Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Celebrity Overkill

Kelley Irwin

Celebrity Marketing Overkill

Katherine Stone comments on the overload of celebrity focus in marketing. Celebrities are often the focus of fashion and new product inventions. Marketers look to celebrities to show their products to the mass consumer. Stone discusses the fact that celebrities have tables of free items and services to choose from whenever they are at an event. Marketing has taken to giving celebrities products in order to raise the “cool” factor of products in the eyes of the taste makers. However, there has been such an overkill that giving these celebrities the products no longer has the same effect as in the past. Rather, the free goodies are just that, free things that celebrities can take home with them. The products do not necessarily have value to the celebrities. It does not help to market the products to the taste makers or to the mass consumer anymore. People do not even pay attention to those goody bags. Stone is commenting on another article “Bag Swag” in which the author comments that even celebrities “are commodities…and cheap ones at that.” Therefore, it is not as useful to market your products by having celebrities use them. Consumers are not likely to care enough about the free products given to celebrities to have that affect sales.
Clearly, the article is discussing a way of marketing by using celebrity endorsements or celebrity product usage. However, the article discusses how using celebrities and giving those celebrities their products is no longer a helpful tactic in marketing one’s products. Marketers need to acknowledge the over-saturation in celebrity goody bags. Additionally, there is a difference when thinking about marketing a product, between using product placement and seeding to get your product shown and putting out tables and tables of free products for people like Paris Hilton to pilferage through.
Celebrity goody bags used to be a beneficial way for marketers to get their products into the hands of taste makers. Goody bags, however, have become overused by marketers. The article informs marketing by explaining how goody bags of free products for celebrities are no longer as effective for marketers. There is not likely to be a strong affect on sales due to the free products for celebrities. Celebrities have the money to purchase products that they want. The average consumer will not generally be interested in the fact that a celebrity received a product free and is now using it. Therefore, the article helps to explain how marketers should no longer place such a large value on putting their products in the free goody bags. Also, the article points out that there are differences between beneficial product placement and the overuse of free products given to celebrities.
The article improved my understanding of marketing in a few different ways. First, putting products in celebrity goody bags reminds me of guerilla marketing. It is the type of tactic that is something to a relatively small amount of people but marketers hope that it will have an effect. Second, the article helped me to see how certain ways of marketing that may not be traditional can become overdone and no longer helpful for companies. It is like the saying “too much of a good thing will kill you.” Companies have used this way of getting products to the celebrities so often and to excess that it is no longer valuable.
One thing that I would critique about this piece is that it does not talk about the effects if certain companies stop putting products into the goody bags of celebrities. There may be backlash against those companies for not paying enough attention to the celebrities. It would seem to me that celebrities would become accustom to receiving such benefits as the free goody bags. Suddenly taking that benefit away could create negative feelings. Katherine Stone does not acknowledge or look at that problem or possibility.


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