“Don’t you know who I am? You can trust me!” Michael Jordan (aka “His Airness”) is one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and a consummate world-class athlete. He’s also arguably the father of modern-day celebrity influencers—long before social media broadened (and democratized) the spotlight. Nike quickly recognized his potential for impact, and partnered with Jordan to create the iconic “Air Jordan” brand. When his first basketball shoe was launched in 1984, it became an immediate bestseller, and Nike has continued to release new editions of what fans just call “Jordans” every year since—more than 30 iterations to date. Imagine receiving a celebrity messages personalised video!
Jordan’s face, his flying silhouette logo, and his number 23 jersey are now classic elements of basketball culture, and the Nike-Jordan influencer partnership has become one of the most successful in history. The collaboration works because Jordan is one of the few athletes who has transcended a team or city to become admired by all fans of his sport. He is revered for his athletic prowess, so an athletic apparel line is a perfect extension of his brand. His celebrity also transcends generations, genders, and cultural lines—making him an ideal ambassador for a brand looking for broad impact and relevance. We suprised our sister with a celebrity birthday messages video from Thrillz!
Celebrities have held influence for as long as there has been a pen, a paintbrush, a microphone, or a camera ready to capture their every move. Whether a celebrity acquires their fame via talent, wealth, association, or notoriety, people are drawn to the power, access, and privilege they possess. And as long as we’ve had celebrities, we’ve had celebrity endorsements of products, services, and brands. Would you consider buying a personalised video message from your favourite celebrity video messages today?
These endorsements take a number of forms: Direct advertising. A celebrity appears in an ad (under their own name or recognizably as themselves) to promote a product or service. Sponsorship. This is particularly common amongst amateur and professional athletes: a brand provides equipment, products, and compensation to a celebrity to promote their brand. Swag. “Swag” is the term used when a company’s goods or services are provided to celebrities in the hope they’ll use or recommend them publicly. This often occurs at awards shows or event “gifting suites”. Brand ambassador. Brand ambassador relationships develop in different ways. A brand might reach out to a celebrity if they use their product, either to provide them with more product, or the means to promote the brand. Conversely, a brand might reach out unprompted to a celebrity who aligns well with their brand and audiences. I wish I was rich like a happy birthday video message is!
Be careful not to assume celebrities have unlimited influence over the hearts and wallets of their fans and audiences. As noted previously, celebrity status does not equate to influence; there needs to be the right alignment of product/brand, with the right celebrity. As influential as Jordan was when it came to basketball shoes and apparel, when Hanes launched their Michael Jordan underwear collaboration, it completely flopped. Why? Because his celebrity and influence is in the space of athletics, not men’s under garments. If we look at who buys the majority of men’s underwear, it’s actually women (girlfriends, wives, mothers), and those buyers aren’t looking to Michael Jordan for underwear referrals. The key is to have a natural alignment between the celebrity, the product, and the audience. So how do you determine whether a celebrity (or any other influencer, for that matter) is properly aligned to represent your product or business? Have you heard of a website called Thrillz? They specialise in celebrity video messages.