With more and more companies wanting to integrate their products into the lives of
celebrities, now seems like a good time to take a closer look at Celebrity Product
Placement, describe three common approaches, and outline what steps can be taken
to guarantee results.
The term “Celebrity Product Placement” is used to describe several related
techniques, but its definition applies to each: free products are distributed to
celebrities in expectation of a promotional benefit. Unlike the more overt, paid-for
endorsement, it offers a distinct advantage. It can appear like a product choice
made on individual preference.
Most marketers are unaware of their options in this category (one form features
contracts with celebrities, guaranteeing performance and allowing marketers to
actively leverage celebrity patrons in the media) and therefore many overlook a very
powerful influencer-marketing technique.
In this article, I will describe each of the three main approaches and discuss their
relative merits by listing their pros and cons. I also hope to quash any
misconception that Celebrity Product Placement has to be a gamble, and show you
how best to secure a return on investment (R.O.I.).
But first, a little history…
Celebrity Product Placement (sometimes called “Celebrity Seeding”) has been with us
since the dawn of marketing. Centuries before Arnold Schwarzenegger stepped into
his first Hummer, an 18th century potter named Josiah Wedgwood began supplying
his wares to England’s Queen Charlotte. Being given the title “Potter to Her Majesty”
led to a huge amount of publicity for Wedgwood which he took advantage of using
the term “Queen’s Ware” wherever he could.
It wasn’t until the 20th century that marketers keyed-in on America’s “royalty”:
Hollywood. But more often than not they met with disappointing results. Some
companies responded only to occasional requests for products (“gifting”), while
others made half-hearted attempts to distribute them without first devising a means
to guarantee results (“seeding”). In the end, most companies seeded product “to the
wind” and failed to grow anything of value.
Those efforts that did succeed, however, were so successful that independent
specialists emerged to help companies achieve better results. But the services they
offer vary and so do the results.
What’s It All About?
Marketers have long known the power of celebrity to influence consumer-
purchasing decisions. The term “borrowed equity” has been used to describe how a
celebrity endorsement can bestow upon a product special attributes and cache it
might not otherwise have.
The same concept applies to Celebrity Product Placement. But unlike celebrity
endorsements, where a highly compensated personality appears in commercial
advertising,zendaya net worth Celebrity Product Placement offers marketers a more subtle and highly
effective means of reaching the public – via the media they consume by choice.
Indeed, Celebrity Product Placement is as much about placing products with
celebrities as it is about getting stories about those relationships into the press.
Regardless of the approach, Celebrity Product Placement strategies have a common
aim: to tie celebrities (thought-leaders, influencers) with consumer products in the
Three different techniques offer three different levels of control over that placement:
gifting-the-talent (this usually involves supplying products for gift bags at live
events); product seeding (products are distributed more widely in hopes of securing
a promotional benefit and kicking off a trend); and, barter relationships (individual
celebrities agree to participate in custom programs in exchange for valuable