It’s the familiarity of Will Smith. The buzz quotient of Oprah. The likability of Clint Eastwood.
It’s that certain something that would make specific megastars first-rate marketing options.
In the name of finding celebrities well-suited to endorse specific brands — and reach beyond the flavor of the moment —marketing consultant Millward Brown has created a new way to rate celebrity-and-brand pairings.
Would Miley Cyrus quaffing a peppermint mocha help Starbucks do more holiday business? Would Reese Witherspoon waxing wondrous about the Carlos Falchi handbags at Target spark shopping there?
According to the new Cebra (celebrity plus brand) ratings, they could do just that.
The system, which identified Smith and Brad Pitt as the most effective brand endorsers overall, ranked the famous on a scale from zero to 100, based on three attributes: familiarity, buzz and likability. Subsequent matchups of pop culture figures and brands are based on which of these personality characteristics dovetail with consumers’ attitudes about various brands — an indication those stars would make for the best ambassadors.
Some of the pairings suggested in the new Cebra scores are surprising, like the Cyrus/Starbucks and Witherspoon/Target matchups. Others seem more likely: the all-American appeal of Pitt complementing Gap, or reading booster Oprah Winfrey being paired with book behemoth Amazon.com.
Nile Rowan, a senior vice president for Millward’s western region, who worked on the project, was surprised by the septuagenarian actor William Shatner’s match with high-tech Dell computers, for example, as well as by Witherspoon’s glamour being paired with the “every-girl” appeal of Target.
But Rowan pointed out the celebrity/brand compatibility ratings are based on emotions and the subconscious, rather than pure reason.
“Affinity, buzz are drenched in emotions,” Rowan said. “There’s emotion whenever we speak or think of celebrities. Sarah Palin is in the news all the time, but not everyone really loves her. Some people who may not be so well-known may make for the best [marketing] matches.”
A joint effort with Bangor University in the U.K. enabled Millward Brown to develop the familiarity, likability and buzz measures, based on the neuroscience of how the brain processes feelings about brands and develops emotional connections, said Heather Stern, vice president of marketing at Millward Brown North America.
The way in which people perceive celebrities is “based on past experiences” and “relates to storage centers in the brain,” Rowan said of neuroscience’s role in developing the Cebra ratings. “All of the top 10 celebrities scored well in all three ratings: familiarity, buzz and affinity [likability].”
Celebrities scoring in the top 10 on the Cebra scale were: Smith and Pitt, tied for first place; Tiger Woods [before the notoriety of his car accident] and Oprah Winfrey, tied for second; Denzel Washington, third; Eastwood and Ellen DeGeneres, tied for fourth, and Morgan Freeman, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, in a three-way tie for fifth place.
High likability ratings for Smith and DeGeneres led Millward to suggest pairing Smith with personal care brand Gillette and DeGeneres with Priceline.com, one of many online travel agents jockeying for customers. High familiarity ratings for Eastwood and Jolie resulted in potential matchups with Chevron and Visa, respectively.
“Chevron is seen by consumers as a welcome friend and so is Eastwood,” a Millward spokeswoman noted. “Visa is a global brand, and Angelina is everywhere — you can’t get away from her.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)