Of late, we have been seeing our favourite celebrities getting endorsement deals to represent certain brands in the country. But what does it take to be a brand influencer or ambassador, and what exactly is expected of such a person? Do they get paid: How are they are remunerated or awarded? Entertainment Now! contacted Ohlthaver & List (O&L) and Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) to find out the importance of brand ambassadors.
In line with the O&L purpose of “creating a future, enhancing life” and its vision of being a catalyst for positive change, its ambassador and consumer brands should be prominent. O&L Group currently uses Lazarus Shiimi aka Gazza for Windhoek Draught and Trevor Dodds for Windhoek Lager Golf.
“Most importantly, the brand ambassador will be an impactful Namibian with vision; someone that inspires others to be better and greater. He/she is someone that embodies the O&L belief that nothing is impossible,” explained NBL Senior Brand Manager, Claudia Opperman: Corporate Communications at O&L Group.
Opperman said depending from contract to contract and preferences of each brand, the duration of being the ambassador varies. “Some O&L companies/brands may engage on activation basis only, whereas others may want to walk a longer path with an ambassador,” mentioned Opperman.
She also said the main responsibility of a brand ambassador is to promote the product, attend brand events and participate in activities hosted by the brand. “These are standard ambassador responsibilities. Some others may include photoshoots for promotions, and appear in television/mobile videos. The possibilities and creativity are endless,” stated Opperman.
She said each contract is unique, depending on the agreed way of engagement with the ambassador. Other rewarding mechanisms, such as free products, would also come into play.
She explained in order to protect the brand, terms and conditions are put in place to control the behaviour of the ambassador. “Terms and conditions also allow for an understanding between the brand and the ambassador in terms of expectations and protection of both,” outlined Opperman.
The use of brand ambassadors can be for various reasons. “In the digital era, in which we find ourselves today, brand ambassadorship has grown to become a very popular and impactful means of marketing/advertising. It especially plays a critical role in landing the brand as a relatable and preferred choice, which is where the brand ambassador comes in,” said Opperman.
Nanso, a countrywide student association in Namibia, recently announced Monica Pinias, known as Top Cheri, as their brand ambassador for their Fix my Home campaign.
“There is no specific criterion for selecting potential candidates. It happens on a case by case basis. However, we look at the role the candidate has in society, as this allows us to pinpoint the audience’s strengths and social capital that this candidate can pull in,” said Dylan Mukoroli, Nanso’s spokesperson.
Mukoroli said they look at the added value that a candidate can bring in – something new, new ideas, new modus operandi, and whether the candidate has the will and passion for the work that needs to be done. “We want to understand why the artists have an interest; is it for show or are they genuinely concerned about the issues at hand,” elaborated Mukoroli.
He said the responsibility of a brand ambassador under Nanso is to use social media influence to promote the project. “He or she is the official face of the project and they are required to assist in lobbying and mobilising funds for the project, to build a lasting project brand, bring forth innovation to the project and to provide strategic and essential leadership,” detailed Mukoroli.
He said the importance of a brand ambassador entails bringing something new and fresh to organisations and projects. “Brand ambassadors allow the public to see the project in another way,” said Mukoroli.
He said there is no remuneration for brand ambassadors. “It is strictly for a common cause and social responsibility. Amongst others, one rewarding mechanism is that as stakeholders, we get to deal with issues facing students,” mentioned Mukoroli.
He said for any aspired brand ambassador to promote a product or be a face of a campaign under Nanso, one must have a passion for community and sustainable development – a passion for education and lifelong learning.
Other notable brand ambassadors are Dillish Matthews for the NBC App, Luis Munana and Ricardo Mannetti for PayPulse, DJ Castro for Coke Energy, KP Illest and Lee-Andro Neshila for Predator energy drink, a Coca-Cola product.