We are all victims of Celebrity Worship Syndrome

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By Tom Kennett

If you’re involved in the branded watch business and spend a lot of your time focused on sales and marketing, like myself, you are more than likely to have experimented with celebrity marketing.

Whilst it is clear that a great deal of consumers can be swayed to buy a product relating to a certain celebrity, how do the marketing and branding professionals behind these campaigns measure and understand the effectiveness of celebrity association on a product’s sales performance and general allure?

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Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are living in a generation obsessed with celebrities; stars are religiously followed by the masses on Facebook and Twitter and gossip websites file news stories constantly. This new wave of extreme celebrity following has led to some American psychologists naming this obsession Celebrity Worship Syndrome.

It seems the norm now for our curiosity to be overstimulated; we want to be up-to-date with all sorts of details, from who’s dating who to the latest celebrity health and fitness regimes to the brands and trends the stars are snapped wearing. With such obsessional attention and focus on celebrities, how much of what we see in the media is organic and how much is fabricated? Do watch consumers really believe celebrity endorsements are genuine and do they motivate them to buy a watch?

Some of the bigger brands seem to be fuelling this obsession by linking up with stars – Jessie J wearing a Piaget Polo in her video for Domino, Katy Perry wearing an Ice-Watch in hers, Jay-Z and Kanye West rapping about their “new watch alert”, referring to newly bought Hublot and Audemars Piguet watches. Sure these scenes and references build brand awareness but does it really work to drive volume sales?

Well for us, a relatively young brand, the answer is yes. We are starting to see results now that proves celebrity association really does help to drive sales for our brand.

We are actively working with celebrities to educate consumers about Kennett Watches. We have had the likes of Gerard Butler, Chiddy Bang, Iain Wright, Scott Maslen, Nick Cannon and, most recently, Alesha Dixon wearing our products. We choose to work with celebrities who are genuinely interested in our brand and who want to show their support in wearing our watches.

We might not have big budgets like the mega-brands but we have a unique story, aspiring plans and a thriving fan base – all of which helps us commandeer the support of our celebrity allies. We represent the fight of the underdog against the mighty corporations like Swatch Group.

While stars will go in and out of the spotlight and so too will many brands, but we believe celebrity endorsement is here to stay and our own aim is to continue to work with the right stars in a genuine and natural way to develop the brand. internationally.

This article was taken from the June 2012 issue of WatchPro magazine, out now. To view a digital version of the magazine click here. If you work in the watch industry and would like to write a guest column for WatchPro then email the editor at rachael.taylor@itp.com

 

 

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