There’s a lot of endorsement money out there for the taking if you’re a relevant celebrity. On all accounts it’s a much bigger risk for the client than it is for the endorser. People will pay celebrities to do just about anything. In 2011 the daily newspaper the Metro had Lady Gaga be the guest editor for the day, Shannen Dorherty is all about getting her education online, and Bob Dole told the world he was having difficulty and needed Viagra.
There are some great companies out there to help you find the right spokesperson. There are traditional agencies or even new tech companies like Brand Match Score that use technology to aggregate available information, look for current trends, and put them into an algorithmic to find the right one for you. Even if you find the perfect one, things can still go wrong.
Generally brands want to stay on the safe side and avoid celebs known as the usual suspects. No one want to pay someone for their endorsement and incur all the marketing costs to have it all ruined by a domestic dispute, a DUI, or other controversy.
Blackberry is touting Alicia Keys as their new Global Creative Director which seemed like a very safe move. If she passed the Secret Service vetting for the President’s parties, she’s got to be good enough for Blackberry. Clearly this is a business deal that had been a long time in the making so why would she be openly tweeting from her iPhone? If someone is going for a top job at Nike, they’re probably not going to go into the interview wearing Reeboks. Is this really a big deal? It’s hard to hold someone accountable for things that happened before the official announcement of the partnership but with a title like “Global Creative Director” you’d think she’d have access to the Blackberry 10 well before then.
Is it as bad as Oprah tweeting about her love for her new Windows Tablet from her iPad? No, but it’s still an uninspiring move. A company teetering on the edge of it’s demise like Blackberry doesn’t need anyone to help give them that final push.