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"Celebrity" Brands Like Aviator Gin and Others


Joe Bryant

Impact Of Celebrity On Product?  

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Sorry if honda.

 @AAABatteries  had a good post in the cocktail thread about gin and it made me think. 

The celebrity brands fascinate me. 

My first take when I saw them was to totally dismiss them as a joke. I know how things like that work. For almost everything I've ever seen like that it's a pure cash in from the celebrity.

BUT, clearly a zillion people flock to buy Aviator and others.

What's your take?

Added a poll question.

Edited by Joe Bryant
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My wife is a fashion designer and has designed for a couple celebrity licensees. It's not like Jessica Simpson is out there growing and stomping grapes for wine or draping fabrics for silhouettes for fashion lines.

Professionals are making these products like everything else...if the end product is good, I'll use it. That there's a celebrity attached is a separate, almost non-related issue for me.

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22 minutes ago, El Floppo said:

My wife is a fashion designer and has designed for a couple celebrity licensees. It's not like Jessica Simpson is out there growing and stomping grapes for wine or draping fabrics for silhouettes for fashion lines.

Professionals are making these products like everything else...if the end product is good, I'll use it. That there's a celebrity attached is a separate, almost non-related issue for me.

Thanks. To make sure I understand, you're saying Ryan Reynolds would have little to no positive impact on a decision to purchase Aviator gin?

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Thinking about it a bit more...most of these celebrity licenses- I'd say the quality isn't going to be tip top.

For a passion project of an unknown person, they're going to pour their heart and soul into it- and make it something unique and distinct to their own vision and tastes. 

Licensees start with an often pedestrian/mediocre outfit who will make the celebrity's idea into reality. This isn't passion, this is mercenary- a group of people second guessing the thoughts of the celebrity that they'll meet with maybe two or three times to review and who knows next to nothing about how to make a good product. Success is achieved mostly I'm terms of sales figures based on the celebrity brand, not necessarily quality. 

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16 minutes ago, El Floppo said:

Thinking about it a bit more...most of these celebrity licenses- I'd say the quality isn't going to be tip top.

For a passion project of an unknown person, they're going to pour their heart and soul into it- and make it something unique and distinct to their own vision and tastes. 

Licensees start with an often pedestrian/mediocre outfit who will make the celebrity's idea into reality. This isn't passion, this is mercenary- a group of people second guessing the thoughts of the celebrity that they'll meet with maybe two or three times to review and who knows next to nothing about how to make a good product. Success is achieved mostly I'm terms of sales figures based on the celebrity brand, not necessarily quality. 

This is my opinion, celebrity brands are to be avoided.

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36 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks. To make sure I understand, you're saying Ryan Reynolds would have little to no positive impact on a decision to purchase Aviator gin?

There’s an underlying question in response to your question:

- are these products more successful than others because they have a celebrity attached to them, 

- or are these products more successful because they get a lot more publicity and exposure because they have a celebrity attached to them.

They’re not necessarily the same thing, and I can see it being more (2) than (1) in instances like this (where I don’t care what Ryan Goessling or whatever thinks about gin or tequila, but I actually know of and have heard of these brands because Ryan Goessling is behind them). 

Edited by Otis
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49 minutes ago, El Floppo said:

God no.

Interesting. That's how I see it too but I think we're in the minority. There's a lot of Ryan Reynold type fanboy thing happening there. Or maybe Aviator gin really is that good. I don't know. 

For me, a celebrity endorsement actually makes me NOT want to buy it. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Interesting. That's how I see it too but I think we're in the minority. There's a lot of Ryan Reynold type fanboy thing happening there. Or maybe Aviator gin really is that good. I don't know. 

For me, a celebrity endorsement actually makes me NOT want to buy it. 

 

Peyton and Eli now have their own Bourbon in your neck of the woods. Starts at $200.00 a bottle.

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1 hour ago, KarmaPolice said:

It worked on me.  Seeing Ryan Reynolds' dreaminess on the bottle and my last gin purchase was Aviator.  :bag:

 

It’s kind of funny JB started this by referencing my post but this may be the only purchase I can think of that I’ve made based on celebrity.  And yes, Reynolds is dreamy even if the gin is average.

