In particular, Reality TV is designed to deliver a key demographic: 18 -34 year-olds with disposable incomes. This, the shows’ ultimate product, can also be crucial for the series and the brands that leverage on them through sponsorships and partnerships, either during the show or after. But although a youthful audience has excited certain advertisers, these series also attract advertising revenue because of their multi-demographic appeal and the extra-televisual, “water-cooler” buzz.
It’s really a win-win situation for brands and the ‘aspiring celebrities’. Young reality TV stars make perfect collaborators, providing the authenticity and reliability that brands and businesses need to align with. Talents are also eager to boost their profiles. They want their fame to linger long after the cameras have stopped rolling. These marketers are excited to receive the support of these popular overnight stars that blur the lines between celebrity and influencer who are both trusted and revered by the public. According to PHA Group: ‘the concept of celebrity has never been so accessible, and brands are cashing in on their fame’.
But a brand that banks on the celebrity’s reputation is also susceptible to scandals. Previous research has shown that firms tend to suffer financially when a celebrity endorser becomes mired in scandal. “Celebrity brand endorsements are risky business,” Jeetendr Sehdev, professor of marketing at the University of Southern California. “As the costs of celebrity endorsements get bigger, many brands start playing a deadly game of Russian roulette.”
For this year’s #BBNaija reunion, as housemates focused on ‘beating down’ one another while highlighting their housemates’ scandals, it was definitely a game of Russian roulette. But how did the audience – the consumers – feel about it? How did the reunion change their perspectives about their favourite housemates and possibly, about the brands these celebrities have endorsed?
Celebrity brand endorsements are risky business,” Jeetendr Sehdev, professor of marketing at the University of Southern California. “As the costs of celebrity endorsements get bigger, many brands start playing a deadly game of Russian roulette.