Our team helps brands, their agencies and nonprofit organizations by assessing the business value of celebrities, negotiating smart partnerships and activating each program. We provide fast and accurate information and recommend talent based on many factors including their relevance, points of differentiation and cost. The results of our work are seen as television commercials, webisodes, publicity programs, YouTube posts, celebrity seeding, social media » Read More
We had the chance to chat with Dancing With the Stars Contestant Ralph Macchio recently. Here's what the former Karate Kid and DWTS hopeful had to say about his post-dancing plans, Twitter, partnering with brands and that hilarious Funny or Die video.
Q: We have done several projects with contestants following their runs on Dancing With the Stars. What’s important to you when looking for and choosing to work with a brand?
RM: After the amount of hours spent dancing and training that I’ve put in for this show, definitely something in the pain relief category is appropriate. For the most part, what’s important to me is that the brand’s message is positive and in line with what my image has been all these years. I’m a 49 year old family man with two teenage kids, so brands that promote healthy living, family orientated lifestyles is where my allegiances are. It’s cliché but there is so much negativity in the world that influence people and I’ve tried to live my life in a positive way, so consistency in that area is certainly important to me, if I’m going to pitch a product or brand. Hopefully they pay well, too
Q: In your eyes how have brand partnerships changed or become more prevalent then when you first entered the business?
RM: For one, there are definitely more opportunities. The dynamics are also very different. I remember when it was frowned upon when celebrities pitched products (at least in the US). Now it’s totally acceptable to be a spokesperson or a part of a commercial campaign. I think there are many more levels of “celebrity” today, as well. Combine those factors with the integration that all of the new digital and social media platforms provide and it’s a whole new ballgame. The direct connection you have with the public and your fans now is unprecedented and I imagine very helpful to the advertisers. I also particularly like how many brands attach themselves to a cause or charity when engaging with a celebrity.
Q: Any dream brands or categories you’d like to partner with?
RM: Well obviously I’m a perfect fit for an underwear ad so I’m just waiting on that call to come in. Truthfully that’s a tough one for me. If I say the wrong thing, then Chris (Gesue), my commercial agent, doesn’t get a call from a brand that might currently be considering hiring me and I’m not one to burn any bridges. I think what fits me best are brands and categories that are in line with where I am in life and my core values. I’m a name that people recognize, I’m a clean living family man who’s been happily married to my soul mate for 24 years, and I have two teenage kids. I think I’m pretty trustworthy. I’m dealing with things like; college tuitions, insurance (life, home, auto, etc), financial planning, those types of issues that men my age deal with. And before you ask, physically, I’m fine. I also believe I make sense for anything that relates to longevity; I’ve been around a long time. Would it be cool to have my own fragrance? Sure -- we can call it “Macho; by Macchio” but I’m not sure that’s really me.
Q: You’re an active Twitter user. How has Social Media changed the way you interact with fans, especially to promote your appearance on the show and drive votes?
RM: It’s an amazing direct dialog with your fans, it’s unbelievable. You can hear in real time how people react to things and what appeals to them. I can’t describe the impact that the fans response to me doing the show has had on me. From the day I was announced as a cast member it was a constant barrage of love, loyalty and support. I was (and still am)blown away. It started to really make sense to me after WOFO came out through Funny or Die. When I realized how widespread and popular the feedback was on that video, I began to understand the influence that social media was having. That was a sure sign to me that there was a huge fan base out there that still existed. Now, doing DWTS, I get so much feedback week to week. I had people telling me things like they love the hairstyle change, and I have people asking things like “what’s with Len?”. The people feel like they have a voice and they definitely do.
RM: I always have a lot of these type of ideas floating around in my head and this one was unique because it was sort of my way of making fun of myself, and at the same time, skewing bad behavior in a comedic voice. It was me doing all the things that I don’t do, that people want me to do – and it was doing it on my terms. I literally walked into the offices of FOD with the concept and said “Let’s make this happen!”. When else would a video like this ever be relevant? But with social media, it became a huge hit. In many ways, it green-lit DWTS for me. As I mentioned, It was the first hint that the support was there. We timed it so that it came out at the same time as the new Karate Kid film and we completely hit a home run with it. It really informed me of the affinity that still exists for me and that was one of the key factors that convinced me to do the show. That and the pressure/support from my family and my agents.
