At the end of every year, we must glean what learnings we can from our wins and losses, always remembering to turn these learnings into actions as we enter the new year.
So, let’s take a look back and see where we can do better in 2018. From Spotted’s unique vantage point at the intersection of brand and celebrity interactions, here is a snapshot of the 2017 landscape.
Massive Budgets Are Being Thrown Around Haphazardly
Celebrity-related decisions (including campaigns, brand partnerships and more) are some of the most expensive decisions brands make. And as the years pass, brands only continue to ramp up celebrity activities and investments.
The issue is that these decisions continue to be made subjectively and are based largely on hunch. Many large-scale marketing decisions and investments today are made using data to ensure maximum effectiveness and ROI. But celebrity-related decisions still fly under the radar.
Just imagine how much budget is wasted every year on the wrong celebrities… how many campaigns don’t resonate with the intended consumer audiences…
Let’s take a quick look at a few celebrity ad campaigns and partnerships from this year. Using Spotted’s proprietary AudienceMatch™ score, we measured the overlap between the brand’s audience and the celebrity’s audience.
1. Millie Bobby Brown x Converse: AudienceMatch™ score = A
A pairing of brand and celebrity that (surprisingly) makes a lot of sense. Converse has been capitalizing on work with younger, more up-and-coming celebrities with niche audiences, and Millie Bobby Brown (the breakout star of hit show Stranger Things) made a great fit.
2. Miranda Kerr x Buick: AudienceMatch™ score = C
Model Miranda Kerr made an oddly brief appearance in Buick’s Super Bowl ad from earlier this year, which also featured Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton.
The lifestyle interests of Kerr’s audience lie in “Schools & Shopping,” “Careers & Travel,” and “Active Lifestyles.” Her audience is also largely female (78%) and between the age range of 25-34.
The lifestyle interests of the Buick audience lie in “Country Comfort,” “Rural Adventure,” and “Country Enthusiast.” The Buick audience skews more male (52%) and largely falls over the age of 35.
The contrast between these two audiences makes it seem that Buick used this ad as an attempt to reach a new audience, one that is younger, more female-focused and “cooler.” But at what cost? The partnership ends up feeling random and may have alienated the brand’s existing audience (many of whom likely don’t even know who Miranda Kerr is). Adding to this feeling of randomness, Kerr is only in the ad for about two seconds.
3. Gigi Hadid for Stuart Weitzman: AudienceMatch™ score = A-
Like the pairing of Millie Bobby Brown and Converse, this makes sense. The audiences of both Gigi Hadid and Stuart Weitzman are largely composed of young women (even though Gigi’s audience skews a bit younger).
4. Cher (and Future) for Gap: AudienceMatch™ score = C
Like the Miranda Kerr and Buick example above, this ad also feels like a jarring mismatch. Why the pairing of Cher and Future? Do either of them really wear Gap? There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to it.
Adding to this, the audiences of both Cher and Gap may be largely female, but they differ in age (Cher’s is largely over the age of 45) and lifestyle. While throwing Future into the mix may have been Gap’s attempt to also appeal to a younger, more male-skewing demographic, the pairing comes off like a grab-bag stunt.
While positive decisions were made now and again, the large majority of this year’s celebrity campaigns and ads ended up feeling very random. Why even bear the risk and budget at all on something that may likely not even resonate with target consumers?
If brands want to do better in 2018, they can reduce risk and maximize ROI by using data to make more informed celebrity decisions.
Consumers Are Tired of Staged, Incongruous Brand Content
It seems every other article you read today has some mention of “authenticity” or “consumer trust.” Unsurprising given that consumers (particularly younger consumers of the Millennial and Gen Y set) seem to grow more wary of brand advertising by the day.
This is particularly true of brands’ celebrity content, campaigns and partnerships. Influencer content is staged to look “authentic” while remaining posed and with an #Ad disclaimer staring them in the face. Brands team up with celebrities that never wear or use their products up until the day they’re handed a paycheck. It all feels a bit… off.
If brands want to do better in 2018, they could stand to stop pretending to be authentic (see the Tiffany & Co. example below) and simply be authentic. Rather than forcing it, find ways to harness real celebrity affinity.
Brands That Celebrities Loved in 2017
Now here’s the really juicy part… We pulled the data to identify the brands that really won with celebrities in 2017 — the ones most seen worn and driven by celebrities in 2017. Take a look below!
Top Luxury Fashion Brands of 2017:
- Louis Vuitton
- Saint Laurent
Top Sneaker Brands of 2017:
- New Balance
Top Jewelry Brands of 2017:
- Jennifer Fisher
- Tiffany & Co.
- Lorraine Schwartz
Top Denim Brands of 2017:
- MOTHER Denim
- J Brand
Top Automotive Brands of 2017:
- Range Rover
Here’s to hoping that goals of authenticity, logical celebrity alignment and smarter investments stick around longer than our New Year’s resolutions!
Cheers to 2018,
The Spotted team