Brands Naming A Celebrity As Chief Officer Of A Company Is A Trend


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The Reasons To Name A Celebrity An Officer

There has been a trend in recent years to try to have celebrities become more than just a face of a brand campaign, by naming them Chief Officers of companies.  Why? Well for two primary reason.  The first is that the press loves it.  It is a media stunt and it sounds like a big deal to have a celebrity now in a titled position at a Top Fortune 500 (or other) company.  And the second reason is that brand loves it, as it makes them believe that their celebrity partnership will be more supported by that celebrity, and more authentic.  Basically, that the celebrity has more stake in the partnership in helping the brand grow.  Without giving away the company in the process.

And it seems to work - at least for the short term. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares six brands and their talent partnerships where brands naming a celebrity as chief officer has occurred.

Celebrities Who Become A Chief Officer Of A Brand Partner.png

Shaquille O'Neill And Carnival - The New CFO

Shaq has been named Carnival Cruise Line CFO, which actually means "Chief Fun Officer".  The campaign from Anomoly is part of the cruise line's new "Choose Fun" branding campaign.  From Ad Age "We wanted to find somebody who really embodies our brand values—who is authentic and comfortable in their own skin and embodies fun," says Kathy Mayor, who joined Carnival as senior VP and chief marketing officer two years ago. "It's a great match with [O'Neal] because he lives this way."  The brand is no stranger to working with celebrities, having former relationship with Ellen DeGeneres and Guy Fieri.

A look into the campaign:


 The first :30 second commercial: 


Celebrity Social Media Webinar by Hollywood Branded

Alicia Keys And BlackBerry

Alicia Keys was named Global Creative Director for BlackBerry to provide creative direction for the BlackBerry Keep Moving Project which ultimately  attracted more than 40 million visits, advocating for women in STEM and launching the BlackBerry Scholars Program. 

This Girl Is On Fire! on stage introduction to the partnership: 


The Keep Moving Partnership Episode 1 


The Keep Moving Project Episode II 


The Keep Moving Project Episode III

Brands be warned... after Alicia Keys sent a tweet on her twitter account from her iPhone just days before the campaign launch, and then again several days after, her fans began deriding the partnership as an apparent attempt at a celebrity endorsement, non organic, and gone wrong.  Less than a year later, BlackBerry ended the partnership.  

Check it out here:


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Lady Gaga And Polaroid

In 2010, Polaroid signed a multi-year deal with Lady Gaga as Polaroid attempted to reinvent itself from the competition of digital cameras. the partnership with Gaga led to product launches include camera glasses, named Polaroid The Grey Line.   After four years, the two split ways to little fanfare.

Lady Gaga talking about the partnership and her role as Creative Director at Poloraid: 

Lady Gaga announces Polaroid Camera Glasses and Printer at CES: 


Celebrity invite to brand event ebook

Justin Timberlake and Bud Light

Anheuser-Busch partnered with musician Justin Timberlake as the Creative Director for Bud Light Premium. Timberlake appeared in a 60-second Bud Light Platinum ad, "Platinum Night," which also includes Timberlake's new single "Suit & Tie."

 Check it out here:

 Celebrity Endorsement Deal Case Studies That Made Sales Happen Video

Marc Jacobs and Diet Coke

Diet Coke brought on Marc Jacobs for a one year position as Creative Director in 2013, as part of its 30th anniversary celebration campaign, "Sparkling Together For 30 Years" campaign.

About the campaign and partnership: 


The :30 second commercial: 


Will.i.Am and Intel

Black Eyed Peas is actually quite the tech guy, and brands like BlackBerry have often partnered with him. Intel took it one step further in 2011 when they appointed him "Director of Creative Innovation."  Intels goal? To show that their Ultrabook can be used by someone as artistically creative as - and that you don't need a MacBook.

About the partnership reveled on stage:  


An insider's conversation about Intel:  

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The Celebrity Partnership Needs Some Safeguards

The biggest concern that we see with brands is the need to build in some safeguards... just in case a celebrity endorsement deal goes wrong.  And that is true of Creative Officer roles too, as well as brand ambassadorships.  But it works the other way too.  Brands need to know that they may make missteps that cause their own celebrity partner to retreat and cancel a deal.  Recently, The Weeknd AND G-Eazy withdrew their support and alignment which included a clothing line, for brand H&M due to a photo of a child wearing a t-shirt that viraly received some massive social media backlash.

Take a look at our blog that helps outline a plan for your brand to feel confidant in your partnership:  6 Steps To Safeguard Celebrity Endorsement Partnerships.

Also be sure to check out these blogs our team wrote on how to best work with celebrities!

If you aren't ready to have a celebrity become a Chief Officer, or even hire a brand ambassador - you can still get some of that star dusting from sponsorships at celebrity events.  Download our calendar to check out what events you should start think about calendaring your own brand into!

Celebrity Event Planning Calendar by Hollywood Branded