Are we seeing a shift from celebrity to community in PR and marketing?

It’s not hyperbole to say the last six months could change the way that we think about almost every aspect of PR and marketing. And one such area is in the realm of celebrity.

So this week, Bite, the thought-provoking publication from Creative Brief, asked the question: Are we seeing a shift from celebrity to community in marketing and what will that mean for the future of marketing endorsement deals?

They asked industry experts to respond, one of whom was Helen Rainford, the Managing Partner of our PR and content specialists, Smarts.

Here’s what Helen had to say:

I think we’ve being seeing a shift away from classic celebrity endorsements for a while now. People can see through brands using celebrity for celebrity’s sake, and I think brands, even more so post-COVID, are also scrutinising the costs of bringing one on board. It’s no longer, who can we get for £x, it’s, what will we gain by working with a celebrity? Often the answer is not much.

That’s not to sound the death knell for using celebrities in marketing. But you absolutely need to have the right reason for choosing your ambassador and the content you create with them must have a natural synergy with the rest of your marketing. L’Oréal and Eva Longoria proved during lockdown how effective an endorsement can be when it all comes together.

Whilst the industry does shift further to focus on community, I hope the lessons learnt from celebrity endorsements are carried over. Don’t just now ‘do community’ for the sake of it, or because it feels like the right thing to do. Otherwise you can end up with similarly badged content. For every interchangeable celebrity endorsement campaign, we had a similar amount of interchangeable ‘real people’ campaigns over lockdown. Make sure that what you do has a purpose. Make sure it’s what your customers actually want. Then you shouldn’t go too far wrong. 

Read the full article here.