Could Kristian Nairn become the next world-famous brand ambassador?
If a brand represents a personality of a company then the holy grail must surely be to find a celebrity who best personifies that brand. It’s a tried and trusted marketing technique that has been used for as long as there’s been advertising and PR. The secret of success is to use exactly the right personality to encompass the brand’s values and identity – sometimes more easily said than done.
Of course, it goes far deeper than just having a recognisable face to appear in TV ads and on posters. A brand ambassador can also be expected to attend events and promote the company whenever the opportunity arises.
There are countless examples and it’s generally the bigger the brand, the bigger the celebrity who is chosen to represent it. One only has to look at the huge names in sport that companies like Nike and Adidas choose to represent them – not to mention the huge amounts that they are prepared to pay for the privilege.
There’s also a close correlation between the size of the brand and the status of the ambassadors they choose. After all, if the reach truly is global then it’s important that the ambassador stands a good chance of recognition in all of the territories where the product is sold.
A great case in point is actor George Clooney. He’s been the choice of a number of massive multinational brands including Martini and Nespresso. He’s been a regular in the ads for the latter since 2006 and a year later, in 2007, he began his long involvement with the Italian vermouth.
In 2017 he was joined by his Nespresso campaign by Natalie Dormer, channelling all her Margaery Tyrell imperiousness from Game of Thrones, to add new life into the campaign. By introducing her, as well as parodying one of the world’s biggest TV shows, the coffee maker is aiming to appeal to a truly huge potential market.
After all, the tales from Westeros and Essos have certainly gripped the world’s imagination so this a very logical choice. Its global success has also led to some of the lesser-known actors suddenly being thrown into the spotlight and even being picked up as brand ambassadors for a wide range of products.
A prime example is Irish actor Kristian Nairn. In the show he plays the man-giant Hodor – better known for his immense strength rather than a great intellectual ability. Already he’s featured in an ad for KFC and this has been followed up even more recently by the Hodl campaign for the social trading site eToro. In the ad, Nairn cleverly plays with his image, and his desire to escape from the obvious typecasting, much to the frustration of his agent. It’s a surprisingly meta-concept that says a great deal for the cultural savviness of the company that’s being advertised.
Of course, having any brand ambassador does also have its obvious pitfalls for companies too. After all, celebrities are only human and when they’re exposed behaving in a way that’s at odds with the brand they work for, fireworks usually result. One only has to look at how sports people ranging from Tiger Woods to Diego Maradona have found themselves in distinctly hot water.
But used well, and barring scandals, there’s no doubt that all big brands can benefit from having a good brand ambassador – just as long as it’s the brand, not the celebrity, that viewers remember from the ads.
The editorial unit