Caught-on-tape, just as the election season is getting underway, is Michelle Obama shopping at Target and leaving with full bags in tow. This move may be an unplanned Celebrity Endorsement on Target's part, but it's definitely planned by the Obama administration. Sure, I can get that Michelle likes to shop like a normal person, but this I'd guess she'd rather shop somewhere else. She shops at Target to prove to voters that SHE'S A NORMAL PERSON! A "Michelle Obama shops at Target – I shop at Target" is certainly going to be heard around America's coffee tables this weekend – once again making the First Family uber-relatable to voters. From J.Crew to Target the Obama clan gains more positive attention than any advertising strategy can do for a Presidential campaign from these types of reverse Celebrity Endorsements. Obama's campaign team is one of the most strategic and effect marketing agencies out there. They've done it again. Congrats.
Target certainly gets the traditional benefits from this sighting – ancillary media coverage, cocktail conversations and a tremendously valuable brand alignment with Michelle (while Obama is often criticized, Michelle remains rather unscathed). Go, be like an Obama and shop at Target!
See Celebrity Pitch's other Article About Obama's Celebrity Endorsements.
According to the Hollywood Reporter "Cadillac Is Making a Comeback in Hollywood." And the star they chose: Jeremy Piven. Piven is actually one of just a few Hollywood's elite Cadillac has chosen to loan out their ultra premium Cadillac CTS-V which starts at a little of 60 G's.
The strategy is based on strategic placement, rather than pure product placement consumers may be used to in movies, tv shows and music videos. They play is not about mass consumer awareness, consideration or purchase, rather they're targeting a few Hollywood influentials to actually drive the vehicles around Hollywood and connect with the targeted decision makers in the industry that can actually afford the hefty price tag. Not that the lent vehicle doesn't have a mass audience branding play as Piven also tweeted to over a million Twitter that the "V-8 on the CTS-V is a beast."
Cadillac has chosen a very strategic, pointed and smart way to use Celebrity Endorsements to influence other celebrities and Hollywood A-listers. It's a welcomed new strategy. Who isn't tired of seeing cars being the stars of Movies re: Transporter 2 and it's star Jason Statham the Audi A8 and countless other examples.
Forbes had a great article this week on the celebrity endorsement power of Michael Jordan called, "The Business Of Michael Jordan is Booming." Here's a quick recap:
Jordan hasn't played in the NBA in 8 years
Forbes estimates Jordan's income to be $60 million last year
Celebrity Endorsements include: Nike, Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck, 2K Sports (video game) and Five Star Fragrances
Second highest paid athlete (first is Tiger Woods)
The Jordan Brand (Nike) has an annual revenue over 1 Billion dollars
Celebrity Endorsers of the Jordan Brand: Derek Jeter, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Denny Hamlin
Majority owner in the Charlotte Bobcats
The article is a great recap of Jordan's career and how he makes money. However, the best point made is that Jordan built his career in an age where he was perceived as good – on and off the court. That doesn't mean he was without his own scandals…he had them all. He cheated. He gambled. He failed at baseball. But all of this was overshadowed by how good of an athlete he was. The "good" on the court outweighed the bad off the court for one simple reason – social media did not exist. And for that reason, we'll never look at an athlete or celebrity like we look at Jordan ever again.
Google is the richest 13 year old I know. Today, the company that has changed our world and practically owns it, celebrated it's teenage existence.
The company is AMAZING and no one can deny the effect it has on everything we do. It certainly is an important company…but it's also a very wealthy company. Everyone knows how much money Google makes and I don't think celebrities are an exception. However, celebrity endorsement deals from Whoopi Goldberg to Lady Gaga are often done – get this – FOR FREE!
Google is a great brand to align with, probably one of the best, but why are they so cheap when it comes celebrities endorsing their brands. Google is not a charity, they can afford to pay. Would an athlete, model or actor do a commerical for P&G or Coca Cola for free? Nope. At least they shouldn't.
All companies do some good, and Google is no exception. For example Lady Gaga got involved because she liked the message of the "It Gets Better" campaign for Chrome which speaks to LGBT teens. Whoopi was a judge for "Doodle For Google" which is meant to inspire kids to think about what they might be when they grow up and possibly win a scholarship if they win a drawing contest.
Yes, they get a lot of good will and media attention for getting involved, so that must be where the talent justifies the value of their endorsement. But, seriously…seriously…a company worth over 170 billion dollars could front a little cash.
Yum! Brand (KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) welcomes back Christina Aguilera as their international spokesperson to give a "voice" to the World Hunger Relief cause. From the cause's website:
"Yum! Brands' annual World Hunger Relief campaign is the world's largest private sector hunger relief effort, spanning 110 countries, nearly 38,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants and more than 1 million employees, to raise awareness, volunteerism and funds for the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) and other hunger relief agencies. Multi-Grammy Award winner and pop superstar Christina Aguilera serves as the global spokesperson for World Hunger Relief."
From Hunger to Hope is a great platform for Christina. And Yum! definitely picked a powerful person for their celebrity endorsement. Cause marketing is a fantastic way for celebrities and brands to create and grow relationships. Both work toward a good cause – building both their brands through powerful goodwill messaging. Its also a beneficial relationship because cause marketing for corporations often comes packaged with a larger revenue generating relationships for the parent brand and celebrity.
Christina's World Hunger Relief PSA's begin running in mid-October. In the meantime, join Christina Aguilera and support World Hunger Relief 2011.
Who would think that Lebron James would get excited about some free fries, or that Michelle Wie would get excited for a free smoothie?! McDonald's did! The two star athletes are the McDonald's official celebrity endorsement team for this year's Monopoly game. While James and Wie appear in separate ads, the ads are complimentary in style an content. In typical McDonald's fashion the spots created by DDB are:
Closer to Cute
Further from Funny
Closer to Standard
Further from Creative
Closer to Safe
Further from Edgy
So the spots are your standard safe, cute ads that are relatable and easy to consume. While this could be a negative many brands could be a negative, it works for McDonald's Monopoly game. Everyone loves a chance to win something, and the message is clear: Play the game – 1 in 4 people win!
What's even better, is that neither Wie nor Lebron have realized their full "winning potential" yet. While neither have won at their current levels, their projected success is still optimistic and plentiful. And, in the meantime, they can enjoy something for free off McDonald's dollar menu!
Both spots can be seen on adage.