Insight On Beauty Brands And Red Carpet Celebrity Endorsements


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Hollywood Branded In The News

I had the opportunity to speak with Hollywood Reporter's writer Meg Hemphill to share my insights about beauty brand sponsorships on the red carpet.  The resulting article she wrote for the magazine's seventh list celebrating showbiz's most influential hairstylists and makeup artists has phenomenal detail on just exactly who creates award season's A-lister looks. 

These brand partnerships don't just happen, they are carefully strategized and planned by brands, talent, their agents and stylists - and they typically involved contracted deal points that have to happen, and nice sized paychecks to support the effort. In this blog, Hollywood Branded provides a deep dive look into how celebrity endorsement red carpet beauty deals work.

Blog_ Insight on Beauty Brands And Red Carpet Celebrity Deals

The Red Carpet Is An Absolute Business Opportunity For Fashion And Beauty Brands

The business of beauty and the red carpet is evolving to a more strategic marketing tactic for many beauty, jewelry and fashion brands. In the yesteryears, many celebrities and their stylists would have more of a touch and go relationship system in place, where a brand would loan fashion and jewelry to selected celebrities by specific occasion.  Today, that relationship system still exists, but is amplified and further enhanced with fees paid to guarantee mentions in front of press and social media posts on the celebrity’s own social platforms on a continual basis. 

Additionally, many of those A-list celebrities no longer are options for companies unless they hire them exclusively as part of an overall celebrity endorsement campaign.  

We’re also seeing a new level in brand partnerships with celebrities gaining a foothold, where the celebrity themselves are becoming integral to the fashion design process, and helping to impact the design of not only the overall creation they wear on the red carpet, but what is being sold in stores – such as what Tommy Hilfiger has been doing with Zendaya and their TOMMYXZENDAYA collaboration. 

Celebrity invite to brand event ebook

How Beauty Brands Approach Celebrity Partnerships

Beauty brands are also taking a more planned approach to their celebrity partnerships, where longer term partnerships are in place that may include social media posts by the celebrity.  It used to be that a celebrity could possibly wear a certain beauty brand for a single red carpet event, and it might be called out or mentioned by a publication in print, or by a red carpet media outlet.  But in today’s world of social media, and constant eyes on all things celebrity, those partnerships often require more marketing extensions built out underneath them as the life of that photo or statement lives longer.  Once a celebrity is known for working with or wearing a brand, it becomes very difficult for that celebrity to work with a competitor without waiting for a very long window of time to pass.  Celebrities don’t want to potentially turn off bigger brand partnerships that could be around the corner.  This is why social influencer marketing and celebrity marketing are so different. Social influencers make their money from each of their social media posts, and exclusive deals are something that are in the terms of weeks or months, not years.  If an exclusivity even exists at all.  Celebrity marketing partnerships however typically last much longer, and contracts are ironclad about exclusivity.  We often work with brands who would not consider working with a celebrity that has had a partnership with a competitive brand in the same category for a period of two years or even longer.

As a workaround, many beauty brands attempt to create PR moments by alternatively working with the celebrity’s stylists, who are not as limited by brand name call outs or exclusive time windows.  These brands engage the stylists to provide the needed brand call outs and conversations with media, as well as by showcasing the branded look on the stylists own social media pages.

Check out the Hollywood Reporter article for yourself!  Hollywood's Top Glam Squads: Zendaya, Margot Robbie and the Red-Carpet Talents Launching Trends


The Earning Potential Of Makeup And Hairstylists

The price range for what a makeup artist or hairstylist can expect to earn from a sponsored look on a celebrity client will be entirely dependent upon the caliber of the stylist, and driven by the star factor of the celebrity.  The fact is, stylists are influencers themselves, and have major social media following and engagement.

A makeup artist or hairstylist typically will receive anywhere from $7,500 to hundreds of thousands of dollars for acting as that brand ambassador as an alternative to the celebrity providing talking points or social posts. And these stylists are extremely important to brands, as those who watch what they use are the ones who will directly go and purchase that item for themselves. Celebrities and stylists also have incredibly close relationships, where a celebrity who values their stylist will often support their sharing the look created and what brand assisted in that look.

The Value of A Brand Endorsement Deal

Beauty contracts and ambassadorships can be worth tens of thousands of dollars for an emerging actress, and millions of dollars for an established A-list artist. These are long term partnerships typically multiple years in length, which are incredibly comprehensive and include shoot days for commercials and print ads to be shot, appearances at brand sponsored events, retail point of sale likeness usage, exclusive brand usage and of course nowadays, social media posts.

Our agency uses Critical Mention, an online media measurement software to provide our agency insight into how campaigns are performing, and to understand better what the media is talking about.  For this article, we ran some reports to show the high impact these celebrity deals have, and why they are so worth it to brands as partnerships.

The fact is, it makes absolute sense that beauty and fashion brands pay celebrities millions of dollars for campaigns, as those campaigns can generate an incredible amount of earned media press exposure.  When a new celebrity partnership or collaboration is announced, the media coverage can be astronomical.   As examples, Tommy Hilfiger and Zendaya’s New York Fashion Week collaboration in September 2019 earned Tommy Hilfiger over 20 billion media impressions at a very impressive $654 million media value.

And Zendaya's Lacome partnership? For a recent period of 60 days 468 mentions netted over 2 billion media impressions valued at over $86 million.  Not so shabby, right!

Even negative press can provide big wins to brands in term of news.  The questionable creative content of Dior’s recent Johnny Depp fragrance campaign has earned the brand over 7.6 billion digital impressions, at a value of over $211 million. 


Yes, much of that conversation was focused on the negative of cultural appropriation misuse, but the brand did manage to stand out to the overall public eye.  In the last sixty days alone, the much less divisive celebrity endorsement partnership of Brad Pitt and Chanel has earned dover 5 billion digital impressions, at a value of over $105 million dollars.   

And Aveeno’s partnership with Jennifer Aniston in that same 60 day time frame has earned the brand over 3 billion digital impressions, to an earned media value of over $42 million dollars.  Lancome’s celebrity endorsement with Zendaya has netted Lancome over 3 billion digital impressions, at an earned media value of over $86 million dollars.

These metrics, and the massive value attached to them, are a clear indicator that media pays attention to celebrity brand partnerships, and provides a massive platform that makes it extremely worthwhile for brands to invest in these high profile partnerships.

Celebrity Endorsement Deal Case Studies That Made Sales Happen Video

The Celebrity Makes The Brand

Here's the deal.  Red carpet beauty looks absolutely influence a celebrity’s change at a beauty contract in that the media pick up the what – and the who – they are wearing, and is how brands are judging the endorsement opportunity. A woman may be extraordinarily beautiful, but without an engaged fan base, high social media following and massive media attention, the value factor diminishes.

There are so many opportunities for brands to work with celebrities, and our team has written a number of blogs on the topic you should check out!

Working with celebrities requires a lot of planning - and there are ways to protect your brand as well, which I discuss in our team's blog Six Steps To Safeguard Celebrity Endorsement.

And make sure you check out more of our team's blogs where we dive in and explore the world of celebrity endorsement.  

Interested in working with a celebrity? Check out some more affordable options by sponsoring celebrity driven events!

Celebrity Event Planning Calendar by Hollywood Branded