Say GOODBYE to Celebrity Marketing and say hello to PEOPLE marketing

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The DAWN of the social media marketing

Once upon a time, there was a distant; far away period on Earth where celebrities rule the planet with their faces plastered on posters, billboards, magazines, and last year …TWITTER! These celebrities were paid a huge amount of money in exchange for endorsements, and even to post sponsored tweets on Twitter. (Companies should have paid me… kidding)

Then the human race was awoken and they “fought” back. But it’s not as if we went to war with them. One man, Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix – a company which tracks every nationally televised TV ad – provided statistical data on branding strategy insider which showed that celebrities are losing their effectiveness and that their ads were performing below average.

Later, more facts came in showing that celebrity ads did not perform any better compared to non-celebrity ads, and for some cases it even did the opposite, it did much worst, although there were celebrities which did well.

According to branding strategy insider, consumers today are more likely to be influenced by someone in their social circle, compared to a weak celebrity connection, as today’s consumers are difficult to impress and are only influenced by ads that are relevant.

In the video above, comedian Dave Chappelle, made a joke that Pepsi tasted better because he was paid more, and at the end of the video he said that people don’t know what is fake and what is real anymore. Celebrities used to portray trust to consumers all over the world. But if they don’t know what is fake and what is real anymore…who is there to be trusted?

This is where social media steps in. Social media provides two of the most important keys in the advertising industry…Relevance and Information. To give you an example, who would you rather trust? An advertisement from a company or your friends? Whose opinions are more relevant? Most of us would rather trust our friends, as the close relationships we have with them and the trust we have for their opinions are more relevant in our decisions. As we developed trust, we would also trust the information from our peers, both offline and online, more than the words of a celebrity.

Is this a sign that the age of socialites is being taken over by the age of social-medialites? I say it is certainly possible! People aren’t as affected by celebrity ads as they used to because people are spending more time on social networking sites and asking opinions about a particular product or services from their friends. We are asking people what are the Twitter applications they recommend, what perfume to wear on a date tonight, which places would give a great backpacking experience, and what is even more important than asking the right people the right questions… is that we are getting the right answers from the right people!

If you ask me, celebrity endorsement doesn’t influence me at all. In my personal opinion, I would rather go online on Twitter and get help and opinions from the Twitter community rather than just watching an ad and buying it. Not unless @alyssa_milano tweeted about it! (celebrity crush speaking).

But it could it be because @alyssa_milano spends time on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to engage and converse with people! Yes, it’s true! I have exchanged several tweets with the lovely Alyssa as she spends time reading and replying tweets from her followers. She might be a celebrity, but she’s also a friend to me. And that makes all the difference.

While there is a decline in the effectiveness of celebrity ads, what about in the case of Alyssa? Could celebrities that use social media to converse with people be even more effective? Could social media be the platform to develop a deeper sense of CONNECTION with the consumers? What do you think guys?

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  • Jeff Pundyk

    very true…but…as our social circles get bigger and bigger, our connections to them get more tenuous and the question of trust starts to surface even within our own networks.
    I have a piece on this point on here: in which I discuss the issue of credibility in the face of media chaos. With so many voices and so much ambiguity around who is actually at the source of the information that we all are creating and consuming, how do we know whom to trust? While we could once rely on our networks, that is no longer the case.

  • Aaron Lee

    Good day Jeff,

    Thanks for stopping by, I agree that trust will start to surface even within our network soon. Thank you for the article too. Will look into it and who knows, might get an idea for a post.


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  • Ashlee

    All great points! I agree with your point about trusting your online peers vs. a celebrity endorsement but it’s the case of Alyssa Milano and other celebrities who use social media to promote causes and products that gets me thinking. Celebrities who use social media, and actively converse with their following, have the audience many brands and marketers are looking to get in front of. They’ve got people listening to them because they’re famous and they “trust” them, just like you do with Alyssa. So, this is where the trust may still fall with those celebrities who are taking to social media to engage with a fan base, share ideas, and absolutely develop a deeper connection with the consumer. Now, bringing real people into the social media spehre to help market brands certainly does the trick too because it allows for the consumer to relate with the individual, just as they are, in ‘their’ world.

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  • Aaron Lee

    Good day Ashlee,

    Thanks for dropping by, yes you actually got most of the points which I wanted to cover in one of my future post. By having celebrities using social media it brings them back into the world where they are able to build trust with their fan/followers. Its a great thing. Like I mention how Alyssa is someone who I consider a friend.


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  • Aschwin Wesselius

    It’s back to worth-of-mouth advertising. That’s why MLM and network-marketing is still working and we endorse every tid-bit we can to our relatives. Also negative experience are shared that way. It’s not new, it’s not unknown, but it’s not on the surface that much anymore. Now it comes back.

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  • Nick Stamoulis

    Social media is all about sharing. With Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc. we can easily find out what our peers think about a product or service. Obviously we trust them much more than we trust a celebrity that’s being paid. People aren’t being paid (that I know of) to post a review on Yelp. Therefore, it’s much more legitimate.

  • Aaron Lee

    I agree, that is because we’ve built a relationship with our friends. YELP is an example of a community built app where they want to help others. :)

  • Aaron Lee

    Comes back and bites celebrities :)

  • Anonymous

    I do agree with this, but having said that, is focusing in celebrity endorsement. Which make me wonder do their celebrity ads really works well..

  • Anonymous

    There will always be those who have stars in their eyes when it comes to celebrities, so celebrity endorsements will probably never go away, but there is definitely power in social media, especially hen combined with celebrity.

    The value of celebrities who engage with their audience on social media has clearly shown an effect on popularity. For instance, take a look at @justinebieber and @aplusk both Justin and Ashton significantly increased in popularity both in the media and with their audience when they began tweeting regularly. So, I am not sure if there is a decline in the effectiveness of celebrity ads when the celebrity was actively involved in engaging through social media. Have there been any studies on that?

    To answer your question, building a social media presence is an essential element of business for celebrities and business owners these days because it does provide that social proof or “trust” that consumers need to BUY.

  • Aaron Lee

    I am curious too, hopefully be spending more time and trying to see if there is any relation :)

  • Aaron Lee

    I agree, for those who have start in their eyes, it would not go away.

    Yes look at Bieber, his fan has certainly shown their dedication to him. I didn’t really mean that the celebrity effectiveness would decrease when they are actively spending time on social media, what i meant was social media could actually help them as more people are spending time online and by allowing the celebrities to connect with the people, its actually helping them like Alyssa :)

    100% agree that building a social media presence is an essential element. as it provides social proof. Recently impressed by how companies are listening and replying to inquiries through twitter

  • Varvid

    Not only should we be soliciting endorsements, recommendations, and reviews from our peers, those whose products are seeking endorsement should get out there and do it themselves.

  • Aaron Lee

    Having the CEO as a face would definitely help. For example Steve Jobs, Bill gates.. etc they don’t need celebrities to help them. Therefore I definitely agree.

    Thanks for the recommendation. Will be looking at it.

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