Weight Watchers Marketing

Weight Watchers’ DJ Khaled deal proves the bubble of celeb endorsement definitely hasn’t burst

By Emma Wills, Influence and Advocacy Director

January 3, 2018 | 4 min read

Weight Watchers, the points based food control system synonymous with the likes of Jennifer Hudson and Oprah Winfrey, has turned it up a notch in 2018 by appointing what might seem like a totally random brand ambassador choice in hip-hop megastar DJ Khaled.

DJ Khalid Weight Watchers

DJ Khaled signs as Weight Watchers' social media ambassador

As part of this deal, Khaled – who has openly struggled with his weight in the past – will broadcast his quest to slim down across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat in a bid to attract more men to sign up to the programme.

Khaled might not be the usual choice for a Weight Watchers spokesperson on first check: his music is highly sexually charged and plays out a live-fast-die-young theme. But once you scratch below the surface, he’s actually a great brand fit.

Authenticity and relevance are words banded about like the gospel in influencer marketing but they are the most important ingredients when it comes to working with any level of influencer – from the micro to the macro scale. Khaled is a master of his owned social channels, sharing his personal life and motivational advice with his fan base. He is also a family man with a son he clearly adores, and it’s these attributes that would have resonated with the Weight Watchers brand.

Couple the above with a social following in the millions, it’s less of a surprise that the fusion of hip-hop superstar and diet brand historically geared towards women works so well. The partnership has certainly got off to a good start – Weight Watchers announced that its stock rose 8% the day after the Khaled announcement was made.

This case study shows that the bubble of celebrity endorsement definitely hasn’t burst – despite the onus on ‘micro’ level influencers making waves in the world of influencer marketing in 2017. Two things remain critical: an authentic relationship between brand and influencer, and mutual value for both via engaging content. If these rules are abided by then there’s no reason to cut out celebrity endorsements from marketing campaigns in 2018.

There’s also the argument celebrities have greater widespread media appeal than digital influencers, as the latter predominantly only hold influence within the sphere of social media. We’re handling more combined influencer and celebrity ambassador inquiries than ever before.

Certainly, the lines between celebrity and digital-born talent have become increasingly blurred. Social influencers will continue to appeal to brands in terms of value for money and consumer engagement, but 2018 should see more brands employing a pyramid style matrix when working with influencers, using a sophisticated mix of traditional and digital talent to offer multiple layers of engagement and credibility to create a greater, lasting impact.

Emma Wills is influence and advocacy director at PrettyGreen.

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