The first step before choosing a celebrity for your direct marketing campaign is to ensure that he or she matches up well with your prospects' values. Choosing the right celebrity is critical. The success of your campaign is too important to risk on the wrong celebrity. Be careful not to select a celebrity who your employees are simply big fans of. "Instead, focus on a celebrity that will be in alignment with your products and has the trust of your audience," says Jordan McCauley, founder and president of Contact Any Celebrity, who also advises the celebrity ought to have a long-standing track record of stability and credibility with the consumer.
There are many ways to go about choosing a celebrity for your campaign. I recommend starting with the internet and simply researching the celebrity directly. Read the news, celebrity tabloids and celebrity magazines to catch up on prospective celebrities that may be a fit for your product. Use Google Alerts to keep up, and if you are really in a quandary, go to www.googlefight.com and compare the popularity of one celebrity versus another by typing in their names.
There are other online resources available in your quest for choosing the right celebrity. McCauley offers a subscription-based celebrity database service that may be useful. The internet will point you to other resources. A database such as www.contactanycelebrity.com allows you to quickly research celebrities according to the type of products or causes they are willing to endorse. For example, if you have a green product, you'll find hundreds of celebrities willing to participate in your campaign.
Celebrities are certainly viable in the visual and auditory media. Seeing their images and hearing their voices endorse your product creates marketing magic that is harder to achieve in direct mail or print advertising. According to Lloyd Kolmer of New York, who pioneered the field of celebrity endorsements with Edward G. Robinson's endorsement of Remington shavers, "The use of celebrities in direct mail should be an extension of a larger multimedia campaign, to maximize the endorsement leverage." He cautioned that not all celebrities have market value and while there are many that do, you have to choose your celebrity wisely. "It all depends on your budget and, more importantly, the audience you are trying to influence. Direct marketers have to work harder to leverage the celebrity's value in print form."