With growing consumer fatigue for disingenuous "#ad" posts, new celebrity marketing platform The VIP Suite launches today, with more than 1,000 celebrities already signed up on the site, to help brands create authentic and long-lasting relationships with talent, identifying true fans and helping shape future influencer marketing strategies.
The platform has been created by celebrity consultancy RunRagged, which has more than 30 years’ of experience booking talent for adverts, PR campaigns and red carpet events. The agency developed The VIP Suite after "realising there was a better way to match brands with talent, taking inspiration from the way dating sites help singles find love to create a mutual connection and differentiate from traditional influencer marketing platforms", the press release said.
The VIP Suite's concierge team will work with brands to develop a gift recipient 'hit list' from a pool of 1,000 celebrities. After brand and team agree on a list, brands can offer their product or service on the platform. If and when a celebrity expresses an interest in the product, the VIP Suite will ship the product directly to the talent's homes.
The team behind the platform believe this approach forms the beginning of a powerful authentic relationship, presenting opportunities for organic exposure, as well as insight for future paid-for collaboration with talent. This is because talent only select things that they like, want or need, so brands are only gifting to celebrities that are genuinely interested in their product or service. It is the most cost effective way to access talent as there are no talent fees, no wasted stock sending product to people who don’t like want or need it and it builds relationships that create authentic advocacy and earned influence.
Brands are alerted each time a celebrity makes an order, allowing them to build up a database of VIP fans which they can work with for future PR, ad and marketing campaigns - RunRagged’s core service offering. Once the VIP receives their gift - which can be anything from holidays, hotels and clothing, to laser eye surgery, mattresses or a year’s supply of chocolates - the brand can expect anything from feedback, testimonials, organic social posts, press mentions and the opportunity to call the talent a ‘fan’ of their brand which is great for inclusion on the brand’s website and in press releases.
Emma Usher, co-founder of RunRagged, said: “The VIP Suite is set to change the celebrity gifting industry and make it far more intentional. We created it as an antidote to generic influencer algorithms and cookie cutter strategies, improving the scattergun approach currently used by brands in the bid to acquire celebrity endorsements. The direct-to-talent platform not only gets a brand’s product directly into the hands of celebrities, it helps them identify their fans to create a much more authentic working bond, providing them with insights they can nurture and grow. It creates strong talent relationships that will ultimately make a brand’s future marketing more powerful, adding that all important credibility in what can often be a very cynical space.”
The VIP Suite said it has been in development over the past year in a testing phase and to date, brands from Champneys Spas, Dr Martens, Focus Clinics, Leesa, BIRD Restaurants, David Lloyd, Oasis and the Israeli Tourist Board have gifted to talent. The platform has already gifted to chart-topping musicians, including Taylor Swift and Rita Ora, world famous models including Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevingne, social media stars from Zoella to Fleur de Force, TV personalities and champion sports people.