The most effective brand campaigns involving celebrities are those in which the program organically matches with a theme, cause or idea that a celebrity personally cares about.
Ben & Jerry’s recently partnered with actress and noted peace activist Maggie Gyllenhaal to help promote the launch of a new flavor called Imagine Whirled Peace. Developed in partnership with the Lennon Foundation, the flavor was launched in New York’s Times Square via a re-creation of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous “Bed-In For Peace”―an anti-war protest that took place in the late 1960s. The inspiration for a peaceful resolution to conflict during a time of war perfectly matched with what Maggie cared about; therefore, she agreed to take part in the PR launch during a very hectic time in her career—weeks before the launch of her blockbuster film “The Dark Knight Returns.”
Music icon Sheryl Crow was a perfect fit for the recent benefit concert and media relations program to support Yoplait’s 10th anniversary of its Save Lids to Save Lives breast cancer program. As abreast cancer survivor, Sheryl wanted to be part of Yoplait’s anniversary campaign to raise high-level awareness to helpfight breast cancer. Staging a free public concert in LA on October 10, 2008 to support the cause and to help drive more people to send in pink lids. A donation of 10 cents for each lid received is made each year to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, with more than $19 million donated during the last 10 years. By lending Sheryl’s “voice” to this year’s effort, the overall partnership is helping to raise awareness and lid collections to a much higher level than in years past.”
It’s not uncommon to see celebrities working side by side with brands, serving as third-party spokespeople. Celebrities have a natural connection with consumers, in addition to generating a lot of media coverage and exposure for the brand they are representing. The key to working with celebrities is to really examine the brand to ensure they are a good fit and make sense. In October, Wonka and pop-sensation Raven-Symoné will be rewarding the winner of a summer-long user generated video contest, Loss for Lyrics, with the chance to record a song about its new candy in a professional recording studio in LA. Raven-Symoné embodies the Wonka brand and reaches its core demographic, making her a natural and credible celebrity spokesperson.