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Celebrity endorsements are such big business

The public adore celebrities. We follow them on social media, the news and when we see them wearing or using a certain product, we want it too. Which is exactly why celebrity endorsements are such big business. Chebet Korir puts the spotlight on the new trend hitting 254

Early this week, Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) unveiled celebrated radio personalities Maina Kageni and Adelle Onyango as Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassadors for the ongoing, Experience Formula 1 with Johnnie Walker Promotion. Maina and Adelle will join other Diageo Global Influencers in Monaco, a Grand Prix race described as the Jewel in the Formula 1 Crown circuit. 

While speaking at the unveil ceremony, KBL MD Jane Karuku said, “Today’s consumers are increasingly sophisticated and are seeking new experiences. Therefore, such partnerships are welcome since they will enable our consumers to associate with the brand in an unconventional way.”

The trend has seen those in entertainment circles benefit from brand support and income and engage when campaigns are creative. With more industry players and influencers getting on the corporates bandwagon, it will only be a matter of time until we see growth start to trickle down in the local entertainment scene.

There’s an opportunity to change the face of the local entertainment scene unlike with music partnerships, which have so far been largely confined to basic campaigns (ad soundtracks, product placements, ambassadorships and so on).

With industry players now more  willing to collaborate, brands and agencies have the opportunity to work on  creative, deep and long-term partnerships. The symbiotic relationship will also benefit brands as it will open them up to a broader fan base, something that has been seen a thousand over with international brands, who chose to partner with entertainers.

“I am excited to be part of the inaugural

Johnnie  Walker Formula 1 Campaign in Kenya,” shares an ecstatic Maina. The renowned radio presenter goes on to add, “The brand perfectly fits my character and personality. I am looking forward to executing my role as well as travelling to Monaco, which is the Mecca of Formula 1.”

Early last year, Music group The Kansoul renewed their partnership with Bluemoon Vodka as its brand ambassadors. The trio of Madtraxx, Mejja and Kid Kora have since headlined shows for the brand and participated in consumer engagement events.

“The partnership has impacted our fans more meaningfully through networking and mentorship opportunities,” Madtraxx stated.

While brands may be great at creating products and services, they are not inherently built to develop compelling content. Artistes, however, are the original storytellers and the perfect partners to support this need.

Other brands are getting hip to this shift as a few understand how to effectively engage artistes. That often leads to campaigns that feel forced. However, when a thoughtful strategy is in place and the artistes and brands are appropriately aligned, everybody wins.

Take sportsman Victor Wanyama. The Harambee Stars skipper and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was recently named the DStv 2018 Fifa World Cup ambassador.

Wanyama was the face of Safaricom’s Chapa Dimba, which saw overall winners in each category will receive Sh1 million and a trip to London for one week training camp. The launch of this unique football tournament changed the way fans and players interact with the game.

Speaking to Spice, the famed footballer, has this to say. “My aim is to inspire other young people into the sport. Through platforms such as DStv, I am able to achieve international recognition and finally play international football.

As the World Cup begins on June 14, I would encourage young and upcoming footballers to see it as an inspiration to sharpen their skills and talents in an effort to one-day represent Kenya at the World Cup.”

Piserro, a new Turkish menswear store, which was recently launched in Nairobi named media personality, Mike Okinyi the brand ambassador for the Kenyan franchise.

The brand has long been associated with the creative class, but recently they have demonstrated a commitment to creatives.

“I have been a long time client and being selected out of many was such an honour. Piserro, being a Turkish brand and now in Kenya, means that I am able to display their exclusive clothes, which is good for our Kenyan fashion scene.

This means that the brand will build  a direct relationship with locals who will promote their products by proudly wearing them on stages and other platforms,” shared an ecstatic Okinyi.

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