A world star to plug in your virtual event: ‘Let’s see more’

Since the corona crisis, we have been bombarded with virtual meetings. Meetings via Zoom, consult at work via Teams and call family and friends via FaceTime. Companies that want to reach customers and shareholders sometimes have to do that little bit more to get our attention.

Like Tony’s is doing with Elba now. A very smart tactic, according to marketing expert Rob Benjamens of B&BA. He thinks a big name can draw attention to an event. One condition: the fame must fit the brand.

Phone call

In the case of Elba and Tony’s, it seems that way. The Brit wanted to work for the brand, while the chocolate bars are really only known in the Netherlands. “We called his agent, but got him right on the phone. He said he already knew us and was aware of our mission and liked it,” says Tony’s Thecla Schaeffer.

Elba was paid for the job, but donated the amount to a charity foundation. The company cannot say how much that is. “Normally we are very transparent, but we have to respect his privacy,” says Schaeffer.

Not just the act

Marketing expert Benjamens thinks more companies are attracting celebrities to their online event. Especially now that we are not going back to full houses for shareholders or business relations for the time being. “We now have the opportunity, because a normal conference is not an option. You also see that the quality of the programs is getting better, so that also helps.”

According to the marketer, it is not only the act that draws us to such an event, but also the technology. “The close-ups are better, the direction looks good. That used to be terrible. If you direct it well, this can work.”

Responding to supporters

Companies like Tony’s have many followers, a constituency. According to Benjamens, other companies can learn from that. “Make sure those people come to your meeting, virtually.”

He thinks that there is a ‘next step’, that companies are going more and should do more to plug them in. “For example by bringing in a trend watcher. Who tells us what to expect. Or an expert in the field of innovation.”


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