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Celebrity A and B are available: Who do you want, company owner?

Business principals obviously pay attention when large amounts of money are being discussed or exchanged. Seemingly, there is nothing quite like cash to sharpen focus and scrutiny for parties on both sides of a negotiating table when a big-asset deal is in play.

Suffice to say that focus is on ample display when company executives are contemplating a celebrity endorsement for a product or service they market to the general public. Well-known figures don’t come cheap, even when their face and perceived attributes are merely being borrowed temporarily and for a narrow purpose.

Put another way: Marketing principals paid a hefty premium for Elizabeth Taylor hawking their perfumes. When Michael Jordan floated through air in a pair of Nike shoes, sky-high deposits into his bank account buoyed his aerial flight.

Company decision makers obviously need to “get it right” when they turn to high-profile endorsers to make a pitch for their business.

Because getting it wrong can hurt materially in two ways. First, the public’s rejection of a celebrity/brand link can actually drive sales downward when some connection that is posited is questioned or even ridiculed (“Hi, I’m Sylvester Stallone, and I always use X lotion to keep my hands extra soft.”). And, second, a big-name endorsement is going to cost the company a chunk, regardless if it tanks.

Given those stark realities, making the right call at the outset is crucially important to a business’s bottom line. We’ll take a look in our next blog post at what some empirical evidence focused on celebrity/brand linkage concludes regarding the effectiveness (or not) of a stated connection.

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