Celebrity name-dropping into blog posts is an art-form. Brian Clark/ Copyblogger did it with his posts about Jim Morrison and Robert Johnson, and Michael Gray/ Gray Wolf does it all the time. I’m sure lots of others bloggers have, and you can do it too. People generally love to hear something about celebrities in various niches, especially if you have something to say about their favorites. If you have a good understanding of pop culture, and can write about it confidently, why not inject it into your blogging? I see no harm in it. Unless it’s just not your style, or you can’t think of ways to make the name-dropping relevant. Of course, understand that Brian and Michael didn’t just name-drop; they made their posts about the celebrities, then drew relationships between news/life events of the celebrities and their own blogs’ topic. There was purpose there.
Without the purpose, you’re really just name-dropping and your readers might want to lynch you. How can you be like Brian and Michael and show off your knowledge of pop culture to win friends and influence people? Well, if you have a sports or entertainment blog, it should be fairly easy to name-drop. However, when you’re talking about general entertainment figures, it’s easy to draw relationships about marketing personal brands. If you are a fan of any celebrity, you are so probably because you enjoy their personal “brand”.
For example, if I were to pick two bands that have endurance in the marketplace, I’d pick Kiss and The Rolling Stones. They both have a large following and have been around a long time. The former markets themselves to the hilt, thanks to lead singer/bassist Gene Simmons. Heck, they even sell Kiss coffins! The Rolling Stones don’t really market themselves per se, but despite most (all?) of the members being grandpas, they still seem to live the rock and roll lifestyle. At least as far as we known. Same sort of thing goes for Gene Simmons. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the exploits of the Wonder Twins (Jagger + Richards) might be marketing enough to keep the band going until they’re great-grandfathers. (Heaven forbid!)
The only exception of serious Rolling Stones marketing might be when Microsoft and Apple both paid big money to use a song apiece in their marketing computer operating system campaigns in the 90s. So not really Stones marketing, per se. The Stones have been around so long they don’t really need much marketing to sell their product. (Kiss probably doesn’t either, but that doesn’t stop them from marketing.) In fact, even if the new Martin Scorsese documentary about the Stones – Shine a Light – doesn’t going gangbusters in the box office, diehard fans will buy a copy of the DVD when it comes out. And there will probably special bonus editions at higher price points. And if I’m not mistaken, they’re on a new tour, or about to be. (Or it could be just rumors.) That should net them many millions, simply because of their brand – even if Jagger no longer has anyhere near the Jumpin’ Jack Flash energy he used to have on stage.
Easy, peasy – if your blog is about marketing, you’re all set to name-drop. If you’re writing about something else, you’ll have to learn to draw conclusions between two seemingly unrelated topics. Where do you start? Why with Copyblogger and Gray Wolf, of course. There are probably other bloggers doing something similar, but for me, Brian and Michael stand out the most. They are the masters to learn from.
As long as you can insert the information in your blogs topic without sounding fake, celebrities should be flattered that you use them as an example that is unless you say something non-flattering. You have to use what is popular and celebrities are popular.
Martin: I like Jay Mohr, but I don’t remember that show. Sounds like fun, though.
does anybody remember the tv show “Action” with Jay Mohr? They did that name-dropping thing constantly. Even if none of the mentioned celebrities ever had an appearance (at least as far as I have seen), I certainly made it more interesting.
Yeah, this doesn’t need to be sneaky, it just needs to be smart. Someone should offer a course in cross-niche relevance brainstorming. I think it’s a major key to online differentiation and market expansion.
Gyutae: Good point, though I figured some people don’t like celebrities mentioned on certain types of blogs.
Those are good points, but I don’t think you really have to “get away” with anything. Name dropping is an effective marketing technique that doesn’t have to be forced or shady in any way. As long as it fits and is unique then it will appeal to a lot of people because pop culture is well.. popular.