From time-to-time, we decide to use celebrity talent at re:group. Celebrities are great: they're fun, they're well spoken...and, hey, we'd be lying if we said we overlooked the fact that they're usually good looking.

But, although celebrities do a great job satisfying your shiny object syndrome, we want to warn you that committing to use them in marketing or advertising must be a strategic decision.


The "Biggest Loser's" Pete Thomas as HealthPlus of Michigan's Health & Wellness Expert

There must be a connection between the celebrity and the brand. The Martha Stewart Collection at Kmart was a perfect example. It made complete sense to have Martha talk about her products in a store that supplied her premium selection of home goods. Similarly, if a celebrity has a charitable connection with an organization, it is an obvious extension to have someone with such a wide reach be the brand spokesperson or at least provide a testimonial. Think Marlo Thomas and her relationship with St Jude Children's Research Hospital. It also makes sense to consider using a celebrity when he has performed a role so many times that he is an 'expert' on subject or industry, like Dennis Haysbert as the "authority" for Allstate.

One of the cautions about celebrity talent is that their presence can sometimes overpower the message you're trying to convey. This can happen when people are so distracted by the talent that they aren't paying attention to the communication, or when a seemingly nice celebrity turns out to be not such a great a guy after all. When you have tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, you need to weigh the risk of a potential temperamental personality disrupting your carefully planned production with the value that they can add to the execution.

Fortunately, we were extremely lucky with a recent production that used celebrity talent. Strategically, he was selected because he was an expert in the role we needed him to play. And, to our good fortune, was an absolute pleasure to work with--someone who cared about giving us his best work and was a genuinely nice person to have on the set.

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