Not only are rappers dropping brand names in their rants in obvious bids for endorsement contracts, celebrities are staging stunts and launching hashtag campaigns that merge brand affinity with celebrity identity, quite successfully. Charlie Sheen isn’t being that original with his public bad boy behavior, but his prancing about with tiger blood, rumored to be a cartoonish reference to his upcoming SpikeTV special, is a choreographed fusion of online and offline brand affiliation.
Like Joaquin Phoenix, celebrities being publicly naughty to lure brands and create viral content has been around for years but Twitter now allows that stream of content to flow in real-time. What’s the relevance for marketers? Real-time, targeted retweets as well as cross-platform viral shares make celebrity-branded tweets potentially one of the most powerful mediums for digital agencies to consider.
Celebrities are naturally paid to tweet, but behind the $10,000 per tweet that top names are sometimes paid is an evolutionary business strategy. Tweets can connect fans to brands in real-time, with a viral immediacy and volume that isn’t necessarily workable, for now, on Facebook alone.
Micro-endorsements become even more powerful when those tweets are retweeted as hashtags around themes. That means that celebrities are linked to hot topics in permanence and non-fans are made aware of celebrity tweets even when they are searching for something else. Those themes can naturally connect to brands and Celebrity tweets are not just another revenue stream for celebrities, their a way of opening up a real-time bidding platform that sells fame in exchange for an advantageous brand affiliation and a considerable amount of cash.
Will it work long-term? Probably not. Like any format, such as email marketing, the parameters and the technology will continue to evolve. Twitter celebrity endorsements won’t remain as quick bleats of praise or complaint or as popular in the future. As the rich display world evolves so will the Twitterverse, connecting tweets with new platforms and devices that enable new ad formats. Who cares? Brands that don’t have celebrity endorsers don’t necessarily need the stars, they just need a good hashtag-aware strategy.
Learn about Ad.ly, the agency that represents celebrity tweeters including Charlie Sheen here
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