MMXLII Trendspotting: A-List Celebs Becoming Creative Directors

It’s not a new concept for brands to use celebrities as the faces of their products to attract more consumers, but recently more brands are allowing these celebrities to become the face and brains of their companies. Beyoncé most recently has become a creative director for Pepsi, Justin Timberlake for Budweiser, Alicia Keys for Blackberry, Marc Jacobs for Diet Coke and Rihanna for MAC Cosmetics. We don’t know how much they are doing from a creative standpoint besides what they tell us in interviews and press releases. However with brands trying to find more and more ways to capture a younger demographic’s attention [a demographic easily distracted by the next thing] and create brand loyalty, using a celebrity’s idea or insight isn’t a bad idea.

Many of these A-Listers have a better pulse on what their fans like to see from them, and if they don’t, whatever these A-Listers like becomes what their fans like. Also a subconscious brand loyalty can develop because of the fan’s dedication to the celebrity. A fan in support of Justin Timberlake may not be a fan of Budweiser, but knowing that Justin is on board with Budweiser may influence them to buy Budweiser because they feel that it’s out of allegiance to him. A Marc Jacobs fan may not drink Diet Coke but wants to buy a case because Jacobs designed the can. At the end of the day that’s what it comes down to is the consumers BUYING the products. So if Rihanna’s fans buy more MAC products because Rihanna is the visionary behind the new colors, MAC will be happy.

For these celebrities, opportunities like this allow them to diversify their business portfolio and find creative ways to integrate their main line of work. Justin Timberlake has been able to use his song in the national Budweiser television campaign; and as the result his album and the Budweiser brand are being promoted simultaneously. Things like this we’re sure are making Timberlake’s label happy, and Budweiser gets to use one of the most talked about music artists right now as the face of their campaign. Think of these creative director positions as the evolution of endorsements. It can become a more in-depth business partnership rather than a “we pay you to say our stuff is cool” relationship. Ideally this helps the two brands find ways to help each other meet common goals.

On the other side of this trend however is the idea of paying these large salaries and giving these positions out and there being no increase in sales. If this happens there could be a huge fallout from using these A-Listers as creative directors. Basically it becomes a great gimmick that never pays off as a substantial business move. The long-term effects of such a fallout can’t really be determined as of yet, but it is something to be aware of.

For more about this trend, check out the article we found on USA Today.

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