KAFFEINE / Digital & Social Media, Events, Public Relations

Harnessing the power of reality TV stars for your brand

18 February 2022

From TOWIE star Gemma Collins modelling Valentino, to X-Factor’s Rylan Clark-Neal fronting car and wine brands, reality TV stars are a set of influencers that enable brands to reach different audiences and project different messages.     

When Hard Rock Cafe appointed us to launch its new European Flagship Store and Cafe in London’s Piccadilly Circus our challenge was to influence a new younger pop culture audience for the brand while also retaining its existing audience of rock fans. 

We did this by a campaign that engaged its existing audience through traditional media and its younger, pop focused audience via digital media and social channels. To do this we worked with reality stars such as Geordie Shore's Nathan Henry and TOWIE stars Lauren Goodger and James Lock as well as pop groups like Bang Bang Romeo. Our campaign ensured Hard Rock reached new audiences and the venue was fully booked for six months straight.

Read our seven top tips on how to run a successful partnership with a reality TV star and drop us a line at hello@kallaway.com for advice on how to maxamise your campaign. 

1. Know why you want to engage a reality TV star

Brands engage reality TV stars for different reasons. Commonly to help shape a new positioning to a new audience and / or generate more custom to a new audience. Whatever the reason, be clear on who you want to work with and why it’s important for your brand growth and understand the message of your association with that star will send to your target audience.

2. Research talent that connects with your customers 

How well do you know your audience? Go beyond demographic data to spend time to understand your target customers and the type of influencers and entertainment they enjoy watching and why.  Such insight will reveal the types of reality TV content and stars that connect some or all of your target audience groups. It’s in this sweet spot you’ll find the right stars for you.

3. Select your star

Once you have a shortlist of potential stars, do your research to find the right person for your brand. Research can also result in unlikely brand partnerships, for example when Alexandra Cane was on Love Island she revealed her love for Pot Noodles, which resulted in her becoming the face of the brand!

Areas to look at include:

Reputation and values: How does the star behave and what values does they exhibit?  Do these mirror your brand?  What would an association say about your brand if you were to work with them? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?  How deeply you ask these questions will depend on your own brands and the length of the engagement you seek with the star. I.e. A star attending a one off event is different to a 12 month brand partnership.

Marketing activity and online presence: How do they run their media and online profile for the marketing of brands? Is this something they do well – to the standard you need? If they haven’t been involved in marketing or sharing adverts, will they start now? What else is covered on their online presence? What content do they share from other channels?  Check if they have or are working with brands similar to yours – does this matter to your brand?

Get the negotiation right

4. Be clear in asking for what you want

Clarity is the key to success. This means being clear with the celebrity agent what you need from their talent, when and to what standard. This includes going into granular detail on issues such the type and frequency of social media content (e.g. number of frames / grid post or reels) and exact social media handles, hashtags and other messaging should be included. Make sure there is no wiggle room and the talent know exactly what they need to post - if possible, ask to see the content before it goes live, so you can flag any issues. Make sure you have agreed if the brand can re-use the content on their socials - there might be an additional cost to this. 

5. Know the talent's audience metrics

As part of the negotiation always make sure you can find out more about their audience, who they reach, when and what times they have peak engagement on their channels with what content. This will help you plan your campaign, develop the content that has the most engagement for you and the optimal time for posts to go live. 

6. Set deadlines

Have firm deadlines agreed about what content needs to be posted when. Ensure you have an understanding of the star’s schedule and that dates important to you for their involvement are committed and contracted. Don’t allow anything to chance.

7. It’s not just about the price…

The talent agents you approach will come back to you with a price, but this does not mean it’s final. Talent agents can be flexible when it comes to prices as they do not want to turn down work for their client, especially if it is a brand the celebrity is already interested in. Be honest about what budget you are working with, and if this campaign could turn into an ongoing partnership - agents will be happy to work around this to suit your brand.

We help brands develop effective marketing partnerships with talent, contact us on Hello@kallaway.com to learn more. 

Want more? 
We share monthly insight to help ambitious destination brands grow, don’t miss out - Sign up to Kaffeine, our monthly round up of insight, advice and invitations to future Insight Sessions.