The use of known personalities in ad campaigns is a common practice among advertisers. A study conducted by Ana Rumschisky, Professor of Marketing at IE Business School, published in Wharton, said that the association of a brand with a personality increases the value and interest of consumers for it and also gets to attribute a number of meanings to the advertised product in terms of personality and lifestyle that an anonymous individual could not get (hence the importance of correctly choosing the character which shares the attributes of the brand).
In this context, it’s important to distinguish two ways of associating yourself with a celebrity:
- As the image of a campaign, at a punctual moment.
- As a sponsor, with a larger involvement in the company on the part of the sponsored.
Certain companies such as L’Oréal, Nespresso, El Corte Inglés... use or have used the image of well-know personalities like Penélope Cruz, George Clooney and Fernando Torres in order to make their product more attractive at a specific time and with a specific purpose, an immediate increase in sales. Although this is a common objective, the sponsorship includes a broader concept, building a brand image over time and a solid transfer of values.
We could consider personal sponsorship as a partnership between a brand and a personality for a certain period of time (usually long term). The advantage a personal sponsorship has for a company is it’s ability to attract the attention of consumers and simultaneously transmit brand values. Personal sponsorship could fall into the popular saying “birds of a feather flock together”.
The use of a personality through a sponsorship seeks other targets: the allocation of values to a brand that are universal and human, resulting in the construction of the company’s image. In this case, the strategies that are followed are long term and it is very rare to get immediate results.
Athletes are often the preferred personalities to convey these values because most are recognized for their work, which socially is highly valued. Although the individual's choice will ultimately depend on the characteristics and brand 'philosophy'. However, the possibilities of connecting and sharing a 'feeling' with the public (and be able to transmit it) is easier when we are linked closely to the individual and we equate our attributes to theirs.
Carrying out a good exploitation of personal sponsorship can get almost the same results than investing in multiple platforms. However, each company pursues different objectives and therefore develops different strategies.Personal sponsorship also serves to reinforce the commitment to a modality, position oneself and give a communication strategy some 'game'.
Source: Johan Cruyff Institute