Q: What’s up next after Dancing With the Stars?
RM: You mean after I shoot the underwear ad? Not sure yet, call Chris, and I hope his line is busy when you do!
Dancing with the Stars airs on ABC tonight at 9pm ET. His partner is Karina Smirnoff.
Our Must-Sees on this week’s Talk Shows:
- Rob Lowe was a personable hit last week on Oprah and this week will be touring to promote his memoir Story I Only Tell My Friends and will surely be promoting Parks and Recreation prior to the May 19-25 Sweeps Week.
- Cast members from The Office (Mindy Kaling, Will Ferrelll, Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Ellie Kemper ) are heavy in the media circuit this week sure to be talking about Carell’s departure and the future for the NBC comedy staple.
- Christy Turlington’s self-directed and produced documentary debuts on OWN this May 7- Christy is heavy on a media tour this week for the documentary featuring mothers. Don’t forget Mother’s Day on May 8th!
Monday, May 2
Early Show: Melissa McCarthy, Dr. Phil
David Letterman: Tracy Morgan, Rex Ryan
Jay Leno: Paul Walker, Donny & Marie Osmond
Jimmy Kimmel: Rene Russo, Kristin Gore, k.d. lang
Craig Ferguson: Mindy Kaling, Matt Lucas
Jimmy Fallon: LL Cool J, Judd Apatow, Ambrosia
Carson Daly: Fred Armisen, David Seidler, Broken Bells (R 2/24/11)
Tavis Smiley: Loretta Devine
Daily Show: Philip K. Howard
Colbert Report: Francis Fukuyama
Chelsea Lately: Josh Wolf, Brad Wollack, Heather McDonald
Conan O'Brien: Will Ferrell, Paul Bettany, James Blunt
Lopez Tonight: Mark Ruffalo, Yvette Nicole Brown, Rex Navarrete
The View: LL Cool J, Andrew Schorr
The Talk: Lisa Ling, Niecy Nash, Carolyn Glaspy
Regis and Kelly: Eva Mendes, "American Idol" castoff Casey Abrams
Ellen DeGeneres: Steve Carell, Alison Sweeney
Gayle King: Paula Patton
Tuesday, May 3
David Letterman: Caroline Kennedy, Ty Burrell
Jay Leno: Penelope Cruz, Maria Bamford, Ricky Martin
Jimmy Kimmel: Anthony Hopkins, Andre Agassi, the latest "Dancing with the Stars" castoff
Craig Ferguson: Geoffrey Rush, Reese Waters, OK Go
Jimmy Fallon: Whoopi Goldberg, Elmo
Carson Daly: Jason Eisener, Shane Smith, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Tavis Smiley: Tim Flannery, Bootsy Collins
Daily Show: Rachel Maddow
Colbert Report: Rex Ryan
Chelsea Lately: Paula Patton, Jo Koy, Loni Love, Chris Hardwick
Conan O'Brien: Steve Martin, Atticus Shaffer
Lopez Tonight: Kaley Cuoco, Idris Elba, 2AM Club
The View: Rob Lowe, stylist Alison Deyette, guest co-host Betty White
The Talk: Jessica Capshaw, Cheryl Jackson, guest co-host Soledad O'Brien
Regis and Kelly: Andy Samberg, Melissa McCarthy
Ellen DeGeneres: Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, Star Jones
Gayle King: TBA
Wednesday, May 4
Early Show: Candace Bushnell
Today: Shania Twain, Christy Turlington, Mark Bittman
David Letterman: Brian Williams, Rick Harrison, a Top Ten List presented by Betty White
Jay Leno: Kate Hudson, Chris Hemsworth, Sergio Mendes with Siedah Garrett
Jimmy Kimmel: Kenneth Branagh, Ellie Kemper, the 2011 National School Scrabble Champions
Craig Ferguson: John Waters, Pauley Perrette
Jimmy Fallon: Alec Baldwin, Maggie Q
Carson Daly: Anthony Ameen, Sarah Vowell, Goldheart Assembly
Tavis Smiley: Tom Selleck
Daily Show: David Barton
Colbert Report: Amy Farrell
