Target, Cam Newton Connect for Father's Day
Many new dads celebrated their first Father’s Day this past Sunday, and you can add Carolina Panther’s quarterback Cam Newton to that list. With his new dad status, Newton teamed up with Target to offer his fresh perspective to shoppers looking for gifts. The quarterback gave advice to young fans in the Charlotte area as they browsed the store for something for dad. “Being a new father and all, I could help you out from a father’s perspective,” Newton told 7-year-old Owen Bex, who picked out Newton’s recommendation of a gas grill.
Newton spent an hour at the store, walking the aisles with young shoppers and chatting about everything except football. He recommended all types of gifts to families, from FitBits to Beats by Dre headphones. The best part for the shoppers was that Target treated them with gift cards to cover these purchases.
Celebrities have long been relied upon by retailers to help build their brands’ images among consumers. Market Track advertising data shows that in the past 12 months alone, 110 retailer TV commercials featured a celebrity spokesperson, as well as 56 retailer radio ads. Countless more have been featured in digital retail advertising via online display, online video, social media and even mobile.
Amazon.com has featured celebrity spokespersons in its advertising more than any other retailer over the past year. Across TV, online display and online video, the e-tailer has executed 32 ads featuring a wide spectrum of actors, athletes, comedians and musicians, according to Market Track. Amazon's most recent TV spot, which first aired in February of this year, featured popular actors Alec Baldwin and Jason Schwartzman interacting with virtual assistant “Alexa” via an Amazon Echo. Other celebrities to appear in Amazon advertising over the past 12 months include Halle Berry, Missy Elliot, Dan Marino and Ellen DeGeneres.
The table below ranks the five retailers that featured celebrities most in their cross-media advertising over the past 12 months. Conventional thinking would have it that retailers with a national footprint, and thus more resources, would partner with celebrities more than a regional grocery store or mass merchant. Interestingly, HEB, ACME and Kroger all ranked among the top celebrity advertisers.
HEB is particularly active in its advertising with celebrity partners. The grocer ranked second behind Amazon with 18 ads featuring celebrities, and were the leader in celebrity online video advertising. It certainly helps to have a bevy of high-profile athletes playing professionally within HEB's store footprint. Among the celebrities featured in HEB advertising in the past year are J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans; LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and other members of the San Antonio Spurs; and Hall of Famer and former Houston Astro Craig Biggio. Additionally, famed actress Eva Longoria (born in Corpus Christi, Texas) was also featured in a 30-second TV spot advertising HEB’s beauty department.
Cam Newton’s Father’s Day engagement with Target is the latest example of a retailer partnering with a high-profile celebrity to help build loyalty among a shopper base that has an increasing number of options to choose from.
Ryne Misso is the director of marketing at Market Track, a provider of market intelligence solutions based on comprehensive analysis of the advertising, promotional and e-commerce landscape.