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Editorial - Genius marketing strategy or potential PR disaster

Editorial Genius marketing strategy or potential PR disaster

Are brand ambassadors really a good idea ?

Each time we hear about a brand signing on a new ambassador, the same conversation comes up in the watch community spaces that I hang out in. The main theme of the discussion being, of course, do brand ambassadors make sense as a strategy?

Often, the overwhelming response from participants in these conversations is a resounding “No”. And it’s obvious why they think so. If you’re enough of a watch enthusiast that you’re alerted to news about brand ambassadors, you probably aren’t the target of any kind of brand outreach or campaign that would involve an ambassador anyway. 

The role of a brand ambassador is to extend the reach and awareness of a brand, according to its values, objectives and intended audience. That in itself tells you everything you need to know about any such partnership, whether it’s with an athlete, a musician or a film star.

And the truth is, not every brand needs a celebrity ambassador. If the brand in question only produces small volumes of complicated timepieces, chances are that its audience is equally niche and doesn’t need any kind of intermediary in its interactions with the brand. For a company making watches with a broad appeal, a company that addresses itself to a wide audience and seeks to improve its visibility within a particular demographic, a celebrity ambassador is an established and frequently successful shortcut to achieving that aim. 

That’s not to say that celebrity ambassadors don’t come with their own set of downsides — just like any marketing strategy, it should be pointed out. The kind of gifted people that end up in the spotlight also tend not to be the most consistent or predictable individuals around, and I’m sure we all remember incidents involving celebrities who were brought down by scandals, capsizing their sponsorship deals in the process. 

If you subscribe to the belief that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, then you might decide that celebrity ambassadors are a worthwhile strategy. Because if there’s one thing I’ve concluded from all the conversations I’ve observed and participated in about brand ambassadors, it’s that this is something that’s guaranteed to get people talking. I guess you could say, mission accomplished ?