Are brand marketers on the brink of extinction?

Will celebrity brand endorsers replace marketers?

Written by Kaye Neylon

Recently there has been a surge of celebrities being given a generous promotion when it comes to branding roles but shouldn’t we (marketers) be asking if they can bring more to a business than just a platform and could they really replace brand marketers? Jungle investigates!

The Beyonce Effect

Beyonce was recently promoted to ‘Creative Director’ of fizzy drinks giant, Pepsi, in a deal worth a reported £33 million which includes a healthy financial injection into Beyonce’s own creative project which is supposedly unrelated to the drinks brand. The first print ad launched in the US in February of this year and cans are now stamped with the diva’s face.

But was the multi-Grammy award winning singer really qualified for the job?


Beyonce’s relationship with the Pepsi brand began ten years ago and in the meantime she’s racked up the experience of understanding the brand and its consumers and some would argue that it’s only right that Beyonce takes on a bigger role in their latest collaboration.

The latest deal Pepsi have brokered with Beyonce includes artistic freedom and the brand’s endorsement of the promomotion for her next album, together Beyonce and Pepsi have created a marketing machine!

Famous Faces + Brands = £££!

It’s becoming more and more evident that the old celebrity endorsement model is long gone and in its place is a sea of famous faces being given in-house marketing roles rather than simply putting their faces to a brand and taking a chunk of the profits. Becoming a director-level marketing professional takes years and years of training and gaining vital branding experience along with the relevant qualifications.

Famous faces may not be traditionally trained to succeed in the role but their years of experience in gaining the trust of a specific demographic to buy their products and believe in any product or brand they subsequently endorse as a result of their fame is worth taking into consideration.

Whether celebrities take on a pivotal role in helping to develop a brand or providing an assuring smile to the brands demographic all counts towards making a profit and increasing brand awareness.

Are we consumer junkies or cynical folk?

Marketing Week have argued that a celebrity’s brand involvement is not equal to that of an in-house role that compliments a marketing team and there is always a chance of the audience seeing through the brands connection to the celebrity. Are brands insulting the consumer’s intelligence in adopting a celebrity brand endorser?

Do we really believe that David Beckham drinks Pepsi? Or perhaps Alicia Key’s owning a BlackBerry Z10 when only several months ago she publicly professed to being an iPhone junkie? Maybe we’re being pessimistic but we like to call it realistic.

Do celebrity endorsements really encourage consumers to adopt the products suggestive way of life?

The Global Creative Director Posse

In February of this year, Alicia Key’s was made ‘Global Creative Director’ (GCD) of BlackBerry. Following the launch of the BlackBerry Z10, Key’s was announced as GCD and will be working toward enhancing entertainment uses and distribution via the Z10 platform.

There’s no misunderstanding or understating the fact that celebrity endorsements do wonders for a brand, but does this undermine the value of a qualified brand marketer?

Justin Timberlake brought the once dominating social media platform, Myspace, back from the brink of extinction in 2011 when he bought shares in the company and became its Creative Director as well as alcoholic beverage company Budweiser Light Platinum.

Timberlake played his hand well and cleverly used the Myspace platform to launch his new album and coincided the album launch with a cleverly put together Bud Light TV ad sampling his latest single.

Only time will tell if Timberlake’s efforts to draw in a new younger and ‘hipper’ crowd to buy into the reduced alcohol beverage and Myspace as a Facebook and Twitter alternative but one thing is for sure, Timberlake’s CV will be bursting with Director level Marketing experience that many of us can only work and study hard for!

Celebrity Brand Endorsement Role Call

  • Justin Timberlake, Creative Director, Myspae and Bud Light Platinum
  • Alicia Keys, Global Creative Director, BlackBerry
  • Marc Jacobs, Creative Director, Diet Coke
  • Beyonce, Creative Director, Pepsi
  • Victoria Beckham, Creative Collaboration, Land Rover
  •, Director of Creative Innovation, Intel

  • Lady Gaga. Creative Director, Polaroid

  • Diddy (Rapper), Brand Manager and Chief Marketing Officer, Ciroc Vodka

  • It will be interesting to see if the celebrity endorsements provide a marked shift in buying behaviour of the brand’s targeted consumers. Leave your predictions in the comments box below and don’t forget to rate this blog! (we’d really appreciate your feedback!)


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