Chelsea Lately: Melissa McCarthy, Joe Matarese, Chris Franjola, Ross Mathews
Conan O'Brien: Eva Mendes, Dan Dunn, the Belle Brigade
Lopez Tonight: Paul Walker, Mike Rowe, Julius Sharpe
The View: Dick Van Dyke, Lala Vazquez & Carmelo Anthony
The Talk: Estelle Harris, Patricia Richardson, Marion Ross, Susan Burton
Regis and Kelly: John Krasinski, Maggie Q
Ellen DeGeneres: John Krasinski
Gayle King: Rob Elder, Sheryl Crow
Thursday, May 5
Early Show: Jim Parsons, Melanie Notkin
Today: Giada De Laurentiis
David Letterman: Jodie Foster, Tom Dreesen, Neon Trees
Jay Leno: Katie Couric, Ralph Macchio, Priscilla Ahn
Jimmy Kimmel: Chris Hemsworth, Calexico
Craig Ferguson: Juliette Lewis, Phil Rosenthal
Jimmy Fallon: Tina Fey, Tom Welling, Twin Shadow
Carson Daly: Eliot Rausch, Mini Mansions
Tavis Smiley: Kenneth Branagh
Colbert Report: Bill James
Chelsea Lately: Dita Von Teese, John Caparulo, Fortune Feimster, Greg Fitzsimmons
Conan O'Brien: John Krasinski, Ian Edwards
Lopez Tonight: Eva Mendes, Mike Epps, Carlos Santana
The View: Amy Poehler, Guy Fieri, a performance by the cast of "Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy"
The Talk: Angela Bassett, Dave Pontell
Regis and Kelly: Kate Hudson, Jennifer Hudson
Ellen DeGeneres: Meat Loaf, Sara Niemietz
Gayle King: Rob Lowe
Friday, May 6
David Letterman: Mike Birbiglia, "The Human Fuse" Brian Miser, Brother
Jay Leno: Steven Tyler, the Civil Wars
Jimmy Kimmel: Rerun TBA
Craig Ferguson: Will Ferrell, Olivia Munn
Jimmy Fallon: Edie Falco
Carson Daly: Paul Feig, Dan Harmon, the Airborne Toxic Event
Tavis Smiley: Raphael Saadiq
Chelsea Lately: Mary McCormack, Fortune Feimster, Gary Valentine, Ross Mathews (R 4/28/11)
The View: Edie Falco, Toni Braxton
The Talk: Eva La Rue, Gina & Patrick Neely, Crystal Darak, guest co-host Gina Neely
Regis and Kelly: Jodie Foster, Ginnifer Goodwin
Ellen DeGeneres: Kate Hudson
Gayle King: Christy Turlington
After a recent family trip to Disney filled with Mickey Mouse, Princesses and merchandise stands, I came back with these tips that all business can take away from the Walt Disney experience:
- Customer Service – At Disney, employees are always smiling. In fact, you feel that you are treated well even when you are not getting the answer you want. All companies who are serious about customer service should take a page from Disney and send their employees to the Disney Institute. There, people step into the “living laboratory” of Disney Theme Parks and Resorts to learn innovative business strategies that cross over a multitude of areas.
- Listening, Listening, Listening – You have two ears, two eyes and one mouth: use them in that ratio. Disney employees are always listening to their customers to see how their experience can be improved (Disney slogan). This can be applied across all business - your customer is always trying to tell you something. It is only when they have told you what they want that you can give them the help they need.
- Research – Lots of businesses talk about research. Disney actually does it. They had an army of people conducting customer research at every turn (rides, merchandise shop, resorts, etc.) about every facet of your trip (what you’re wearing, how much time you are spending, what you are buying, etc.)
