In our opinion, singer, songwriter, and actress Ciara is the perfect brand ambassador for cosmetics giant Revlon.
She’s popular, visible, has crossover appeal through her husband and NFL star Russell Wilson, and, as she revealed on announcing her role with the company at the end of 2016, she’s actually named for one of Revlon’s products.
It seems her mother took a liking to the Ciara fragrance her father bought for her shortly before the pop idol Ciara was born, and she borrowed the name. That’s a brand connection few ambassadors could match.
The trick Revlon has to pull off in order to literally cash in on that connection is to let Ciara broaden their brand recognition by herself connecting with as many members of their target audience as possible.
And video conferencing can help her do that in the most personal way–face-to-face.
A brand ambassador is more than just a pretty face on a billboard and in an ad.
They have to be passionate about the brand, appear to eat, sleep, and breathe it, and be someone with whom customers can engage.
Of course, in the social media age there are plenty of ways to connect, even if some platforms have become awash with advertising. The first wave of social media to measure users in the hundreds of millions a month–Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even YouTube–lost much of their appeal, especially among Millennials, once sponsored messages and video began clogging up people’s feeds.
Viber has tried to get around this by embedding native advertising, offering users the option to follow live feeds from major companies. However, due to the demands of creating content every day, such feeds are staffed by media managers or a floating array of employees within broad-based organizations. Not much chance of establishing a lasting personal relationship there.
So it may be time to reawaken an old marketing ploy, albeit with a 2017 twist–the virtual in-store appearance.
Intimate Video for a Public Audience
More than 75% of advertising agencies continue to use celebrities in their campaigns. And while the social media landscape may have shifted over the past half-decade, most still measure the return on investment success of this higher-cost path in terms of web traffic, content sharing, and online mentions, in addition to increased revenue.
Most of which depends on individuals actually passing on what they’ve encountered.
In-store appearances, or the most common modern day equivalent, the in-club appearance, give people some personal time with their idols, even if it is only a few minutes, and create a unique moment-in-time experience people want to share online.
The traditional in-store event, however, is stuck in a specific location, limiting the amount of people who can have a first-hand experience. However, holding the event online creates a level playing field of customer access. You’re also conducting the event in a readily transferable digital state. And you’re not asking Ciara to go on a cross-country tour of America’s finest shopping malls.
Getting Face Time with the Famous
Video conferencing has evolved many different platforms that offer the brand ambassador a variety of venues to their public. Celebrities from the Pope to David Beckham have used Google Hangouts to speak personally with groups of people numbered in the dozens. It’s an intimate experience, which can still be broadcast to the public even though only those with access to the two-way connection can actually ask questions and interact directly with the star.
In the Revlon example, this kind of setting could be tied in with Ciara’s red carpet preparations during award season, and maybe the Super Bowl as well. She could conduct invite-only makeup sessions with a select few lucky customers while streaming the whole thing over the internet. Those with the golden tickets could ask her questions, Revlon-related or not, while her sponsor makes a glamorous physical connection between their customer base, their ambassador, their product, and some real Hollywood glitz.
British entertainment retailer HMV has kept the in-store appearance literal–while updating it for our high-tech times–with its series of live-streamed performances by bands in HMV’s London stores.
An event like this could be given some extra appeal by offering VIP clients access to the entertainers before and after the gig. In Ciara’s case, that could happen any time she’s on tour.
And finally, Revlon could follow the example of several charity groups who are offering personal one-on-one video calls with celebrities as incentive for donations. Perhaps Ciara could judge a makeup contest or the most innovative use of Revlon products, and personal congratulate the winner via video call.
All of these virtual possibilities could help push Revlon right into the real world of their potential clients, opening up more opportunities for Revlon to spread the word about their products, and more opportunities for fans–of Revlon and Ciara–to interact with their favorite celebrity and products in person.