Celebrity endorsements continue to be a go-to strategy for brands, despite mixed results.
As brands connect with esports to reach the elusive youth audience, endorsements are sure to follow. While they are great at grabbing attention, all too often we see the celebrity overshadow the brand. Since endorsements and starring roles don’t always come cheap, how effective are celebrity assets?
New meta-analysis conducted by Ipsos has shed more light on the best ways to use celebrities in advertising. This analysis measures creative variables in video ads and cross-references them with the Creative Effect Index, a sales-validated metric from Ipsos communication testing, to better understand what helps ads drive sales.
Two findings from the most recent meta-analysis of ads shed light on the best ways to include celebrities in advertising:
- Sports celebrities add more value than entertainment celebrities.
- Ads get an additional boost when celebrities are positioned in the context of their fame.
How do these insights translate to esports? A clear finding from our analysis reinforces that positioning celebrities in their natural field is one way to maximize the impact. In other words, context matters. Down the road, it may become commonplace where celebrity endorsers aren’t even real—they’re robotic or virtual, like a game character. In the meantime, there’s a new crop of esports leagues and their related stars to tap into. Brands can apply Ipsos’ celebrity endorsement learnings for esports, with a few modifications:
Is your brand active in esports already?
Is there a brand fit? Can you show your chosen partner in a natural role within esports while linking back to your brand? Does the endorser mirror or conflict with your brand’s core values and purpose?
Does your core consumer recognize the esports celebrity?
Unless you have a reasonably niche brand, product or category, will enough people know who the endorsement is from? This is where awareness, perception and brand fit testing with your core consumers can strengthen your investment.
What’s the potential for mass appeal?
This is perhaps the biggest conundrum for esports—the lack of a “breakout star” who generates appeal outside of the core fans. However, as many celebrities from Hollywood and traditional sports organizations are fans, players and investors in esports, there may be opportunities to team up together to boost cross-over awareness.