What is a brand ambassador

What is a Brand Ambassador? Unlocking the Power of Influential Advocates

Let us delve into a topic that’s close to our hearts here at Ality and crucial in today’s marketing landscape.

Let us delve into a topic that’s close to our hearts here at Ality and crucial in today’s marketing landscape.

You’ve probably heard the term tossed around in brand meetings, seen it on social media, or even considered incorporating it into your own strategy. I’m talking about “Brand Ambassadors”.

But what exactly is a brand ambassador? And why are they becoming indispensable in the dynamic world of branding and advertising? Let’s unlock the true essence of these influential advocates and discover the power they hold in shaping perceptions and boosting brand loyalty.

I think the best way to approach this is to start by giving you a definition, then I want to give you a great example that’s currently running with a national campaign by Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Ian Wright.

The Definition Of Brand Advocates & Ambassadors

A brand ambassador is an individual who represents and promotes a company or its products, embodying its values and image, with the aim of increasing brand awareness and sales.

Simple, but finding the right person that is willing to go all-in with their reputation isn’t easy or normally cheap, especially when you add into the mix, advertising rights and promotional costs. Then there is the advert, normally it would be high-quality video good enough for TV broadcast, even if you were only going to use the content on YouTube or across paid social media.

So as stated, let’s dive into a good example of what M&S recently did with Sir Ian Wright, the Arsenal legend, TV pundit and general Mr Nice Guy, which a lot of people (millions in fact) resonate with and explore the reasons why.

Ian Wright Brand Ambassador

Firstly, watch this killer advert below.

It’s so good on so many levels, I’m not sure where to start, well, let’s start by saying hats off to M&S, they really nailed the messaging and that’s key.

Their simple message of Eat Well and Follow The Flower with the lovely sub-branding in store is complemented by Ian Wrights’s irresistible connection with the guy down the road, the girl next door, that cheeky chappie personality, that is just as natural as it is infectious. There was a huge amount of PR on this campaign, which included the Women’s England Football team, another successful brand ambassador option.

I could write 10 articles about branding, so I won’t go there within this article, so let’s stick with talking about Ian and why I think M&S choose him over tons of other personalities that could have represented their brand.

Ian Wright (Wrighly to his mates and in the realm of marketing celebrity brand ambassadors he is known as a “Slam Dunk”

Ian Wright is a name that resonates profoundly with both Arsenal fans and followers of English football in general. Born on November 3, 1963, in Woolwich, London, Wright embarked on a football journey that would see him become one of the most iconic figures in the sport.

Starting his professional career relatively late, at 22 with Crystal Palace, he quickly made an impression with his natural goal-scoring ability. However, it was after his move to Arsenal in 1991 that Wright truly flourished, rapidly becoming a fan favourite. Over his seven-year stint with the Gunners, Wright netted 185 goals in 288 appearances, placing him firmly as one of the club’s all-time top scorers.

His energy, enthusiasm, and sharp shooting skills made him a critical component of the Arsenal squad. Beyond the statistics, Wright was known for his passionate playstyle and ability to inspire both teammates and fans alike.

After retiring from active football, Ian Wright seamlessly transitioned into a media career, notably as a pundit on the BBC’s “Match of the Day” alongside other legends of the game. In this role, Wright’s deep understanding of football, combined with his charismatic personality, has made him a beloved figure among fans and newcomers to the sport. His insightful analyses and candid takes on matches and players showcase the depth of his experience and the breadth of his knowledge.

Throughout his journey, both on and off the field, Ian Wright remains a symbol of determination, passion, and genuine love for the beautiful game of football.

When I think of Ian Wright

I think of the following brand value associations, here’s a list.

Personality, life, success, happiness, real people, friends, family, smile, fun, connection with people, communicator, influencer, love.

I think that M&S wanted to work with Ian because of his key connection with the general public, who doesn’t like Wrighty apart from diehard Spurs fans?

I’m sure that the Eat Well message was an obvious connection to a sporting personally, as there is a clear connection between healthy living and being active, what I love so much about the advert and campaign is that Ian’s delivery is honest, he isn’t telling anyone to stop eating things they love, like Pies on match day, it’s all about making smarter choices and if you choose to buy food from M&S or one of their competitors.

Finding The Right Ambassador

Acquiring the right ambassador for your brand can be very tricky and the best approach is all about the overarching marketing strategy, the goal, and the key message that you want to deliver to your audience. Is it a new audience, or just to widen your existing audience?

In M&S’s case, I believe they are looking to widen their appeal, as their brand is positioned at the higher end of food offerings, for sure. Do you see your average overweight Geordie slip into M&S or hit Co-op as a cheap alternative, for example?

All these considerations are part of the strategy and planning and equally, working with the right agency will help you get the best results. We didn’t work with M&S on this campaign (we wish we did) but nevertheless, it’s a fantastic campaign worthy of this article and praise.

If you need an agency that matches your ambition and can do similar and great things like this, then let’s connect and discuss working together, over and out. Well done Ian, well done M&S, thanks, Jon