When trying to pitch celebrities for a paid endorsement, it is extremely important to provide detailed information about why the opportunity might be of importance to them. Celebrities (and their agents and representatives) most likely receive dozens of different pitches on a daily basis. Providing details at the outset as to why your pitch might be of potential interest to them can help you avoid those unnecessary back-and-forth questions and inquiries, thus allowing you to move forward with the next steps in the partnership if there is mutual interest. As with any marketing campaign, paid celebrity endorsements usually work best when they are organized alongside certain key moments for your brand or company, such as a new product launch.

Of course, partnering with celebrities to promote your company is a fantastic way to increase brand awareness, consumer trust, and the overall profitability of your business. Learning how to successfully land a partnership with a celebrity, however, takes a bit of effort. They say that “first impressions make a lasting impression,” and your initial pitch to the celebrity representative or agent is certainly one of the most important moments in landing a celebrity endorsement. In this short article, we offer a step-by-step guide on the best practices for companies and brands to consider in order to ensure that your pitch is set up for success.

Prioritize Email over Unsolicited Phone Calls

Both celebrity agents and managers are extremely busy people. They most likely receive dozens (if not hundreds) of pitches and proposals every day. Having their cell phone ring throughout the day with unsolicited proposals is most likely going to annoy them and essentially eliminate any possibility of landing an endorsement with the celebrity they represent.

Instead of invading the privacy of a celebrity agent with a phone call, Facebook message, or tweet, consider sending out an email for your initial pitch. A succinct and crisp email can allow your brand to quickly and efficiently explain who you are, what you are proposing, why you think this endorsement is a great opportunity for their celebrity client, and any other information you feel to be important and relevant. Furthermore, an email allows the celebrity agent to engage with your proposal on their time, instead of trying to navigate a phone call in the middle of a busy day.

What to include in your Pitch?

The content of your email is most certainly going to be the most important element that determines whether the celebrity representative or agent decides to move forward in the negotiating process. Including the most essential information in a concise manner is of utmost importance. In your initial pitch, you should include the following elements:

  • A Concise Overview of your Pitch: Here you need to let the celebrity representative know who you are as a company and the products or services that you offer. Also, quickly introduce the proposed campaign you’re interested in having the celebrity participate in.
  • Why you Believe the Campaign Fits with the Celebrity´s Goals, Brand, or Values: In this section, feel free to share your reasoning for why you would like the celebrity to participate in the campaign. Let them know why you think they are an authentic “fit” for the task, and if your brand or the campaign shares in some of the values that are important to the celebrity. For example, engaging in a marketing partnership with Roddy Rich is probably not a great idea if your brand is attempting to target people over the age of 60 for a certain product or service. Determining the right celebrity candidate to fit your brand’s mission and your audiences´ interests is extremely important. For example, a company that is set to launch a new line of swimwear that is made from recycled plastic might want to team up with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio or others who have an established interest in protecting the environment. Working with a celebrity who can legitimately show passion and interest in your brand is a great way to boost the authenticity of the celebrity endorsement.
  • Explain the Deliverables: It is important to be absolutely clear what exactly you would expect the celebrity to provide for the campaign. This could include, for example:
    • A certain number of social media posts
    • The creation and sharing of authentic videos or pictures
    • Paid promotions of the social media posts
    • How long the posts should continue for a given amount of time
    • Usage rights
  • Share past experience: Feel free to share past marketing campaigns that your company has engaged in during the recent past. Also, if you have done paid endorsements with other celebrities in the past and they were mutually successful or beneficial, definitely share that information as well.
  • Be clear about the Compensation you are Offering: Let the celebrity representative know what exactly you are offering the celebrity for his/her participation in the campaign. Though you don’t necessarily have to put an exact dollar amount in your email, be sure to outline whether your brand is willing to pay a flat wage, or if you are open to other forms of partnership such as sharing your company´s stock equity with the celebrity in exchange for a long-term endorsement. If your brand has successfully worked with celebrities in the past (either via endorsements, advertisements, or other forms of marketing), you might also want to make a brief mention of those past experiences as this may show the agent that you know how to work with celebrities in a mutually beneficial manner.
  • Set Out Any Specifics Regarding the Campaign Timing: If the proposed paid endorsement or media campaign has a specific timeline, you should certainly provide a detailed plan in regards to your ideal timing for each step throughout the partnership. For example, if you are planning a product launch for mid-June, the celebrity would need to have the availability to participate around that timeframe. In general, you should include information about the expected timeline for the confirmed participation, the receipt of the agreed-upon products of the partnership or campaign, the date you would need the photos/videos/or social media content created or returned for review and approval, the timing of the posts (if multiple are involved), etc.

Once you have sent out your initial pitch, you need to be patient and allow the celebrity agent enough time to respond. You should not expect an email the following day or even during the first week. If after 7-10 days you still haven’t heard back from the agent, it is probably a good idea to send a follow-up email. Copy the original message into this follow-up email, and commence the email by mentioning briefly that you had attempted to reach out a week ago, but had not heard back. Be polite, and make sure to mention that you know that they probably have an extremely busy agenda.  If you haven’t heard back after the second email, it is most likely best to start to target another celebrity from your initial list.

Landing a celebrity endorsement is certainly a great way to promote your brand, increase your brand awareness, grow your base of loyal customers, and take your company to a new level. Sending out a positive initial pitch for a celebrity endorsement is the first step in turning this possibility into a reality.