Red carpet season is upon us - it starts in September with the Emmy's, and continues through February's Oscars. And even in between, celebrities walk one red carpet or another almost every day of the year promoting a movie release, a charity event or a brand launch.
But what happens when a celebrity says "ENOUGH" and vows off the red carpet and press? In this blog Hollywood Branded shares what our agency's CEO had to say when interviewed by The Associated Press on how a celebrity's brand is affected by not walking the red carpet or participating in supporting their projects through press opportunities.
Miley Cyrus In The News. Again.
Miss Hannah Montana is all grown up and making waves with her opinons, statements, tongue and wild outfits. Which is really nothing new. This week she declared that she's done with walking red carpets, because... well see for yourself:
"[A year ago] I had to do the [‘A Very Murray Christmas’] premiere, and I will never do a red carpet again,” she tells Elle in its October issue. “Why, when people are starving, am I on a carpet that's red? Because I'm 'important'? Because I'm 'famous'? That's not how I roll. It's like a skit — it's like ‘Zoolander.’"
Celebrities stating they are boycotting red carpets is not a winning situation for the celebrity, their music label or production, or any brand associated with them. Yes, Miley Cyrus is making a statement and getting attention. But is she actually getting attention and helping the cause she is stating she wants to promote? No.
We’ve worked with brands who have sponsored red carpet events where the talent has ‘refused’ to walk or stand in front of a branded step-and-repeat with their movie’s name on it and the sponsoring brand partner – for the premiere party, film festival debut, etc. And all that happens is a bad taste is left in everyone’s mouth. The red carpet is where brands – from fashion to practically every other category under the sun – pay to have their logo featured and to share in some of the limelight of celebrity stardom. And the brands want the support and appreciation of the celebrities who walk the red carpet and help them get that PR exposure. Quite frankly, their productions ALSO want that support, as the press generated for a project from a red carpet walk can be monumental.
What Can Happen When The Star Says "No"
Several years ago we had a dinner event premiere party at TIFF held by one of our clients, and that evening’s featured film happened to have a male celebrity who refused to walk the red carpet, and refused to stand in front of the step and repeat that was branded with the film logo and the brand. And of course, refused to touch the brand’s product for a photo. Now, the entire reason that our client had sponsored this specific film was because of this one actor and his star power. And by the way, the brand was a product used by the actor in both real life and in the film. We could have easily chosen one of a dozen others as an alternative, but we happened to also be exploring a separate deal with the brand and actor on a music project he wanted to launch, so it seemed like a great match to launch that partnership. Needless to say, that potential 7 figure deal got tossed out that night due to his lack of supporting the brand. The brand wanted nothing to do with him ever again, and nothing I said that night to him mattered enough to make him take that one photo they wanted and needed to justify the expense of the evening. Of course, his agent had other opinions the next day on why the partnership should still move forward. It didn’t.
So Why Is Saying No Press A Bad Thing?
The same goes for what Miley is doing. She’s stating she’s boycotting the very events that give her attention – but also all the hard working people who have also put time and effort into their art – including the other celebrities. And while Miley may be saying SHE’s not important enough of a conversation point to have a flurry of press taking photos, her backers – from her music label to her movie productions, are going to heavily disagree. No one wants to work with a prima donna, in whatever form they take. Hollywood is, overall, a collaborative effort of teams of people working together to find success. And having hundreds of those people behind the scene have their project not receive the PR it should because of one diva individual – that’s not so cool.
What A Celebrity Can Do To Help The World
If Miley is concerned about people starving, she could instead help raise awareness at these very PR heavy events by working with a designer (or retailer) who contribute a portion of sales to the causes Miley supports. Or auctioning off her dress, jewels and shoes after the event. Or running a fan contest on her beloved social media platforms that has a Kickstarter element to contribute money to those causes. She’s a celebrity. She gets attention. She has a voice. She raises awareness just by BEING somewhere. She’s worked quite hard to get to the height of celebritydom she’s currently at. And she should use that voice to help a cause raise awareness and money versus sitting on the sidelines, pouting.
And the brands who are currently working with, or considering in the future, a celebrity endorsement with Miley Cyrus? Beware – if she won’t do the PR for a red carpet production or event, what makes you think she will for the brand? Companies need celebrity partners to join them, support them, and participate with their marketing goals. Not divas.
The Big Story: AP
Writer Derek J. Lang from the The Big Story: AP interviewed our agency's CEO, Stacy Jones, to get her input on how a celebrity's brand may be impacted from lack of participating in red carpet premiere parties and events. Want to know?
Get Your Brand On The Red Carpet
Are you interested in learning how to get photos of celebrities with your product while also obtaining press? Download our celebrity event planning calendar to see what event options exist where you can obtain tangible assets that can be shared with consumers, media outlets and retail distributors to impact your sales.