- Being Efficient – The Disney FastPass allows you to plan ahead – you go to your desired ride, pick up a FastPass, and then return at a designated time later in the day. You can plan your day in advance to maximize your efficiency in the park. Businesses should use the ‘FastPass’ concept to plan ahead, think through next steps of a project, or understand the landscape to best utilize your time and energy.
- Cross Promotions – Now more than ever, businesses have an opportunity to work with complementary brands to market products/services collectively. At Disney, this is certainly the case with partnerships with Coca-Cola, Izod (official apparel of Disney Resort lifeguards), General Motors at Epcot, various airlines for the Magical Express which eases the travel process for families and many more. You can see an example of this on the Weather Channel website.
- Share Your Expertise. It will Help You – At Disney, you can get a PhotoPass card, which you hand to photographers throughout the park who scan it and take your picture, with it showing up on your account to be paid for later. The photographers will also take your picture with your own camera. We thought we would just use our own camera, but came to realize the value and expertise of the professional photographer. In business, don’t be afraid to share your knowledge - customers will come to recognize it.
As DWTS Season 12 begins tonight, we wanted to share three straight-forward business tips that have worked for the hit ABC-show and we think are transferable to all businesses.
1. Maximize Your Assets. When casting celebrities for the show, producers choose talent from a number of industries and genres. Each season, you can be guaranteed to find a Disney star (Chelsea Kane), athletes (Hines Ward), models, 50+ year old Hollywood veteran (Kirstie Alley) and musicians. It allows the DWTS publicity team to make outreach to a wide array of media outlets and bloggers. Lesson: Know what you got and maximize it.
2. Audience = Advocates. In this rapidly changing social media marketplace, your audience’s power is at its all-time high. Communication must be two-way. The Show has listened to fans and sponsors; changing look, format and style over time. Lesson: Monitor FB, twitter and fan mail. Listen and engage.
3. Leverage Your Brand. Once you have built your brand, you should consider brand extensions. For DWTS, they have created multiple dance DVDs and books. (They actually had a DWTS Tour once too…I know because my wife went into labor at the WashDC show in 2007!). Lesson: Build your brand reputation and then look for complementary business ideas.
Also, be sure to check out our must-follow DWTS List on Twitter.
Enjoy the 2-hour Series premiere tonight on ABC at 8:00 pm EST.
It's been a great night at the 2011 Grammy Awards so far. Check back tomorrow for a full list of winners. For now, here's a recap of the advertisements featuring celebrities:
- Drew Barrymore - CoverGirl
- Jennifer Hudson - Weight Watchers
- Tim Allen (voiceover) - Chevorlet
- Taylor Swift - Target & CoverGirl
- Sarah Highland - Olive Garden
- Elizabeth Moss - Excedrin
- Carrie Underwood - Olay
- Alicia Keys - HP (Ran three times)
- Ricky Martin - American Cancer Society
- Bear Grylls - Degree for Men
- Jennifer Lopez - Venus
- Eminem - Lipton
- Adrien Brody - Stella
- Nelly - Ford
- Max Page - Volkswagen
- Queen Latifah - CoverGirl
- Keith Urban - Target
First, a big thank you to all who participated! We loved the questions and back-and-forth. Here are some highlights of the chat:
On what to expect from ads:
Football related marketability:
The Influence of Social Media:
One last thing to think about:
Again, thank you to all participants: mikeschaffer, Hy_ly, khudak11, khenderick, popstat, Sean_Flynn, mandermu, Michelle_Heng, viktor626, JenniferKeene, clementbryant, PuraVidaChris, Andi_Bernal8, LivitLuvit, brennie192, & TheSuddie.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – even giving them our inaugural Celebrity Publicist of the Year Award this past December - ABC’s Dancing with the Stars elevates the marketability of its contestants better than any show out there. Year after year, DWTS proves to be a marketing powerhouse, with contestants benefitting from the 20 million viewers per week.
Contestants use the platform to grow their fan bases, as well as launch themselves back into relevancy - such is the case with many current and former NFL superstars. They bring their existing fan base to the hit series and instantly gain a new demographic of fans – mostly women who are able to see a softer, playful side to the athlete that doesn’t get much publicity in the NFL.
