The Ugly Face of Marketing Testimonials – 7 Things to Consider when Using Celebrities in Marketing

Celebrity endorsements have become popular in marketing and advertising, often enabling retailers to reach out to new target groups. How do you choose the right person to appear on your marketing materials? Here's a helpful guide in 7 steps.

Using testimonials in advertising has become a huge trend, for many good reasons. Marketers want to talk to an individual consumer, and the easiest way to talk is for you to have a face that can appear in front of a potential buyer.

Two Types of Testimonials

Two distinct types of testimonials have evolved in recent years: one involving celebrities, the other, ‘ordinary’ people. While the latter is not without its own set of challenges, the former usually involves various rounds of screening potential candidates and selecting one that both represents the brand’s core values and speaks to the desired target audience.

Testimonial Checks

This process can be fun; negotiating the risks associated with the various options is tricky though. The following factors have to be considered:

  1. How well-known is the celebrity in the company’s target market?
  2. Have they been the subject of intense media scrutiny in the past?
  3. Are they actively engaged in the target market?
  4. Does the celebrity actually embody the values propagated by a brand or product?
  5. Are they perceived to do so?
  6. Does the celebrity ‘travel’? Even someone who is successful in one market and might appear uncontroversial can be a liability in another market.
  7. How about stories that have been swept under the carpet? With every celebrity, there is a back story which certain people know and others don’t, until a particular issue becomes virulent, which lets the celebrity appear in a new light.

All these factors are important, and they require a broad set of research and evaluation skills with regard to the new target market.

It is essential for any company to go through these questions in order to avoid shitstorms and long-term reputation damage which comes with the ‘wrong face.’

How to Check Testimonials

Nimirum offers its clients a toolbox designed to make this process easier, quicker and cost efficient. A variety of options are available, which we are very happy to discuss with you.

Christophe Fricker
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