Monday, April 3, 2017

Involving a Celebrity in Your Next Sweepstakes or Contest

US Sweepstakes explains how involving celebrities in sweepstakes & contests as part of the prize or as spokespeople provides unique marketing benefits

Everyone has a favorite celebrity. Whether you admire a movie star, an athlete, an influencer, or a musician, we all appreciate a recognizable face. If we are a fan of that person and they are partnering with a company for a sweepstakes or contest – we’ll probably pay attention.

This is what makes having a celebrity tie-in for your business’s next promotion such a valuable option. In addition to the benefits that come with any sweepstakes or contest (for a full look at these benefits, click here to view our “Why Should You Want to Run a Sweepstakes” blog post), having a celebrity involved with your promotion can be a great way to extend your reach to include that celebrity’s fans.

There are many ways to involve celebrities in your promotion, but it is important that the celebrity is related in some way to the concept of the promotion, or to the sponsor itself. For example, a sporting goods store would likely benefit from having a star athlete endorse their sweepstakes, but having a rock star involved probably wouldn’t make much sense (unless the promotion focuses on rock climbing equipment).

Once you’ve decided on the perfect celebrity to involve in your promotion, the question becomes how to involve that celebrity. Will they be part of the prize offering (meet and greet events, tickets to the taping of a show, a walk on role in a movie, tickets to a sporting event, etc.)? Or will they simply be involved in the marketing of the promotion (celebrity spokesperson, photos of the celebrity appearing on advertisements, celebrity testimonial of the prize, etc.)?

However you decide to involve a celebrity in your next promotion, US Sweepstakes has the knowledge and experience to ensure that every detail is considered, and that the promotion runs without a hitch.

Celebrity Related Prizes:

Having a celebrity participate as part of the prize for a sweepstakes or contest can bring that celebrity’s fans out in droves. The potential to meet a celebrity they admire, win signed items or memorabilia, or even have a quick conversation with the celebrity via the Internet or phone can all be motivating factors that will attract fans to enter your promotion:

Example 1:

You may have heard the saying, “if one is good, more is better” – and this can apply to celebrity sweepstakes. For example, a tourism company has decided to execute a sweepstakes on social media to help boost summer travel to a specific city. To attract more participants, they decide to involve a group of celebrities that grew up in the city, and are known for being from there. To enter, participants are asked to publish a post on social media (either text or photo) showing or explaining why they need a vacation. Following the entry period, one winner chosen at random is awarded a trip to the city, and they are given the option to choose which celebrity they would like to lead them on a tour of the city through their own eyes.

Example 2:

An electronics company wants to promote a new line of headphones, so they decide to partner with a popular musician who wants to build excitement for their new tour. To accomplish both goals, a contest is launched in which participants submit a video of themselves covering one of the musician’s songs for the chance to win prizes. Entrants are asked to post their video to social media and after the entry period closes, a public vote is held to decide the best video. The winner is then awarded a prize package that includes a pair of the new headphones offered by the electronics company, as well as backstage passes to the musician’s concert where they will have the chance to meet the musician and participate in a jam session with them. This also provides mutual benefit to the sponsor, as well as the musician involved in the promotion.

Celebrity Endorsement of the Promotion:

Reaping the benefits that come with having a celebrity connected to your sweepstakes or contest can be as simple as having the celebrity endorse the promotion, or appear in the marketing material. If you cannot or do not want to involve a celebrity in the prize itself, the next best thing is to have them endorse the promotion.

For example: A retail company looking for an opportunity to boost sales around the Father’s Day holiday decides to launch a sweepstakes offering their own clothing products as prizes. Participants are asked to visit a sweepstakes microsite and complete an entry form for the chance to win a variety of prizes. Where does the celebrity become involved? The marketing material. All social media posts, print advertisements to be used in stores, and television advertisements feature a popular Father and Son celebrity pair. By simply having these celebrities involved in the marketing for the promotion, the retailer has a higher likelihood of attracting fans of the Father/Son celebrities.

Things to Remember:

Like all sweepstakes and contests, there are unique elements to a promotion that involves a celebrity. US Sweepstakes knows exactly what to look out for when developing a sweepstakes or contest with a celebrity tie-in, but here are a few things to keep in mind during the initial planning phase:

  • Background Checks
    When meeting fans, celebrities are very concerned for their safety, so any winner should be ready to complete a background check prior to a meet and greet prize winner being confirmed.

  • Working around the Celebrity’s Schedule
    If you are offering a prize that involves a meet and greet with the celebrity, or involves giving tickets to a celebrity’s event, you must remember that their schedule will have a direct impact on how you offer the prize.

  • Don’t Let the Celebrity Overshadow the Promotion
    Remember, when executing a sweepstakes or contest, you are trying to accomplish your own marketing goals, not promote the celebrity who may be involved. This means that you should always be sure that the message you are trying to convey through the promotion is not overshadowed by the celebrity. This can be accomplished by spending time to ensure that the celebrity directly relates to your business, and to the promotion itself.

If you have an idea for a celebrity tie-in for your next promotion that you think takes your promotion to the next level, contact US Sweepstakes today! We have plenty of experience working on sweepstakes and contest involving celebrities, and we are happy to help you with every step of the process.