MKTG’S 2018 MARKETABILITY WATCH: CELEBRITY EDITION
6 minute read
- The #HumansofMKTG met to discuss a list of Celebrities to Watch for 2018 from a marketability perspective
- This year’s list is dominated by cast members of Netflix shows; as certain shows have sparked a viewership phenomenon, brands have started to capitalize on associating with key stars
- The Rock, Sean Evans and Gal Gadot have made successful personal and professional career choices to catapult their success with brands in 2018
As the year comes to a close, MKTG recognizes the many celebrities who have been popularized throughout the year. Based on how these celebrities have increased their marketability this year in 2017 - we sent out a survey asking the #HumansOfMKTG to submit a “Celebrity to Watch for 2018”. The next step was to take these submissions and discuss a shortlist with the broader group. The following celebrity picks are some of MKTG’s favourites that were discussed at our Roundtable.
#HumansOfMKTG Featured: Matthew Klar, Caitlin Benn, Kathryn Grabowski and Reuben Greenspoon.
Cast of Riverdale
Riverdale has been one of leading shows among millennials this year. This Archie Comics adaptation has a multitude of characters that has viewers hooked and engaged. These characters are played by actors that are fun, relatable and are consistently featured in mainstream media and interviews.
After one season of the show, the cast members have increased their following by hundreds of thousands on social media. For example, Vanessa Morgan (who plays Toni) almost doubled her social media followers this season. These stars have a fresh, public perception and are not yet worn down by baggage or cluttered by competing sponsors. Lili Reinhardt who plays Betty Cooper capitalized on this by partnering with Sport Chek to promote Woods Explorer winter coats.
These characters are also iconic when used together due to the ensemble nature of the cast. Their recognition and endorser power is increased when they are used together. HP has partnered with Reinhardt and Cami Mendes (who plays Veronica Lodge) to promote the Sprocket Printer. Betty and Veronica’s characters are throwing to each other on social media through storytelling creative.
Cole Sprouse is a fan favourite who has rejuvenated his career in this series. He’s attracting new fans but he is bringing back powerful nostalgia with viewers that are familiar with his work. He can bridge multiple age segments for an interested brand.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
The marketability of “The Rock” has increased year after year since his days in the WWE. His work is validated by being a successful actor with starring roles in blockbuster films. Also, he recently opened a production company.
He opened his own production company to develop talent which is an impressive move on his part. People do not get tired of his character and persona and he continues to pursue initiatives with brands that the public love.
Cast of Stranger Things
Stranger Things has been picking up brand sponsorship momentum this year with both the show itself and members of the cast. Eleven, who is played by Millie Bobbie Brown, partnered with Converse on a back to school campaign earlier this year. The show is a hit and has attracted audiences from all demographics. With the launch of Season 2, it has been one of Netflix’s most marketable shows.
This show is a phenomenon in pop culture right now. While Season 1 caught many by surprise, this year’s cast was on a media blitz to promote the show and in the process, all cast members built their personal brand. It’s not just the child actors; seasoned actors like David Harbour have had a boost to their careers by appearing on the show.
The Editorial Producer for Complex has rose in popularity due to his celebrity interview talk show Hot Ones. Each Hot Ones episode garners millions of views and stands out from the talk show clutter. The platform allows viewers to witness Sean’s interviewing skills and personality. The show features a new celebrity guest every week which adds to the reach and scale of the series that brands can leverage moving into 2018.
The show attracts every category of celebrity. Sean’s hosting style is extremely charismatic. His brand is growing and the content he produces goes viral easily. He meets with both smaller influencers and Tier-1 celebrities which allows people with a variety of interests to tune in. TV Hosts often make excellent celebrity endorsers due to their charisma, on-camera comfort and built-in following. Hosts like James Corden went on to garner the attention of many sponsors. Evans is likely next in line.
The star of Wonder Woman was named by IMBD as the stop star of 2017 after her appearances in Wonder Woman and Justice League. To date, she has appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for Wix.com, as well as ads for Huawei and Gucci. With the release of the Wonder Woman sequel coming in 2019, Gadot is likely to stay in the spotlight and attract sponsor interest.
The Wonder Woman character struck a particularly chord in 2017, a year where the female empowerment movement was top of mind in the cultural zeitgeist through things like the Women’s March, #MeToo Movement, TIME Person of the Year, etc. But beyond the character, Gadot is extremely marketable; she showed her range as SNL host and brings international appeal as an endorser.
Pronounced SUR-shah. The up-and-coming Hollywood star is a leading contender for Best Actress for her role in Ladybird.
The top individual acting awards at The Oscars have historically been strong launching pads for endorser careers for stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and Brie Larson. As an Oscar favorite, Ronan is likely to begin partnering with prospective brands.”