The cosmetic companies which have hired model Kate Moss to divulge its products were obliged to back and rescind the contracts, after the pictures of the model using cocaine were published in a British newspaper and were spread around the world.
First was the H&M net, which had prepared a campaign, directed to the teen public and preferred to dispense the models figure to not show a bad example. Chanel did the same thing and Burberry‘s, after expressing its “sadness”, have also decided to rescind the contract.
Without its star, the companies lost a success association, but at the same time saved its image, which could have been prejudiced when associating it to a drug consumer.
When a company decides to bet in a celebrity to promote a product, the experience says that the return in terms os popularity (and sales) uses to be a good strategy. A test realized by agency Solomon Friedman demonstrated that “to favor the name of a brand and remind the advertising, a celebrity recommendation is more efficacious then the one of the specialist or the one of the typical consumer “.
This is right unless the unforeseen. The specialists explains that there are mistakes that shouldn´t be commited. A good recommendation catalogue is what does the professor Luc Dupont on its book “1001 Publicity Tricks”. The most imporant is that the celebrities must express the kind of personality and of image that the company wants to associate to the product.
Another Dupont´s advertence is that the stars that guarantees too many brands tends to loose its sales power. On the fashion magazines most recent it is possible to see the actress Uma Thurman, Quentin Tarantino´s muse, promoting in a page a leather bag and at the next a watches brand. “The super exhibition can confunde”, says Dupont.
At the same time, it seems inopportune a company concentrating its promotional campaign in the same character.
Jordi Chias, Axioma agency strategic planning director, comments that “the dangers on adding value to a determinate character is that he can takes the attributes of the brand and take them with himself at the end of the campaign. That’s why, it would be better to plan campaigns with various famous characters that take place on the time and one only brand that stays. Besides, the character diversification reduces the risk and the consequences that a a surprise of a celebrity can create”.
But in certain occasions an incident can provoke unpredicted gains. For instance, on the years 80, the song supposedly improper “Like a prayer” by Madonna gave to Pepsi a superior exhibition on the media then the foreseen one. Some characters seem immune to scandals, such as the basketball player Michael Jordan, that survived to a adultery and to a stake case.
Anyway, the specialists recommend that, if possible, to contour the troubled situation. Chias gives the following example: “It is need to be more clever. I would make a deep reflexion with the celebrity or its representative and would draw a strategy of public position about the occurred, tranforming it, for instance, in a human being apparently fragile that deceives but learns with its mistakes, rectify itself and emerges again with a new strength and the inner will so admired by the people of any country”.