Celebrity Marketing: a talk with Ana Martins at GBK


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By Dr. Iris Mohr, Chief Editor and Founder, Marketing Fashionista 

No matter how valuable a jewelry piece may be, a photo of a celebrity wearing one on the red carpet is priceless. Any celebrity event is an Oscar of celebrity placement. The world’s biggest jewelry brands compete with Hollywood celebrities for the chance to bejewel Hollywood’s beauties and dazzle hooked fashion fans watching and tweeting worldwide.

Ana Martins, Vice President of the PR – Luxury Division of GBK, clearly understands how one sparkling moment in the celebrity spotlight can be worth millions in advertising for a jewelry brand. GBK Productions hosts a unique celebrity lounge during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York. This particular event is close to heart for Martins since it takes place in New York City, where she is based. “Before our PR alliance with GBK PR, I was a client of GBK Productions for over a decade.  Gavin Keilly’s credibility, charitable mindset and dedication to creating opportunities for clients, charities and friends is truly a gift to anyone who chooses to be involved,” stated Ana Martins. “The GBK Fashion Week Celebrity Lounge in New York City is unique in town, GBK’s celebrity friends and guests have an ongoing relationship with GBK, many for years, whether it’s in LA, NY or other city throughout the US, the celebrity support is undeniably a driving force behind these events which bring the opportunities to GBK sponsors and clients.

“That image of a celebrity wearing drop earrings or a dramatic necklace and all the many ways it is shown and commented on in the weeks after the awards shows … there is no way to quantify the value,” says Victoria Gomelsky, editor of JCK magazine, a trade publication for retail jewelers. The Tiffany tassel earrings worn by Natalie Portman at last year’s Academy Awards “had an enormous repercussion on the market.” Jewelry worn in the hair is another trend that was sparked by celebrities wearing brooches and bracelets in their awards night ‘dos. And Le Vian successfully changed the perception of brown diamonds by renaming them “chocolate diamonds” and lending them to Halle Berry and other celebrities to wear on the red carpet.

For jewelers doing the lending, the red carpet has become so central to the industry that some brands are willing to pay celebrities to wear their jewelry. For last year’s Academy Awards, Tiffany & Co. reportedly paid Anne Hathaway $750,000 to wear Tiffany jewels onstage while she was hosting the event. And Gwyneth Paltrow was rumored to have picked up a $500,000 paycheck to wear pieces from Louis Vuitton’s L’Ame du Voyage fine jewelry collection.

(Neither brand has commented on the specifics, and it’s not in a business’s best interest to be too public about paying for exposure, but over the last few years some labels have acknowledged having “contractual relationships” with stars.) Other jewelers use cocktails and canapes to court the attention of celebrities, hoping to build relationships and loyalties that will lead to future sales. Award season buzzes with parties designed to woo wealthy shoppers and borrowers alike.

The growth of the Internet has made celebrity endorsements even more valuable, he says. A single placement lives for perpetuity on websites and blogs and can reach billions of people.

Understanding the importance of celebrity appearances, Ana Martins says:  “Celebrity appearances for brands can and should be well orchestrated in order to maximize the results. Today we have so many celebrities of interest that you need to have a team of people who execute the “happening” in a very specific and detailed “turn key” manner for the content to reach different sectors in a wide manner with deep roots. The technology, resources and knowledge exists but it needs the commitments and understanding of brands to stay consistent and not lose focus of their own mission and voice. Appearances, are today one of the best forms of PR if you manage to orchestrate it properly and do it without the hefty endorsement deals which so many celebrities are involved in now a days. The asset that GBK brings to brands is exactly this one, to give its brands and clients the accessibility to many celebrities without the hefty endorsements and create the marketing collateral, relationships and be able to speak to this audience who otherwise is practically not attainable.”

GBK has an important nonprofit mission.

Gavin Keilly started the company to help others take their business to the next level, whether this would be a nonprofit organization, or a small to medium size business.  There are numerous success stories on how GBK has not only made these organizations a house hold name, but incredibly “profitable”.

GBK has been producing these type of events for over 10 years now ( they produce about 12 gift lounges per year) and consistently donate to various charities.  They have raised millions of dollars with the support of celebrities/sponsors and the entity itself. GBK specifically has donated over $3 Million, in cash, products, and services in the last 4 years. Gavin Keilly, founder of GBK has an interesting point of view and insight which makes it an interesting entertainment/celebrity/charitable story.


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