How to hire a celebrity for your infomercial

"It's truly vital to our customer base. Not only does that celebrity bring new value, excitement, or humor but they bring an energy and memorability that you don't get sometimes with non-celebrity advertising." -Mark Rooks, Pepsi's senior marketing manager of multicultural marketing
"Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another." – George Eliot

Many Infomercial endorsements are more attainable than you might think.

In the early days of infomercials if your product didn't sell, you could literally film something else the next day and try again. In 1949 that is literally how "Papa" Bernard got his start.

Sadly, those days are long gone. For companies doing infomercials, you need every advantage you can get. With big fish out there like Telebrands and Guthy Renker competing against you for media, you can't afford not to have the best possible chance of your product selling.

As competition has gone up, so has the cost of making infomercials. This is another reason why you have to try to maximize your chances of success. How can you do that? With the right celebrity of course!

The biggest and most important secret you need to know is that celebrities want to work, too! There are sometimes big gaps between jobs for them, and if you can catch the right celebrity with the right demographic at the right time, it is a great deal for both parties.

HOW are Infomercial Deals with Celebrities structured?

There is no one size fits all; some celebrities are happy to just do a voice over, get some cash up front, and go on their merry way.

If you want to continue be able to use the celebrities likeness, lock them in with future promotions or have them take a greater role, then you are going to have to put a little more skin in the game.

Here are the main forms a celebrity endorsement for an infomercial contract takes:

-Voiceover only
-Front end payment only
-Smaller front end payment with back end percentages
-Partnership where the celebrity actually owns equity in the brand

In some cases the celebrity actually starts or owns the company and product creation, marketing, media buying, and distribution are outsourced, making you a white label vendor or equity sharing partner with them. This does happen, too, so be open to opening up a new white label line of your product in addition to your own. We understand this may not be as appealing to many entrepreneurs so this is usually the last avenue proposed, but it needs to be mentioned.

The big factors for you to keep in mind are:

-Capital, credit, and vendor relationships available, including initial test media buying.
-Potential liability risk for both you and the celebrity for any aspect of the business or the product.
-What you could accomplish on your own on a strict direct marketing basis versus what the celebrity would add.

Consider all the financial and other ramifications before you make your deal. The other big factor of course is the celebrity, their current level of fame in their career, and how they prefer to work.

Catch the right celebrity at the right time like Salton did with George Foreman and it is a rocket ride, but not all deals work out as well. George was able to devote himself pretty much full time for a year and a half to make the grill a success, other celebrities may not be able to do that.

Will Celebrites promote my product on a CPA basis? (Share of the profits)


-NO. Not if they have never worked with you before, and not if this is your first infomercial.

If you have a track record with millions sold of other products, maybe, but you will still have to pay something up front to compensate them for their time and effort coming into the studio, shooting your infomercial, doing voiceovers, and everything else.

Having said that, there are as many ways of doing deals with infomercials as every other aspect of business, and payments on the back end that help you conserve some of your cash until the product is actually selling can be worked out. Please do not go into negotiations with some celebrity with no cash if you have not worked with them before as it will kill all future chances with that celebrity. Their agent will just let your messages go to their voicemail and ignore you.

How much will a Celebrity boost my sales?


We won't belabor the point too much here, Proactiv is a 1.7 billion dollar annual business, and the George Foreman Grill has sold over 55 million units so far. Without George, the Salton company that makes the grill might have been a total failure. The endorsement deal cost Salton over 200 million dollars and counting. Some people think that it would have been smarter to negotiate an up front cash payment instead of back end. Yet, if they did not have that endorsement contract secured, they would not have been able to finance the additional manufacturing and media they needed, and it reduced their risk in the critical startup time. As time proved, it was an excellent business decision.

One point to make here, though, is that George Forman was the right celebrity with the right demographic at the right time. He was a former heavyweight champ, but his glory days of the fights with Ali were 25+ years behind him when he started his second life as a grill endorser. Fresh off an amazing comeback where he retook his title, he knew he was too old to continue boxing, and the timing was perfect. Another related story is William Shatner and Priceline. At the time, Shatner had the Star Trek movies far behind him and the timing for the Priceline deal was perfect. Shatner also made hundreds of millions on his Priceline deal.

Let's fast forward to now so you can see the thinking a little bit.

Let's say you want to get Floyd Mayweather to endorse your new line of workout DVDs. Would it make sense? Maybe not. Floyd is at the height of his fame. It probably wouldn't be cost effective. How about Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, or Sugar Ray Leonard? George Foreman was more in that category in 1995 when the grill came out. Many people might think they want Floyd Mayweather when there are much better celebrities for your demographic and budget.

It is the ratio between cost of getting the deal done versus demographics AND reach of the celebrity that you want to consider. For us, that is where Celebrity Match comes in. We can find people you didn't think of that are just right for what you are doing, and fit your budget.



Fill out the form below, tell us about your project, and we will see if we can find the right celebrity for you that will have a positive ROI from the beginning.

You Need a Well Known Celebrity Working with You!

  • Looking for investment dollars? A celebrity's involvement in your business increases your probability of raising funds.

  • Celebrities are often some of the most well-known, well thought of people in your community!

  • Looking to impress prospects at a trade show? Hire an celebrity to be at your booth and watch the prospects line up!

  • Want to increase online sales of your consumer product? Have an celebrity take a picture with your product. Better yet, have them post to their huge following online!

  • Want more visitors to your store? Hire an celebrity to do an in-store visit!

  • Want to add value to your event? Hire an celebrity to speak to your group.

  • Want to give your sales team some ammunition? Use your celebrity connection to set yourself apart from your competitors.

  • Leverage your celebrity photo-op or video to get speaking engagements, press attention, and increased sales!