For these NFL players, the DWTS marketing wave is following them to Super Bowl XLV in Dallas. Here’s what a few of them are up to:
- Jerry Rice - Since appearing on DWTS, Rice is often identified as a NFL Football Legend & Dancing with the Stars celebrity and has continued to market himself successfully. The San Francisco great is the co-host of “Late Hits” program on Sirius XM radio; he has appeared on Spike TV’s Pros versus Joes and NBC’s The Biggest Loser: Families (as a guest coach); and co-authored his second book Go Long: My Journey Beyond the Game and the Fame with Brian Curtis. Rice will be in Dallas continuing his role as the national spokesperson for Procter & Gamble’s sponsorship of the NFL. As a member of the 2010 Hall of Fame class, Rice will look to continue to capitalize on the DWTS platform beyond this year’s Super Bowl.
- Chad Ochocinco – Controversial and entertaining, Chad Ochocinco has kept himself in the public eye (despite playing for the pitiful Cincinnati Bengals). Following DWTS, Ochocinco created his own reality show on VH1: Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch, launched at iPhone application entitled “Mad Chad,” partnered with Reebok for their Zigtech campaign, was featured on the cover of EA’s NFL Street 3, all while keeping up his own, original “news” network via Twitter: OCNN. At the Super Bowl, Ochocinco will make an appearance with NFL Network, and is touting a new Motorola Xoom while doing his own reporting for OCNN.
- Emmitt Smith – As the winner of DWTS Season 3, Smith is a prime example of expanding his appeal beyond the football field through his participation on the show. The Hall of Famer inked deals with Just for Men, Good Feet, Hershey’s and National Pork Board, just to name a few, shortly after his successful run on the show. And, his marketability hasn’t slowed down even going into the ninth season post-win. With the Super Bowl on his home turf, Smith will be working radio row to support his latest partnership with Herradura Tequila.
- Kurt Warner – Shortly after the retired two-time MVP quarterback appeared on DWTS, Warner signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Amway North America to promote Nutrilite brand of vitamins, sports drinks, protein bars and dietary supplements. This year, Warner is being featured in a national campaign with Duracell and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to raise awareness for needs of volunteer firefighters. Warner won’t be in Dallas on Sunday, but with the campaign launching this week, Duracell is certainly looking to capitalize on Warner’s appeal during the Super Bowl.
- Apolo Ohno – While not a football player, the Olympic speedskater will be taking advantage of the attention focused on Dallas this weekend. The Season 4 winner began his rise as a nationally recognized celebrity following his success on the show, and will be in town to promote his latest endorsement deal with Subway. A strong advocate for living an active and healthy lifestyle, Ohno’s commercial is set to release in the first quarter of 2011. Ohno has also partnered with a number of high profile brands in recent years including Vick’s, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Alaska Airlines, Omega, Oreo, and Got Milk?, among others.
I asked CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) his thoughts on the five athletes; and he said he thinks the marketing order is (in terms of future financial potential in endorsements, television/reality, broadcasting, corporate speaking):
1. Chad Ochocinco
2. Apolo Ohno
3. Emmitt Smith
4. Kurt Warner
5. Jerry Rice
Dancing with The Stars is set to announce the cast for Season 12 on February 28 during an episode of The Bachelor, with the new season premiering on March 21. We’ll keep you updated on the next round of stars and athletes looking to reinvent new and exciting brand-friendly images.
We had a great conversation last night with The Sporting News Radio’s Scott Jackson about all things Super Bowl; player marketing (who’s hot, who’s not), how the weather is affecting Dallas and brands/advertisers you can expect to see and hear over the next 96 hours.
Listen here: The Sporting News Radio
Also, check out today’s Bloomberg News piece written by Our discussion focuses on the marketability of Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers.
The Account Manager will support the First Call business unit by managing existing account relationships and assisting in the development and execution of new marketing programs.
Responsibilities and Duties:
- Research industry marketing trends and complete monthly & wrap-up reports
- Monitor the celebrity/brand landscape to determine industry direction and competitive positioning
- Utilize research and knowledge of celebrities/pop culture to recommend celebrity talent to support client's marketing objectives (including and not limited to chefs, actors, musicians, directors, athletes, designers, etc.)
