How Gene Simmons Can Put Your Small Business Marketing On Autopilot

By: Bill Glazer on: September 17th, 2009 9 Comments

Celebrity P-O-W-E-R!

I first learned about the power of celebrity from Dan, but I really didn’t fully embrace it until I saw it with my own eyes. Dan has often used his client, Guthy-Renker, as an example of how they have become the ‘top dog’ in the infomercial world by using famous celebrities such as Victoria Principal, Jessica Simpson, and Sean John (a.k.a. P-Diddy).

Why is a celebrity so powerful? Think about it. What happens when you’re up late at night and you’re pushing the remote control button while watching TV and all of a sudden you arrive at a show where you see Jessica Simpson (or some other celebrity you recognize)? What do you do? It makes you stop channel surfing and say to yourself…what’s Jessica doing on at 2 AM in the morning?

It grabs your attention and makes you watch it for some period of time. It ALSO has another big benefit. It makes the product that is being sold much more believable and credible because if a big star is endorsing it….it must be good!

And you don’t have to have the millions of dollars in your ad budget to use celebrity. Often you can think of very low cost ways to use celebrity locally. For example, when I was operating my menswear stores in Baltimore, I’d use local ‘retired’ athletes who played for the Orioles or Ravens to endorse my stores in TV and print.

Customers would often comment on them and thought I paid big bucks to get them because they formerly paid for a professional sports team. Reality was, you could get them cheap since it was a while since they made a big pay check. After all, unless you are a huge sports expert, these weren’t names you would likely recognize, but if you lived in Baltimore you would.

I also used local news and sportscasters too. These are people that your clients/customers/patients/prospects also know because they see them on TV every day. Surprisingly, these people don’t get paid a huge sum of money and can be hired very affordably. Regardless, they did the same thing for my local retail stores that Jessica Simpson does for a national infomercial. It makes someone STOP….find out what this is about and then add credibility to your offer, product, or service.

This is exactly the reason why we spent so much to bring Gene Simmons from the band KISS and George Ross from the hit TV show “The Apprentice” to our SuperConference last year. To get people to STOP when they see the marketing for our event and add STAR Power and endorsement. It’s also the reason we negotiated in our contracts with them to have them take pictures with our Members. It’s a big deal to be able to go home with your picture with Gene or George. And the smart Members used their own celebrity picture to their own HUGE benefits.

For example, Platinum Member Ron LeGrand used his photo with Gene to create a postcard to get his customers to call up for a free CD. A good response for Ron on a free CD postcard is around 3%, the postcard with Ron and Gene pulled in a whopping 16.9% response (The POWER of Celebrity).

VIP Member and Cleveland IBA, Dan Cricks used his photo with Gene in a magazine article where he was interviewed on SUCCESS. He was able to promote my speaking at his local Chapter meeting and was able to draw over a dozen new people in, just from the article. Take a look at the article in your accompanying Exhibit’s booklet and fold down the top of it where the picture is. Now look at just the article. Not nearly as powerful without the picture of the celebrity is it?!?!?!?! (The POWER of Celebrity)

Info-MASTERMIND Member Alexandria Brown used her photo with Gene in her famous ezine and wrote about the experience of listening to him speak as well as taking a photo with Gene. Although Ali’s ezine is already very well read, you’ve gotta STOP and find out what the Outrageous guy from KISS is doing with her. (The POWER of Celebrity).

Perhaps my favorite example of using celebrity dirt cheap is from Platinum Member, Scott Tucker who went to Mike Ditka’s restaurant in downtown Chicago where he lives and snapped a photo of him in front of Ditka’s ‘picture’ then used it for a postcard. Shameless…Yes! Effective….Yes Again! (The POWER of Celebrity).

What you want to do is constantly be looking for an opportunity to use celebrity in your marketing. The opportunities are endless if you always keep your Celebrity antennas up.


Bill Glazer is one of the most celebrated Marketing Gurus in the world. Bill and his "Outside The Box" Advertising Strategies have often been featured in the most prestigious Marketing Magazines in the world. Bill is the author of the best selling book, "Outrageous Advertising That's Outrageously Successful: Created for the 99% of Small Business Owners Who Are Dissatisfied with the Results They Get".

9 Responses

  1. Great article Gene.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
    I used to drink a lot of beer and dance to your music at the bar in my home town of Bowmanville Ontario Canada in the 70’s when I had hair. You guys did a concert in Oshawa recently ; Bowmanville is the next town east.
    Your band was and is awesome and so is your business teaching.
    Have a great day!

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Bill.

    We all need to use celebrity more in our marketing.

    And we all need to make ourselves, our employees and our clients into celebrities, too!

  3. I grew up in Portland, Oregon.

    I remember a couple decades ago, Gene Simmons and KISS caught the Memorial Colleseum on FIRE and were banned from performing there again.


    Gene gets it, and gets it good, that everything is marketing.

    I’d trust Gene Simmons in a heartbeat!

    Stage Hypnotist Simone
    Las Vegas

  4. Rob Anspach says:

    Gene is a brilliant marketer – although his show tends to drag on.

  5. Not the first time I read about the power of celebrity. I read Gary Halbert’s letter about it. I have no hesitation to believe the concept and the power of it. My problem is that celebrity means nothing to me personally. I do not drop anything to watch the celebrity and basically do not give a damn about celebrities. Need some mind twisting technique here. May be I will find peace of mind once I try it myself. Always open for possibilities.

  6. a celebrity can be someone “locally famous” in your particular niche or market.

    it may be someone that most people never heard of… but still a big draw and strong message to your target audience.

  7. Rob Anspach says:

    Gene has been branding his image longer than some of the GKIC members have been alive. KISS has been around since the early 70’s – that’s almost 40 years of brand maximizing.

  8. Disney still does a better job of brand maximization. they use what I call the “Circular funnel”, that you can enter the funnel at any level (theme parks, toys, DVDs, stuffed animals, happy meal toy) and be taken in a circle though the marketing cycle over and over and over….

  9. Rob Anspach says:

    The worlds largest human trap operated by a mouse! Yep Disney is king of brand building.

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