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@Joe Bryant - I’d say it’s neutral for me - again, despite me buying the Aviator brand.  What I will say is that if a celebrity I trust endorses a product they don’t have a financial stake in them that may sway me to give it a try.  To use Guru’s example - I won’t buy Peytons bourbon (unless it gets fabulous reviews) but I may be swayed if he recommends a bourbon that is also well thought of by others.  

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4 minutes ago, AAABatteries said:

@Joe Bryant - I’d say it’s neutral for me - again, despite me buying the Aviator brand.  What I will say is that if a celebrity I trust endorses a product they don’t have a financial stake in them that may sway me to give it a try.  To use Guru’s example - I won’t buy Peytons bourbon (unless it gets fabulous reviews) but I may be swayed if he recommends a bourbon that is also well thought of by others.  

Bourbon drinkers are different.  Many will pay that kind of money and much more just to have the bottle in their collection.

My buddy gave me a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle to try that had maybe 3 ounces left in it. That is price can be 500.00 a bottle and up.

After I finished it I poured a bottle of Elijah Craig that costs around 30.00 into the bottle and had a few buddies over and gave them some.  They were raving about how great it was. In fact my one buddy said he would give me 300.00 for a little over half that was left in the bottle.  I said you can have it for free and he was so excited until I said it was about 15 bucks worth of Elijah Craig.

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27 minutes ago, Da Guru said:

Bourbon drinkers are different.  Many will pay that kind of money and much more just to have the bottle in their collection.

My buddy gave me a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle to try that had maybe 3 ounces left in it. That is price can be 500.00 a bottle and up.

After I finished it I poured a bottle of Elijah Craig that costs around 30.00 into the bottle and had a few buddies over and gave them some.  They were raving about how great it was. In fact my one buddy said he would give me 300.00 for a little over half that was left in the bottle.  I said you can have it for free and he was so excited until I said it was about 15 bucks worth of Elijah Craig.

Few thoughts:

- You are absolutely correct about Bourbons, Ryes and Scotches being collectibles for some - if I didn’t have 4 kids still at home I may fall in to that category some

- High-end stuff can be hit or miss based on what you like but I’ve rarely had a low-end liquor that I thought was fantastic.  Meaning, there’s a reason people pay $300 a bottle 

- I don’t think I have a sophisticated palate but I’m getting better.  During our gin night I mentioned in the cocktail thread we tried some Elijah Craig Barrel Proof - it was outstanding stuff and IMO, well worth the $70 he spent on it.
 

ETA - in case it wasn’t clear, the EC is bourbon 

Edited by AAABatteries
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Based on the poll question I’d like to say it makes no difference to me, but the reality is it probably does make me—and most—more likely to buy it, whether we like it or not, because we are more likely to know the name, have heard about it, read about it, etc. 

So my answer would be I don’t care if a celebrity’s name is attached, but, like it or not, it probably as a general proposition would make me and any average consumer more likely to buy it. 

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Generally I would say it makes me a little less likely to buy, because I'm a value shopper and I assume the celebrity endorsement drives the price up a bit.  However, I would note that Casamigos tequilla is very good value, so there are exceptions to the general rule and I've got nothing against it if the quality/value analysis makes sense.

 

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I can’t drink gin after too much Gin and Juice as a kid. But Crystal Head vodka (Dan Akroyd) and Casa Migos tequila (George Clooney) are both good spirits. I didn’t know about the latter before having but I did know about the Akroyd vodka but bought it for cool skull bottle first time. 

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11 minutes ago, Otis said:

Based on the poll question I’d like to say it makes no difference to me, but the reality is it probably does make me—and most—more likely to buy it, whether we like it or not, because we are more likely to know the name, have heard about it, read about it, etc. 

So my answer would be I don’t care if a celebrity’s name is attached, but, like it or not, it probably as a general proposition would make me and any average consumer more likely to buy it. 

I think the connotation the name has to the consumer matters a lot. Personally I'd never buy a Kardashian family product except by mistake. For me it would matter that the brand was owned or part owned by the celeb (as Aviation was by RR). When Charlize Theron is endorsing some perfume or George Clooney endorses Nespresso in some commercial it has zero impact what so ever.  I might buy Aviation Gin one day. That said, there are so many great, artisanal gins out there that stuff you can get in the supermarkets is somewhat devalued to me.

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1 hour ago, Da Guru said:

Yes. That's was one of the examples I was thinking of when I say I know how it works. I know some folks close to him on this. No knock on him, but his name does nothing to make me want to buy it. But for TONS of people in Tennessee, it will. 

