With events and movie shoots on hold due to COVID-19, celebrities are finding ways to remain relevant and keep their fans engaged. Read on to find out how consumers engage with celebrity content during this period.
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Calling Out Insensitive Celebrity Content
Once upon a time, celebrities were seen as Gods that could do no wrong. But not anymore. With consumers demanding leaders to be accountable, they’re calling out celebrities that share insensitive content. For instance, Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot got backlash for spreading positivity with a celeb-studded cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” on Instagram Live.
The 3-minute video, which has over 10,000,000, received negative reception with some commentators calling it “cringeworthy,” “tone-deaf,” “nauseating,” and “out of touch.”
The problem was consumers found wealthy celebrities performing a song that urges the world to “imagine no possessions,” while not making contributions to the fight against COVID-19, to be out of touch.
With COVID-19 resulting in job losses, celebrities pushing products for gain are getting negative engagement from fans. Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow received backlash from consumers for advertising an expensive fashion ensemble on the Instagram feed of her healthcare platform, Goop (the post has been deleted).
One Instagram, a user wrote, “Come on goop, when you said GP, I thought at first you were referring to Dr. Please use your platform in a more sensitive way… I really don’t think it’s the time to think about buying trainers when people are struggling to buy day to day supplies”.
Celebrities who show off aspirational content such as expensive purchases are also getting a lot of heat from consumers. For example, Kim Kardashian got slammed on Twitter for posting photos of her 7-year-old daughter, North West’s Friesian horse.
How much is a Friesian Horse? According to Friesian Horse Association North America (FHANA), Friesian Horses have a price ranging from $19,900 to $47,900.
Viewing Paid Celebrity Content
Despite some celebrities’ insensitive behavior, consumers don’t mind viewing celebrity content when there is a brand partner involved. Brands that used celebrities in Instagram posts saw 1.5 times more traffic in 2020. One brand that has nailed celebrity endorsement during this period is the shoe brand, Crocs.
Crocs collaboration with actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas as part of its “Come As You Are” campaign has over 2,000,0000 views on Instagram.
Here’s what Crocs did right:
Authentic Representation: Priyanka’s charity work as a UN Goodwill Ambassador aligns with Crocs’ commitment to giving back. Crocs collaborated with Priyanka to donate 10,000 pairs to healthcare workers in Los Angeles and India as part of its Come As You Are campaign.
The Message: The Crocs’s Come As You Are campaign focuses on celebrating uniqueness and, more recently, on healthcare workers’ sacrifice.
Have a Good Product: From its sales record, it seems Crocs makes a good product. The foam plastic footwear is known for being easy on the feet, being practical, and convenient. Also, the brand offers customers the opportunity to customize their Crocs with Jibbitz charms.
Attending Celebrity Instagram Live Shows
With events on hold, celebrities are creating internet shows to engage and entertain their audiences. And consumers are tuning in. For example, American actor and filmmaker Paul Feig hosts a nightly Quarantine Cocktail party on Instagram live where he mixes music, cocktails, and positivity all for a good cause.
Each episode generates laughs and Feig raises money for different charities struggling during this COVID time.
Legally Blonde actress, Reese Witherspoon, hosts Shine On With Resse At Home, an Instagram series where she doles out advice and shares tips from experts about various topics, from parenting advice to mental health.
English singer and guitarist James Bay gives free guitar lessons on his Instagram live to keep in touch with his fans during the lockdown.
In each lesson, he takes fans through different chords, sings along, and responds to questions in the comments section. So far, James has posted 27 guitar lessons.
All three celebrities still have episodes of their live shows on their IGTV, so browse through them if you’ve got time and are interested.
Connecting with Authenticity
While consumers don’t want to see celebrities show off their wealth, they don’t mind engaging with content where stars do everyday things like reading.
In March, legendary actor and geek cultural icon, Sir Patrick Stewart (aka Professor X), posted a video of himself reciting William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116. Consumers’ positive response to the post inspired Sir Patrick to start a Sonnet a Day series.
At the time of writing this article, Sir Patrick was at Sonnet 120.
Katy Perry is another celebrity sharing relatable content on social media. Katy Perry gave fans a sneak peek of her daughter’s nursery on her SmileSunday live stream.
The mini-tour included a look at baby outfits, a changing station, stylish lights, and a circular crib with curtains. That’s showing a lot more than other celebs who have also recently given birth! Hint, hint @GigiHadid.
Broadway icon, Patti LuPone, gave her fans premium quarantine content with a tour of her basement.
The Broadway star showed off her jukebox, piano, pinball machine, and many more goodies. The 1:50 min video has 1.4 million views, over 1,000 comments, and 40,000 likes on Twitter.
How consumers engage with celebrity content holds critical lessons that you can use in your marketing.
Below are some key takeaways:
- If you’re using celebrities for endorsements, find one whose brand aligns with yours and consumers can connect with.
- Don’t place profit over people. Think of how you can add value in today’s challenging economic environment.
- Think before you post, be empathetic, and never underestimate the intelligence of your audience.
- Share entertaining and relatable content.
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