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Big Baby

01 June 2017 | Liz Bowen

Businesses plug their products. It’s what they do and have always done. Some use clever PR and marketing tactics to promote their wares, others simply let the service speak for itself.

The cherry on top of any campaign cake is having a well-known face at the heart of it. Celebrity endorsement is one of the most sought after and desired PR tactics and sales of products often soar if a famous face is seen advertising them or, better yet, wearing/using them.

However, what happens when the celebrity is the brains (or one of them) behind a brand? Well, then it becomes their passion project – they’re not just physically, but also emotionally and often financially invested in the success of the project.

And that is often when fans are left with a sour taste in their mouth.

Bombarding consumers with constant social media posts, marketing emails etc. asserting the benefits of your products just gets down right annoying after a while, as Emma Bunton (aka Baby Spice) has found out this week.

The former Spice Girl has been criticised by fans for constantly plugging products from her new company, Kit and Kin, all over her personal social media channels.

Kit and Kin, which offers eco-friendly baby products, has its own social media channels so you can understand why some people are getting a little frustrated with the barrage of posts.

Don’t get me wrong, we all know that once you feel passionate about something you’re going to get a bit, well, enthusiastic, about it and after all, social media is there to let people share their feelings, thoughts and activities. But the key to any good PR campaign is to know your audience.

Choosing a celebrity to endorse your product isn’t a lottery – a lot of thought will have gone into who best fits with the ethos and principles of the brand.

This is often the murky water a celebrity then faces with their own brand. If you’re lucky 60-70% of your fans and followers will be interested in your products. However, if your brand is specifically focused, in this instance baby products, you’re looking at a certain demographic and therefore, a narrow margin.

There’s no denying the marketplace is a competitive one, so it’s understandable a celebrity, with thousands, perhaps even millions of followers, would want to put their weight behind their product. There’s often a fine line though so it’s worth putting a little bit of thought into those posts – are they reaching the right people, are they saying the right thing?

When it comes to product placement, it’s worth thinking PR and a little less personal.