Unescapable Rise of the Celebrity

Kara Melchers

Managing Editor, BITE Creativebrief


Brands and celebrities have always gone hand-in-hand.  In fact you’d be hard pushed to find a brand that doesn’t have a celebrity connection, but this craze is reaching a new level. Increasingly stars are being brought into the heart of brands and businesses, from Creative Directors to Innovation Consultants – think Rihanna for Puma and for Intel. Unlike celebrity endorsements of old, these feel like true associations, with both parties reaping the benefits on their reputations.

“I have never seen our industry lean more on celebrity,” said Tor Myhren, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at Grey. “Leader brands are using them to flex their dominance, challenger brands are using them as a shortcut to quick buzz, and everyone is using their social media tentacles as a cheaper media channel.” Estee Lauder for instance recently appointed Kendall Jenner to open up the conversation with a younger audience through her 15.7m fan base on Instagram.

We’re also seeing rise of the vlogger (video blogger). Beauty guru Tanya Burr has over 2.7m subscribers on Youtube. In 2014 she launched her own line of products in partnership with Superdrug.

Even deceased celebrities continue to make an impact on our celebrity obsessed culture – see Max Factor’s recent appointment of Marilyn Monroe as their posthumous brand ambassador.

Read on for examples…

Intel Taps Polar Explorer, Musician and Olympians for Ultrabook Campaign

Research had shown that when choosing laptops, 18-34 year olds were less likely to consider processor power, a key USP for Intel’s Ultrabook. Intel needed a way to engage this millennial audience.

Enter Polar explorer Ben Saunders, Olympic Gold medallists The Brownlee Brothers, musician Imogen Heap and fashion designer Christian Joy. Harnessing their social influence, Intel set about creating four unique stories by setting the stars a challenge that tested the limits of the technology. Fans could follow their progress on a dedicated website that was updated with new content each week, this included Ben Saunders broadcasting to fans from a polar wilderness during an 1,800 mile expedition.

This has been Intel’s most successful social campaign to date.

Agency: MRM Meteorite

16 minutes
average dwell time
new followers on Facebook and Twitter

Beckham Partners With Diageo To Launch Whisky

David Beckham may be a popular choice for advertisers but this time he’s played his hand at launching a brand new whisky. Haig Club by Diageo, was co-created with pop mogul Simon Fuller. Beckham and Fuller were actively involved in developing the brand, strategy and positioning. The TV ad was directed by Guy Ritchie and featured Beckham toasting the drink with glamourous friends in the picturesque Scottish Highlands.

Agency: adam&eveDDB, London

Adidas Questions What It Is To Be A Superstar

To mark adidas Superstar’s 45th birthday, the sports brand created a campaign with Pharrell Williams, David Beckham, Rita Ora and Damian Lillard, which takes the unusual angle of what doesn’t make you a celebrity. Speaking of the inspiration behind the campaign, adidas said, “Social media has completely redefined the concepts of self-expression, originality and creativity and, throughout 2015 this campaign will question the need for external validation and celebrity worship.”

Agency: Johannes Leonardo

Mandarin Oriental Enlists 28 Celebrity Fans

Mandarin Oriental enlisted the help of some of their most famous guests in order to stand out amongst other global luxury brands. Taking inspiration from their own logo (which depicts an open fan), they created the ‘Fan Campaign’. Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Dame Helen Mirren  were among the first to star in video and print ads declaring that they were fans of the hotel. There are now 28 celebrity fans in total.

Agency: London Advertising

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