- Formulate marketing strategy to maximize the client's use of the celebrity talent
- Manage the day-to-day relationship between the client and the celebrity talent
- Act as primary point of contact for the talent agency; work with agency to implement marketing programs
- Assist in the negotiations with celebrity talent
- Liaise with internal departments including finance, legal, travel and creative
- Other duties as assigned
- Bachelors Degree in a related field
- At least 4 years agency/or related experience (preference from a lifestyle/celebrity-focused public relations agency and/or marketing agency)
- Excellent organization/research skills and attention to detail
- Demonstrated understanding of the marketing business; promotions, public relations and advertising
- Strong pop-culture knowledge across all industries (music, entertainment, chef, fashion, sports, etc.)
- Knowledge of current events (award shows, film festivals, major sporting events, etc.) as well as different types of celebrity-driven marketing programs (PR, endorsement, advertising, seeding, product placement, gifting suites, etc.)
- High proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access)
- Internet-savvy; knowledge of blogging, widgets, twitter, google search, facebook, etc.
- Strong organization and time management skills to coordinate multiple tasks simultaneously
- Exceptional people skills, able to gain and maintain the trust and confidence of individuals within and outside Octagon
- Analytical thinker, able to problem solve multi variable tasks
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
The position is located in our headquarters' office in McLean, VA. For consideration please submit your résumé and cover letter via e-mail, with "Account Manager - MC" in the subject line to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A number of celebrities stopped by this week's BookExpo America in New York City to chat with media, mingle with fans and promote their new books.
Books and book tours have become useful assets for marketers looking to pitch celebrities to media outlets for PR programs. in some cases, an upcoming book can be as valuable as a soon-to-be-released movie.
Here are some of the celebs that will marketable and mediable thanks to the release their new books...
Nigel Barker - Barker became a household name for his work as a judge on America's Next Top Model. The photographer has compiled his fashion and style expertise into a new book, Nigel Baker's Beauty Equation: Revealing a Better More Beautiful You. The book provides readers with practical beauty tips and also challenges them to reshape their self-image. Barker would be an excellent spokesperson for any beauty brand looking to activate in August or September, as his new book is due out on September 7th.
Tori Spelling - The reality television star's third book, Uncharted TerriTORI, is slated for release on June 15th. The book discusses recent developments in Spelling's life and talks about the challenges of balancing a family and a very public career. She is also releasing a children's book, Presenting...Tallulah, on September 21st. With a book that touches on the challenges of motherhood and a children's book coming out within three months of each other, Spelling seems like a prime candidate for a mom-focused campaign in late-summer or early-fall.
Tim Gunn - The popular fashion guru has finished his second book, Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making it Work, and it's slated for a September 7th release. Gunn is expanding his trademark catchphrase ("Make it work!") to areas beyond fashion and is now providing advice for all aspects of your life. The release of Gunn's book in September makes him relevant without the support of a new season of Project Runway. So fashion brands and marketers should keep their eye on Gunn, especially if they're looking to activate programs around New York Fashion Week, which starts on September 8th.
Tony Hawk - The title of Hawk's new book speaks for itself...How Did I Get Here? The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO tracks Hawk's rise from niche sport icon to CEO of a multi-million dollar skateboard empire. Hawk is one of the few adult celebrities capable of resonating with tweens and anything that makes him mediable in the back-to-school time frame (October 4th release date) is good news for tween focused brands.
Buddy Valastro- The Cake Boss has become a reality TV phenomenon. His small pastry shop in Hoboken, NJ seems to have a line that stretches down the block everyday. Valastro is capitalizing on his new found popularity and is releasing his first recipe book Cake Boss: The Stories and Recipes of Mia Famiglia. The book will hit stores on November 2nd, just before the start of the holiday season. He could be a good fit for food brands interested in developing programs during the holidays.
Are there any marketable celebs who weren't at BookExpo America, but have books being released soon? Let us know on our Facebook page.