Beauty and the brand ambassador: Do celebrity endorsements always work?

My screen at work (sorry Nathan – it’s research!)

New recruit Joanna decided to investigate Princess Eugenie’s husband’s job title and look into how brand ambassadors can really help or hinder a business…

There’s nothing most Brits love more than celebrating a Royal wedding. First we had Wills and Kate, then Harry and Meghan and today marks the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and her fiancé, tequila brand ambassador, Jack Brooksbank. 

Casamigos, the tequila brand created by famous faces Rande Gerber and George Clooney, has employed Brooksbank as the UK brand ambassador. Of course, his role has led to a few sniggers from the press, ‘will Her Majesty be sipping margaritas?” and the like.

The wedding itself may not have Casamigos branding all over it, but I don’t doubt that it will make its way into the glasses of the guests as they party the night away (Prince Phillip, we’re looking at you!) I also don’t doubt that the mere mention of ‘tequila’ will have encouraged the public to purchase some Casamigos as they head home to toast the happy couple.

So, what is the difference between a celebrity spokesperson and a brand ambassador..?

According to entrepreneur.com, there is a difference. “By definition, a brand ambassador, unlike a celebrity spokesperson, is someone who eats, lives and breathes your brand.”

Nowadays especially brand ambassadors do not necessarily need that quality ‘celeb’ power, and can be picked due to their social media presence or the fact that they genuinely love the brand they’re working with. Instagrammers and ‘people on the ground’ are promoting brands, allowing consumers to be reached on a more relatable level rather than from the ‘celebrity’ pedestal.

Here at NPR, we have also found have ambassadors don’t even need a huge following, but instead just incorporate the brand into their everyday lives. Our client nextbike have worked with several ambassadors who promote their use of the service on social media, which in turn encourages others to try out the experience too!

Regardless of origin, some great partnerships have been made between ambassadors and brands, however some have not…I decided to do some research and find some examples of brand ambassador wins and woes…

THE ONES THAT WORKED (AND STILL DO!)

George Clooney and Nespresso

George, to me, is almost perfect. Handsome, charismatic, lovable – why wouldn’t you want him sipping Nespresso on TV screens all across the world? It really is a match made in heaven!

ASOS and their insiders

ASOS appealed to their audience brilliantly when they launched the ASOS insider campaign. The Instagram accounts are ran by a diverse group of 20-somethings all employed by ASOS in various sectors. Each Insider promotes the brands using images and sell-outs are common when and Insider has worn the product.

Kate Moss and Rimmel

Even when Kate Moss’s other brand deals fell through after her alleged drug use, Rimmel stood by their spokeswoman. She now has a permanent collection with the brand, that sold out when first released. 

THE ONES THAT DIDN’T

Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi

Controversy seems to follow the Kardashian clan, but when Kendall Jenner appear in a Pepsi ad that received huge backlash as being insensitive to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The criticism was so bad it caused Pepsi, who have also had issues with Ludacris and Madonna’s campaigns, to pull their advert and Jenner apologise profusely for her ‘thoughtless’ actions.

Helena Bonham Carter and Yardley’s

According to Business Insider, Yardley’s  terminated their contact with the actress because “she claimed she never really wore makeup and didn’t actually know why they’d picked her”.

Our Opinion

  • Serious thought should come into approaching brand ambassadors, and brands should take time when creating these collaborations.
  • Brands should choose endorsers who match the brands morals and values to ensure no wires are crossed as well as doing their research to ensure the collaboration is fruitful for both parties.
  • Don’t forget! Your brand ambassador can promote on a variety of platforms – be sure to utilise Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as they have different audiences to reach!
  • A small budget doesn’t mean you can’t work with brand ambassadors. Why not try giving out free product/services to customers? A little promotion could go a long way.
  • A good brand ambassador will provide a friendly face of a company and ensure both their reputation, and yours, stays untarnished.

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