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Twitter; Using other peoples fame for your own fortune

The UK advertising watchdog, the ASA, have banned Nike from continuing to run a Twitter marketing campaign.


Nike’s latest campaign, ‘Make it Count’ included a dedicated website and massive social media leverage – including sponsored tweets by famous celebs. Footballers Rooney and Wilshere were both commissioned to post tweets, promoting the campaign, with reports of personal earnings upto £10,000 for each.


Rooney's commercial tweets are censored. Image courtesy of The Verge.

Rooney’s commercial tweets are censored. Image courtesy of The Verge.


Rooney’s acclaimed words read “My resolution – to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion…#makeitcount gonike.me/makeitcount”


While it won’t win any awards for it’s subtlety, the ASA deemed that the tweets weren’t obviously identifiable as adverts, and could mislead consumers about their endorsement.


All headlines aside, using Twitter as a platform for celebrity endorsement is an interesting, and growing social media marketing trend. Twitter has two primary benefits for celeb endorsement;


  1. Direct access to an engaged fan base. With big names accessible for anybody to have a chat with, the whirlwind of celebrity excitement get’s all the more real. Celebs have massive follow lists – with hundreds of thousands of users actively deciding to tune-in to what their celebs are saying. Against a backdrop of traditional broadcast media, a consumer base who choose to listen is a highly prized asset to any advertising business.
  2. A socially acceptable stage. Celebs have long used passive advertising slots to create revenue – with everything from celeb product placement to sponsorship deals. At 140 characters a time, Twitter offers brands a whole different opportunity with celebs; to get their explicit endorsement, without breaking the social contract.

Your business may not benefit from a return on investment in celeb tweeting, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t be tactful in your social media. If you’re looking to grow your influence, find the celebs in your industry and engage them in conversation. The result? Immediate exposure to their follower base, and their own endorsement of your Twitter stream.

Posted on June 21st, 2012

About Dave Hayhurst

Dave is head strategist and account manager at Marriage. He has extensive experience in consumer marketing, from executing campaigns in the national press, direct mail with Sky TV and digital marketing in the mobile app space.

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Marriage is a leading creative agency in London and Bristol, specialising in brand, digital, direct respose and experience design. Our blog provides a commentary on the UK’s leading marketing campaigns, creative executions and industry-wide thought leadership.


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