In his 2003 hit song “Celebrity,” country crooner Brad Paisley sings about the perils of celebrity and “acting like a fool just ’cause you’re on TV.” Yet, many alcohol and non-alcohol beverage brands recognize that the star power of athletes, musicians and actors often equates not only to deeper consumer connections but also to increased brand recognition that translates into sales.
Already a popular practice in the beverage industry, the pace of endorsements and investments by famous names has accelerated in recent years, according to a January 2015 article in Fortune.
“Even as singer Justin Timberlake completed his 20/20 Experience World Tour in the final weeks of 2014, he still found time to regularly tweet about his tequila brand [Sauza 901] to his nearly 40 million Twitter followers,” it stated.
Additionally, Super Bowl champion and Green Bay Packers’ linebacker Clay Matthews made his singing debut on a new commercial for Cytosport’s Muscle Milk that launched in mid-November last year. In the comical commercial, he sings “Lean on Me” and helps athletes who need an extra hand running, swimming, doing yoga and so on.
Another popular brand endorser is the Cleveland Cavalier’s NBA champion LeBron James, a longtime partner of Sprite. Since 2003, the same year he joined the NBA, “King” James has been supporting the brand’s “Obey Your Thirst” message. Its newest campaign “Wanna Sprite” depicts James making a softer, gentler pitch for the soda brand. “I’d never tell you to drink Sprite, even if I was in a commercial for Sprite, which I am,” he humorously says in the new ad. Instead, “I’d ask you.”
Due to the popularity of these TV commercials and celebrities promoting both alcohol and non-alcohol brands to their millions of fans on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, it’s likely that beverage brands will continue to use celebrities to promote their products and engage with consumers, particularly teens and multicultural millennials.