Blog Post

What does a brand ambassador do? 

What is a brand ambassador?

A brand ambassador, or company ambassador,  is a person who represents and promotes a company in a positive way. They’re used by businesses to attract and ultimately build trust with an audience of potential customers.  Their ultimate goal is to bring consumers closer to a company’s products or services.

Former English footballer and sports broadcaster, Gary Lineker’s relationship with Walkers crisps is the epitome of a long-lasting and successful brand partnership. This collaboration remains one of the most enduring celebrity-brand relationships in the UK.

 

Who are brand ambassadors?

There are two types of brand ambassadors: the first are famous or influential people who are paid to promote a brand. In broadcast terms we would also call them third party spokespeople.  By this we mean they are the people who we put in front of the microphone and cameras for television and radio interviews.

The second type are fans of the product who choose to promote it freely. You might even call them “die hard” fans, they love the product so much they actively plug it without receiving any payment. That said brands may think to reward these brand ambassadors with freebies or online engagement.

Brand ambassadors are seen as gold dust by most companies because their association not only gives a brand additional visibility it adds a level of trustworthiness too.

What's expected of a brand ambassador?

When searching for a celebrity brand ambassador, businesses must find an influencer their consumers can relate to. That means sharing the same beliefs and values. The goal of a brand ambassador is to represent the brand in a positive way and build trust with their audience.

In order to find the right brand ambassador, companies should look for someone who has an established online presence, an understanding of marketing and a passion for building and maintaining relationships. Critically, before agreeing to any partnerships a brand must truly understand the influencer’s audience ,in order to decide whether this is their desired demographic too.

From a broadcast perspective the brand ambassador must be willing and available to speak to broadcast media and not have a reputation for lending their name to multiple campaigns as this devalues them as a potential spokesperson. The ambassador must also NOT have participated in radio and TV interviews for at least 4-6 weeks before the campaign. However high profile they are – if they were on a show recently the producer won’t want them back too soon.

What does a brand ambassador do?

A brand ambassador is your brand representative, the public face of your company.   As such, you use them as the front for your best campaigns or events.    You would expect them to speak to the press, pose for photos and take part in videos – whatever it takes to attract the interest of journalists.

Time is money and it will be agreed contractually as to how the day is used.   We think there’s better value when you book a brand or product ambassador in blocks of time, rather than by a set number of interviews.   The latter means you may end up turning down opportunities.

Typically for a broadcast PR campaign, the day begins early, with interviews on radio and TV breakfast shows.   Radio interviews are likely to be conducted remotely, although there are exceptions with some nationals such as Times Radio insisting a company brand ambassador goes into a studio, especially if they’re well known.   Television also prefers an in-person appearance from a brand representative.   We accommodate this with our pop-up radio studio, a broadcasting facility which we can bring close to any TV studio, ensuring you don’t have to compromise any interviews for the sake of travelling.

The benefits of having a brand ambassador

When done correctly, the benefits of having a brand ambassador are vast as such spokespeople are able to humanise a product and boost brand reputation. As well as building trust in existing customers, brand ambassadors are a great way of driving new customers towards a product. From a journalistic perspective they may be paid for spokespeople but the fact they’re not directly employed by the business they’re promoting does take the commercial sting out of the story.

But back to those shared values and beliefs.  It can all go wrong if the ambassador is a controversial star to begin with.

Ye, aka Kanye West, was dropped by Adidas and Gap after a spate of anti-Semitic remarks – he made on TV shows and podcasts. The artist also sparked controversy after he made a series of antisemitic social media posts, including one that appeared to accuse musician Sean “Diddy” Combs of being controlled by “the Jewish people”

Adidas terminated its relationship with Ye and while the decision hit Adidas hard, Ye lost far more. Adidas owns the design rights to Yeezy products which also affected his income. With the negative press continuing the French fashion house, Balenciaga which collaborated with the rapper dropped him and his own talent agency, CAA also parted ways citing his anti-Semitic comments.

In December 2023 Ye issued an apology in Hebrew to the Jewish community for his past antisemitic remarks, saying he sought forgiveness and regretted any pain that his words had caused.

Pretty Little Thing recently announced a collaboration with Naomi Campbell on the fashion retailer’s official Twitter now known as X feed.

However, X users were quick to point out what they claim is the hypocrisy of the superstar partnering with the fast-fashion-associated brand.

 

Logos for Balenziaga, Adidas, Gap and Yeezy

 

Meanwhile, Pretty Little Thing – which has typically collaborated with influencer and TV reality personalities, including several Love Island Fans – said it was “very excited” for its upcoming collaboration with the “legendary supermodel”.

The collaboration follows the parent brand’s, Boohoo, appointment of Kourtney Kardashian Barker as a sustainability Ambassador.

Potential dangers of brand ambassadors

With new Instagram guidelines in place, brands and their ambassadors are expected to be transparent with their partnerships which makes disguising a sponsored content post virtually impossible.

It is important for brands to work together with their ambassadors in order to create content for their channel which is authentic. If not, partnerships can appear lazy and several influencers have been caught out after copy and pasting emails from their sponsors straight into a post. And when it goes wrong, the stories do the rounds for years.

Back in 2016 Naomi Campbell fell victim of this when she posted a picture of herself with Adidas trainers and the caption below it read, “Could you put something like: Thanks to my friend @gary.aspen and all at Adidas – loving these Adidas 350 SPZL from Adidas Spezial range. @adidasoriginals”.

And reality star Scott Disick is still being highlighted more than seven years later for his Instagram fail when he accidentally pasted instructions from an advertiser into the caption for a sponsored post.    He shared a photo of himself posing with a huge container of a weight loss drink captioning it:  “Here you go, at 4pm set, write the below. Caption:   Keeping up with the summer workout routine with my morning @booteauk.”

Scott Disick Instagram grab and Instagram logo

Those who follow celebrities and influencers on social media will know that most of them are involved with a number of sponsors and partnerships at a time. Consequently, Instagram feeds are clogged up with #ad posts which begin to look more like spam. With this in mind, brands must ensure it is believable that their ambassadors use their product.

Brand ambassadors can do brilliant things for business but with so many around, it’s crucial that their values and style align with the brand in order to truly make an impact.

What Shout! Communications can do for you

Outcome

Succinct soundbites along with cinematic, scene-setting montages of the event and location make for some beautiful videos. Founders Forum used the videos to promote future events and create brand awareness.

Filming in New York

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