Joey Essex - Varooma TV Advert

With Joey Essex commanding an impressive 3.59 million followers, it was a no brainer for log book loan company, Varooma to enlist this celebrity endorsement for their first ever TV campaign.

A confused Joey struggles to get his head round the fact that his “Smart” car can lend him money. The idea was conceived, shot and posted at Toast TV. Television has yielded great results for Varooma and Toast are in talks about a further 3 TV adverts featuring Joey Essex for 2018.

Peter Rickenberg CEO of Varooma commented:

“Dealing with Toast was a pleasure from first creative meeting to completion of the project. Their creative ideas and execution provided us with a quality advert which has had substantial impact on our sales, reputation and visibility.”

Joey Essex near Smart car
Joey Essex says Wallop
Celebrity endorsement by Joey Essex

Getting the right celebrity – Joey Essex

When considering whether to use celebrity endorsement as part of your marketing strategy there is a question to be answered: is celebrity endorsement right for my brand. Can the correct celebrity be found and would they bring something to the marketing mix that’s currently missing? The next step is to think about a good tie-up between your brand and a celebrity, it could be as simple as the same name. Other approaches to fitting a celebrity endorsement into your brand could be the same sensibilities or as we’ve used with Varooma a widely held perception of the celebrity. Having a brainstorming session with people who understand your brand can often throw up some great approaches. Then it’s a matter of finding out who the celebrity’s agent is and approaching them with an initial offer.

Fitting with your brand

Once you have a celebrity onboard you’ll need to deal with all the necessary legals. Making sure your brand is protected against any adverse publicity brought about by the actions of a celebrity is a must. Then it’s making sure you have brilliant creative. Are you getting the most from using a celebrity? The public have become much more media savvy and will see through a straight “I’m a footballer you’ve seen, buy this beer”. Creating a clever strategy to mesh the celebrity into your brand is about realising more than just the sum of all parts. Whether you choose to retain a celebrity endorsement for just print and TV advertising or use the celebrity for a brand ambassador role is a matter of how well that celebrity would perform in a non-scripted environment and your budget.

Working with the script

While developing the script for Joey Essex and the Varooma project the creative team were keen to subvert the usual celebrity endorsement style and have Joey in on the joke. Playing the smart concept against the public perception of Joey works but having Joey in on the joke takes the creative to another level. Another consideration when using a celebrity endorsement is their ability to deliver the lines needed of the creative. You may choose the world’s best snooker player to promote your brand but if they sound like they’ve just woken up your brand message will suffer. When filming for a TV ad the use of prompt boards on set can get around ant problems with learning the script. Recording for radio is helped massively by the ability to edit out all the fluffed lines.

Using celebrity endorsement

The decision to use celebrity endorsement is an important one. Picking the wrong celebrity can be disastrous. But conversely used correctly it can turn an unknown brand into a household name and reinforce strong trust links between the celebrity persona and the advertiser.


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