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Lights, Camera, Ad Campaign: 3 Lessons on Partnering with Celebrities

Updated: Jul 26

Capturing an audience’s attention with an initial hook is paramount in advertising campaigns. These lures come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own distinctive value: emotional appeal, data-driven evidence, shock value, limited-time offers, or our personal favorite—leveraging the power of familiarity by featuring a renowned celebrity.

It's something that we know a bit about, having worked with a number of highly visible stars in campaigns across multiple industries. We paired Culturelle Probiotics with Actress/Mompreneur, Jessica Alba, driving a 12% increase in sales. Wolf Moon Bourbon and Country Music star Jason Aldean formed the Brotherhood of Bourbon, yielding nearly one billion PR media impressions. Ms. Halle Berry was, expectedly, without a flaw in our campaign with Flawless, a Church & Dwight beauty brand, which cemented it as the top-selling product in its category in the U.S.

Our experiences have taught us countless lessons about working with celebs. We’ve narrowed them down to three essential learnings:

#1 Prepare for Contingencies

Working with a celebrity means more variables, likely increasing the time and investment needed to produce a campaign. Experience has taught us that the higher the personality’s visibility, the more individuals—managers, agents, publicists, and business consultants—will be involved in the contractual scope, creative concepts, and production preferences. Our advice is to allocate additional time for negotiations, reviews, and approvals from the celebrity and their team, along with a budget contingency for unexpected costs that invariably occur.

#2 Put an Expert in Your Corner

While in-house counsel may handle contract terms, it's advisable to involve an entertainment lawyer who specializes in entertainment law. Not only will they ensure compliance with applicable laws, union mandates, intellectual property rights, advertising regulations, and licensing requirements, but with their experience in the industry, can provide counsel in standard practices, prevailing market rates, and industry customs, allowing brand teams to make informed decisions when negotiating with the celebrity and their representatives.

#3 Embrace Adaptability

Even with thorough preparation and a clear contract, be prepared to adapt. This may occur when navigating a celebrity's potential scheduling conflicts and changes in availability or when they feel their personal brand and image are not aligned with the campaign's vision. It's also required for day-of-production issues, like finding solutions for wardrobe requests, location changes, or making on-the-spot script revisions.

Celebrities are like fingerprints: no two are the same. When working with one, remember to prepare with contingencies, put an expert in your corner, and embrace adaptability. While partnering with an A-Lister requires more investment of your time and energy, the return is incomparable. Hopefully, you’ll have the opportunity to use some of our suggestions in an upcoming campaign.

Ready to take the leap into the star-studded world of celebrity partnerships, but unsure of where to begin? We’ve got you covered. Reach out to us at and together, let's ignite your ad campaign with the power of celebrity influence.

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