I’m a big fan of ice cream. I’m a big fan of the TV show All-Star Celebrity Apprentice. I also am a frequent Walgreens shopper. Imagine my jubilation when all three came together to make the perfect combination of sweet treats, celebrities, and branding.
For those of you that are not familiar, All-Star Celebrity Apprentice is the brainchild of Donald Trump. The reality show features celebrities from past seasons competing against one another in various marketing-related tasks with the goal of winning the coveted "all-star" title. The creative planning, development, and execution that went into each and every task made me feel like a kid at Christmas! From a marketing standpoint, I was thrilled to watch each team take on the role of a mini advertising agency, creating their best integrated campaigns in hopes of wooing the brand representatives and winning money for their charity.
Ice Cream & Walgreens
The finale of the show took place this week, and as expected, they pulled out all the stops to make it a star-studded experience. Country superstar Trace Adkins and one half of the dynamic duo Penn & Teller, Penn Jillette, were the two finalists. The final task involved not only coming up with a new flavor of ice cream for the Walgreens brand deLish, but also developing a commercial and hosting a fundraising event to debut the product. Wayne Newton and Tim Tebow were just a few of the famous faces on hand to show support for both sides.
Spoiler alert (in case you live under a rock and haven't heard by now): Trace Adkins won! Both newly created ice cream flavors---Penn's vanilla & chocolate magic swirtle and Trace's maple macadamia mash-up---were available in Walgreens stores the day after the show's finale. I rushed right out to my local Walgreens and bought them both and both are absolutely delish! The cashier and I had a lively discussion about the show, the celebs & the ice cream flavors; WOM (word of mouth marketing) at its finest folks.
A Lesson from Celebrity Apprentice
Now maybe your brand is no Walgreens and partnering with Donald Trump and Celebrity Apprentice is not an option for you. Understandable. That doesn't mean your brand can't learn a thing or two from the show.
The two finalists each created a commercial for the Walgreens brand while remaining true to their own personal brand.
Penn was quite overt in his brand representation, using the word “magic” in the name of his ice cream flavor. His 60-second commercial incorporated his magician partner, Teller; Vegas showgirls; and of course, a magic trick---all things Penn!
Trace created a maple macadamia mash-up ice cream flavor that was reflective of his personal brand as well---simple, sweet, and a little nutty! He remained true to his country music roots by using music and humor, with a cameo by the infamous Gary Busey, in his commercial.
What Non-Celebrities Can Do
The idea of crowdsourcing promotional and advertising efforts is nothing new; however, it is important to tie it all together in a unique way while staying true to your brand. Getting the most out of your partnerships and the talent of creative individuals all working together to support your brand is something you can do without deep pockets. Despite the fact that Celebrity Apprentice was comprised of just that---celebrities---it did not matter. Both teams had the same information to work with. No team won because they were more famous than the other. The playing field was level for each and every task throughout the show.
The winning team was the team with the most creative ideas that pulled off a multifaceted campaign that met the objectives of brand messaging, positioning, etc., in each weekly task. You don't have to be Penn Jillette, Trace Adkins, or even Donald Trump to be able to do any of that. Channel your inner awesome using the resources you have at your disposal.