Effective Celebrity Endorsements Will Put Your Brand Top-of-Mind: Bookmark Entertainment’s Jonathan Schenker Tells Us How
While many would say that the secret to a successful celebrity endorsement is authenticity, Jonathan Schenker of international entertainment marketing agency Bookmark Entertainment tells us that there’s more to it than that. We catch up with him to ask what it takes for celebrity endorsements to cut through the noise, send the message across, and sell your brand.
Schenker is the CEO of Bookmark Entertainment, a celebrity marketing agency focused on procuring influencers and celebrity talent on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, advertising agencies, and public relations firms. Schenker and his team have managed to broker deals with the likes of Gal Gadot, Morgan Freeman, Hilary Swank, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, and many other actors, musicians, and personalities.
“Celebrities are influencers. They are recognizable public figures that people relate to. They also represent the public’s ideals and dreams, as well as serve as inspiration for them. It is one of the most effective marketing strategies a brand can utlize to create clear brand differentiation and global appeal. Putting a well-known, beloved and talked about face to your brand speaks volumes and can send a clear, compelling message to your consumers.” says Schenker, and continues;
“In a world where anyone can post a selfie with a product on social media and make people believe that they are really using the product, consistency is key for a successful endorsement. Whether or not they do actually use the product is in fact beside the point since for the company, it is often more important that a message doesn’t get muddled in all the glitz. Companies have to pick the right person that aligns with their brand-values and what they want customers to feel and believe. Once there is consistency, authenticity is easy.”
This is truly a problem in many Asian countries, including China, where for example, Jolin Tsai, a famous actress and singer endorses over 14 products ranging from an international fast food chain to a top denim jeans brand. “Tsai’s fans would find themselves confused over her conflicting message because consuming the former can be a problem if you want to fit in the latter. There may be a dimension of authenticity there, but we cannot ignore how the conflicting message can be confusing for the different brands and their respective audiences.”
In many cases, celebrity endorsement gives a clear message to consumers that the brand is out there and, having what it takes to go global, or, at least, gives them a face that could be recognized anywhere. Schenker believes that the rewards of investing in celebrity ambassadors to your brand far outweigh the risks; “all it takes is having the right team help you discover who are those talents that are both suitable and affordable for the brand.”
Our research finds that there really is more to celebrity endorsements than the two-sided ‘buy this’ approach where celebrities are only plastered on billboards and packages, without real connections to the brand or to the consumers. More specifically, China and many other Asian countries have long been popular at over-endorsing, where their currently hottest celebrities are signing up simultaneous deals, resulting in muddled messages. The solution to this seems to be diversify. There are plenty of celebrities that can better fit your brand and make the campaign so much more convincing and effective.
“We understand what each company is, its mission and vision, what makes it unique from its competition, and move onwards from there. We work closely with our clients to find the right strategy or campaign for them, from among the many different options available for each celebrity.”
Although celebrities are most widely used to engage consumers to brands as spokespersons or ambassadors, they can also be procured to attend events as talents or to simply make an appearance. Finding the right celebrity and the right kind of activity or campaign can turn any event from ordinary to memorable and talked about, something that you would want for your brand.
If done properly and with the right people, you can win big with a celebrity endorsement. Although it comes with a price, the returns are definitely worth it. The important thing is to choose the celebrity with a real interest in your brand, holds the same values as you do, and aligns perfectly with your brand message without any contradictions. “Authenticity counts but consistency is king.” summarized Schenker