Whether you run the world’s biggest record label or you work as a gigging session musician, it’s impossible to escape the fact that this is the age of the influencer. The opinions of those who matter have always been important in forming our views and choices. But in this age of live streaming and social media, those opinions have never been more accessible and, therefore, influential.
Having random bloggers and self-styled internet personalities endorse your product or service offering is one thing. But many companies still cling on to celebrity endorsement and brand ambassadors as the gold standard. It provides opportunities for both businesses to promote their brands and for those in the music business to gain additional exposure. So what could possibly go wrong?
Trust and Credibility
This has always been the main purpose of celebrity endorsement. Of course, not everyone in the music business is someone whose advice you would take for the most important life decisions. But there have been some master strokes in recent years. Take music impresario Simon Cowell’s partnership with Barclays Bank, for example. Here’s a man who knows how to make money – who wouldn’t follow his banking advice?
But what about the flip side of the argument? The best example comes not from the music business but the sport world. At one time, Tiger Woods was the hottest property in the States, with companies like Nike practically letting him write his own checks. That dried up overnight when problems in his private life became public.
Accessing a New Audience
Sometimes, the idea of the celebrity endorsement is to choose someone a little outside the brand’s usual demographic. The decision by Ninja Casino (https://www.ninjacasino.com) to partner with Yksi Totuus is a case in point. This young, fresh duo is relatively new on the scene, so as well as presenting an edgy, vibrant image for the brand, they also bring a young new demographic to the igaming giant’s virtual doors.
Of course, this cuts both ways, and the YouTube campaign has so far attracted more than 200,000 views, doubtless earning Yksi Totuus a whole new army of fans who would otherwise never have heard of them.
Getting the Balance Right
The above is a great example of the brand and the influencer working together for their mutual benefit. However, things do not always go so smoothly. It’s easy for either the brand or the influencer to overshadow the other.
Even the biggest stars in the music business have made this mistake. In fact, it can sometimes be a case of the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Remember that cringe-inducing ad for Hot Pockets featuring Snoop Dogg? Seven years on and we are still chuckling, although perhaps not to his face.
The risks are similarly apparent for brands. Ultimately. The endorsement needs to support the brand, not overwhelm it. This can be the case for those “gun for hire” celebrities who will endorse anything and everything. Did someone say “Ozzy Osbourne?” Surely not.