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Jill Kelly

Authenticity: The Key to Celebrity Endorsements 

Authenticity is the key to a successful celebrity endorsement.That was the central takeaway for brands during a seminar on the main stage of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity that paired two seemingly unlikely bedfellows: Maurice Lévy, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, and David Guetta, world-renowned French DJ producer.

Yet the two have more in common than one might think. Guetta is a music-marketing mastermind who has forged innovative partnerships with brands like Renault, TAG Heuer, Beats by Dr. Dre, and MUMM Champagne, with whom he created the world’s first ‘double screen’ music video (the video plays on a computer and a mobile screen seamlessly). Guetta is also the most-followed DJ on social media in the world–he has over 55 million Facebook fans.

Guetta told the packed crowd that brands use celebrities in what he called an ‘old model’, essentially slapping a celebrity endorsement on a product, and expecting it to sell. Instead, he said celebrities must authentically believe in what they are endorsing and provide creative input into the campaign. “I don’t want to do something just for the money, something I don’t believe in… What I want is to achieve things that I could not without a brand. …if we do clever co-branding, we can all expand as brands,” he said. This is very similar to the advice Pharrell Williams delivered to the Cannes audience earlier in the week: “If you do things for money, they will know and they will turn their backs on you in two seconds. Make sure the main ingredient in everything you do is that your intentions are pure.”

The message is clear: for a brand-celebrity alliance to really sing, and cross influence each other’s “fans”, three song tips: honesty, “make each other better” and bring the (collective) fans an experience they want delivered by the brand-celeb duo that makes sense.

Jill Kelly

Jill Kelly

CHIEF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, GLOBAL AT DIGITASLBI

A student of advertising and ad agencies with 18 years of experience, Jill leads the communications and marketing strategy and shapes the agency’s brand voice. She is also a member of DigitasLBi's Global Strategy Board

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