Campaign strategist: celebrities endorse ‘big plus’ for campaigns

MANILA — Celebrity endorsers are always a “big plus” to a political candidate’s election campaign, according to campaign strategist Alan German.

German told ANC’s After The Fact on Wednesday that while there’s no numerical value yet for their contribution to a campaign, celebrities still help raise public awareness of a specific candidate and its memorization.

“When celebrities bond with you or your brand, there’s an immediate spike in your awareness because you inherit that celebrity’s fanbase,” German said. “Memorization is also increased because instead of saying ‘sino nga pala si Alan German?’ then they say, ‘Ah yung pinili ou yung kasama ni so and so poster.’ Mas kilala yun, huh.”

German added that retail studies have shown that people tend to notice celebrity-endorsed product brands, and that applies to applicants as well.

“Purchase intent has really been measured to increase in competitive markets,” he said. “When a celebrity endorses these products, the products they endorse really stand out against their non-endorsement competitors.”

For German, the more “eyeballs” a celebrity has on them, or the more engagement or social media presence, the more effective they are in endorsing a certain political candidate. He added that politicians can use celebrities to appeal to a certain demographic.

“Halimbawa mahina ka sa youth, pipili ka ng bata. Mahina ka sa LGBTQ, pipili ka ng endorser na ganon who is popular in their community,” German said.

Even celebrities considered outdated could be useful to a political candidate, as they still attract people to campaign outings, especially in the provinces.

“They have great value outside of the RNC and especially on outings,” German said. “Although they may not be popular in the mainstream, they are what we call ‘draw multipliers’. They are still draw multipliers when attending an event, pinupuntahan padin sila ng mga tao.”

When asked how much a celebrity could earn by endorsing a candidate, German said top stars could be paid up to 40 million pesos. Although he added that it involved a lot of work and he had locked a celebrity in the deal for at least a year.

“You don’t just pose for pictures or appear in meet and greets or in their posters or merch mats,” German said. “You know, a political campaign, really, would involve a lot of blood and sweat and tears for a celebrity.”

Political candidates, especially those in the 2022 presidential race, have appealed to celebrities to endorse them, such as Toni Gonzaga’s organization of the Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte UniTeam’s Grand Proclamation Rally in Bulacan last month.

Meanwhile, other celebrities like Cherry Pie Picache, Agot Isidro and Nikki Valdez are among the celebrities who have backed Vice President Leni Robredo. “Eat Bulaga” star Vic Sotto also lent a hand in support of his brother Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and presidential candidate Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.

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