I just remember thinking when I first starting seeing these how I thought most people would mock it. Instead, Ryan Reynolds is selling his company for a zillion dollars. So wild. 

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1 hour ago, AAABatteries said:

@Joe Bryant - I’d say it’s neutral for me - again, despite me buying the Aviator brand.  What I will say is that if a celebrity I trust endorses a product they don’t have a financial stake in them that may sway me to give it a try.  To use Guru’s example - I won’t buy Peytons bourbon (unless it gets fabulous reviews) but I may be swayed if he recommends a bourbon that is also well thought of by others.  

How can it be neutral when you said, " I don’t like overpowering juniper so got this based on my man crush of Reynolds and the recommendation from folks saying it’s not very juniper-y.  "

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27 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

How can it be neutral when you said, " I don’t like overpowering juniper so got this based on my man crush of Reynolds and the recommendation from folks saying it’s not very juniper-y.  "

I’m answering generally - I assumed the poll wasn’t just about one purchase.  I just really like Reynolds but I had also heard decent reviews of it.  If I had heard it was crap I wouldn’t have bought it.  In the end it (Aviation) was fairly ordinary and I probably won’t buy it again.  

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3 hours ago, Otis said:

Based on the poll question I’d like to say it makes no difference to me, but the reality is it probably does make me—and most—more likely to buy it, whether we like it or not, because we are more likely to know the name, have heard about it, read about it, etc. 

So my answer would be I don’t care if a celebrity’s name is attached, but, like it or not, it probably as a general proposition would make me and any average consumer more likely to buy it. 

Agree with this.  I wouldn’t buy a bottle of Aviation gin, but if I were at a bar and ordering a gin and tonic I might ask for Aviation just to see what it’s like.

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Does anyone buy Paul Newman salad dressing because of the name?  Did they buy Tom Seaver's wine?

 

What their name does is cut thru the barriers to get coveted shelf space.  Do you want to be the liquor store that won't carry Mannings label in Tennessee?   After the initial excitement, the product will be judged for quality.  

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23 minutes ago, FairWarning said:

Does anyone buy Paul Newman salad dressing because of the name? 

I believe I many years ago bought Paul Newman Microwave popcorn. In my defence it was just about the only microwave popcorn brand they had and it was late

It's my store and I'm sticking to it

(PS They sucked)

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18 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Generally I would say it makes me a little less likely to buy, because I'm a value shopper and I assume the celebrity endorsement drives the price up a bit.  However, I would note that Casamigos tequilla is very good value, so there are exceptions to the general rule and I've got nothing against it if the quality/value analysis makes sense.

 

That seems reasonable. I consider it similar to chain restaurants with big advertising budgets. Some might be good, but in general I'm going to be a skeptical knowing so much of the cost is going towards the ad budget. 

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The poll question is flawed imo.   People cannot try a product unless they know about and are aware of a product.  The introduction to a product can happen in many ways (reading about it, seeing it in an advertisement, somebody recommending it to you..etc)---and it has been proven that awareness of a product generally leads to more people trying that product.  A celebrity affiliation is a way to introduce a product to the masses and to spread awareness about it.  I think that even if somebody says that they are less likely to try a product because of a celebrity affiliation--I think they are kidding themselves.   If they would have been unaware of the product if it had not been for the celebrity affiliation---the odds are they would never be put in the position to even consider trying the product---and thats the point of celebrity affiliations. 

Secondly--there are different levels of affiliation.   Some celebrities basically license their names out to a myriad of products that they basically know nothing about and have nothing to do with in regards to their creation.  Some celebrities actually get their hands dirty.  For example--here's a wine brand that is produced by Maynard James keenan from Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer.  Watch this youtube clips and tell me if this makes you more or less likely want to try the product:.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrcJz63En94

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS_6fcY_n1c

 

 

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A bit of a different angle/response.

I'm not a big drinker, but I do like to have a gin highball from time to time.  And I'm not sophisticated enough to really know or appreciate a good gin from a bad one.

A number of months ago Ryan Reynolds made that YouTube video with the Peloton girl, and it really made me laugh.  So when I bought my next bottle of gin, I bought Aviation Gin because I wanted to support RR's comedic efforts.  

So, I bought it because RR owned it, but not because I perceived it to be good.

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