Yes! It happens more & more frequently that celebrities & entertainers market fashion & luxury products. And stars love it, as it compliments nicely their revenues from their entertainment activities & allow them to reach a wider audience. What are the advantages & pitfalls of marketing through celebrities & music bands? How do you strike such deals, in practice?
We, at Crefovi and ialci, had a great time on Tuesday 22 July 2014, discussing how to market fashion & luxury products through stars, and which issues and challenges arise as a result, during our law of luxury goods series seminar on ‟how to market through celebrities & music bands: endorsement deals, product placement & publicity rights”.
While publicity rights (in the US) and image rights (in Europe) of celebrities are fiercely protected on both sides of the pond, partnerships between brands and top entertainers are becoming more and more frequent.
By way of endorsements, active or passive product placements, targeted film stars, music stars and sports stars are muting themselves in the brands’ most fervent advocates and ambassadors.
Ideally, these agreements should generate a win-win situation for all involved: the brand, the artist or sports person and members of the public.
However, there are situations where endorsement deals turn sour, and parties to the agreements prefer to part or terminate their relationships, sometimes even clawback some of the revenues which changed hands during the ad campaigns.
While it is not always a walk in the prairie, to manage and monitor endorsers’ behaviour (good or bad), it should be highlighted that product collaborations between consumer goods brands and fashion designers generally bring a “je ne sais quoi” that retail customers adore. Products born under such collaborations are usually immediately snatched-up, as best-sellers and/or limited editions.
Sometimes, entertainers want to go it alone and launch their own fashion or luxury labels (following the footsteps of Sean Combs – P Diddy, Jay Z and Victoria Beckham). In this case, they may well need to value their intellectual property assets, in particular in order to obtain a bank loan against them. This working capital will be much needed to launch the fashion or luxury business of the star, if external equity capital is neither available nor an option.
Certain brands, such as Audemars Piguet, that have made wise choices and picked their brands ambassadors and product placement deals with great care and skill, will fully rip the benefits of such partnerships in the long term.
Other brands tend to have a bit more of a “hit-and-miss” track record and therefore need to really implement a systematic approach to the selection of their endorsers and product placement projects, without falling for the ‟stars in your eyes” ‘ syndrome.
Getting appropriate advice from top practitioners in this sector, such as specialised entertainment lawyers, intermediaries between music bands and brands, agents of film stars, etc. is an integral element of the success of a well thought-out and implemented endorsement deal or product placement.
We were also delighted to read that our seminar was found entertaining albeit rich in content and information, by members of the press. Indeed, James Nurton, managing editor of Managing IP, graced us with a high profile review ‟a tale of sports stars, rappers and lawyers”.Read article here