How brand ambassadors can alienate 50% of consumers.

How brand ambassadors can alienate 50% of consumers. 768 459 Darcy L Bouzeos

Mila Kunis and Jim Beam – case in point.

Last time I checked, brands want to attract as many customers – AND – alienate as few as possible.
Pretty simple formula.

Therefore I’m a little perplexed by Mila Kunis (spokesperson for Jim Beam) who just this week put herself, and the brand, in the spotlight.

Kunis doesn’t agree with Vice President Mike Pence’s stance on abortion rights, so she’s been sending Planned Parenthood monetary donations in Pence’s name.  A move many customers don’t like which has resulted in a call for a #boycottJimBeam campaign on Twitter.

Certainly, Kunis and every individual in the U.S. (celebrity or not) has the right to voice their opinions on any subject.
But endorsers are paid significant dollars by brands and are incorporated into their strategic marketing efforts for the goal of driving sales or building awareness around a product.

Their comments on any topic may have far-reaching ramifications, especially if those comments aren’t shared by many of the consumers the brand is trying to appeal to.

So why do it?

It appears the “Bad Moms” actress knew she would upset some people because she shared this story on Conan O’Brien’s show saying “this is when the hate mail comes my way”.

Celebrities want to be entertaining on these talk shows and Kunis may have thought this was a funny story. But if an endorser is trying to help its brand partner sell more bottles of whiskey, why do anything that may negatively impact on that partner by alienating a good portion of its potential buyers?

I’m not suggesting any person muzzle their beliefs.  However, if a celebrity or athlete decides to align with a brand in an endorsement capacity, they have a responsibility not to intentionally harm that brand’s ability to prosper in the marketplace.

Celebrities can shout their opinions all they want.  On any topic and at any time.
But good business sense is to first think about how those comments may affect the companies they are being paid to endorse.

DLB – Procuring celebrities, athletes and influencers for companies, agencies and non-profits
Follow DLB on Twitter: @DarcyLBouzeos