‘clean, wholesome swimmer’ Michael Phelps to promote their nutritious (cough cough, snigger snigger) breakfast cereal. Only for the tabloids to publish papers of him smoking marijuana.
Just like the time the tabloids snapped clearly not so super supermodel Kate Moss reportedly snorting cocaine. Needless to say, about half a dozen of the brands she was endorsing, including Chanel and H&M, dropped her like hot cakes.
Oh, and then there’s the Kardashian sisters (snore!) who endorsed the Kardashian Kard – a prepaid credit card from Mastercard targeting teens and young adults. Ok, so it was actually the Kardashian’s that pulled the plug on the deal but really, what were Mastercard thinking, using Kim, Kourtney and Khloe?
Well, maybe it was clever marketing, encouraging folk to spend and ‘keep up with the Kardashians’ but it certainly gained them some backlash.
And then there are the celebs that refuse to endorse the brand they are receiving a fortune to endorse, such as Paris Hilton that was caught wearing alternative hair extensions to the ones she was endorsing. And Jessica Simpson who refused to wear the ‘cheap clothes’ that she was endorsing for, erm, her own brand (there’s just no commenting on that one).
Proceed with caution!
Ok, all of the brands we have mentioned above may have suffered losses and a being under the temporary glare of a nation for their mistakes but all still exist. The thing is though, we are talking about the big bucks. As long as they don’t completely crash and burn (which none of them did) a bombed advert and a loss of a few million is nothing to these firms in the grand scheme of things.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for your average, run of the mill, small or medium sized firm.
So the point is, if you don’t want your brand to go snap, crackle and pop into the abyss, you need to act cautiously before making any rash marketing decisions.
If you are going to use a ‘face’ – be it a local or international celebrity, or even an unknown – to promote your brand, you need to know what you are getting yourself into.
You don’t want to hire a Hannah Montana-type persona to plug a squeaky-clean product to teens and end up with Miley Cyrus, in full ‘Wrecking Ball’ mode, turning up instead.
That’s up there with hiring one of the many UK’s fallen 70’s/80’s TV personalities – such as Jimmy Saville – to advertise kids’ swimwear.
Do your research!
It is vitally important to learn more about anybody that you are going to use. Do they have issues? Have they got any previous? (drugs, sexual assaults etc) You don’t want to hire a former drunk driver to promote your booze like certain brands have been known to do!
Of course, someone may have been squeaky-clean for their entire life and still go off the rails so you can never be 100% certain but if you have any doubt, quit whilst your ahead.
You want your consumer feedback to be positive, not tarred with negativity about the direction your brand chooses to follow, embarrassment or, worse still, a complete devaluing of your brand. Get it right though and you can add heaps of value, especially in this day and age if you can find someone with a lot of social media reach. Endorsements – done properly – can have a huge impact on sales and customer loyalty.
Before you make any rash decisions, it’s important to know your audience and what will or won’t work for them. Give The Monachie Project a shout and let us analyse your brand and offer you the consumer perspective of it, so you can communicate your stand out values appropriately.