Jakki Jones, VIP Director for Instinct, outlines her top tips for running successful celebrity campaigns for clients – and why authenticity is key.

When they decide to work with celebrities, brands will likely take a huge step in increasing brand recognition, and there’s a big opportunity to gain new consumers through aligning themselves with someone who already captures the public’s attention. So, it’s important to get it right. And when you get it really wrong once, the damage can be irreparable.

Implementing a successful VIP led campaign for clients is all about authenticity and the right fit. When I’m given the task of choosing a face for a client campaign or event, I will go for someone who encapsulates the brand values and speaks to their core audience. It cannot be transactional. Consumers are too savvy and will not connect to a talent brand mix where it’s obvious a talent is just taking the cheque. It must feel authentic, so that consumers will buy into it.

Personally, I always find that my best collab deals happen when I know the talent. Like you wouldn’t set a friend up on a date with someone you know they won’t connect with, you would never put talent you have a relationship with forward for a campaign you don’t think is the best fit. Knowing that I can trust the talent, and they can deliver for the brand is crucial. If you have worked with someone that was tricky or didn’t deliver, the chances are you won’t put them forward for the next job / campaign, as you cannot let the brand down.

When you’re choosing multiple talent for a client, always make sure you have a great, diverse mix of names that match the brand’s values closely and will target its demographic. There is no point having a line-up of 24-year-olds if your brand is targeting women in their late 30s +.
When I’m confident I’ve got the right name on board, there’s also an element of due diligence – it’s vital before you sign on the dotted line that the talent doesn’t have any brand conflicts – or that they haven’t worked with any competitors very recently. With the growing rise of social media – I always look at their socials and this is a must for most brands now. If talent doesn’t have social – they are likely not to be in the mix for consideration.

For me, cultivating relationships with talent and their agents is all about putting in the time and being personal, respectful, and kind. I feel that my best and longest relationships have been with the people that mirror my beliefs. Kindness is the key player here – and listening. Treat people the same – no matter who they are. From the manager to the chef, from the publicist to the nail artist, everybody has their piece in the puzzle, and everyone matters.

I’ve seen some of the biggest stars in the world treat people terribly – and it does not bode well. You get found out – and ultimately the good guys always win and stand the test of time. Now more than ever – the way you treat people will pave your way to longevity.

And finally….It goes without saying that once a talent is locked in for a campaign – you pray to the talent gods that there is no scandal over the launch period / or contract which could jeopardise the brand or collaboration.