Let me start by saying I have nothing against the Lebanese pop princess. In fact, I applaud her for remaining a wholesome family friendly performer all these years. Few artists in the Arab world succeed at remaining popular for as long as the red haired singing sensation has.
It is precisely the longevity of her popularity as well as her mass appeal that make Ajram a highly desirable brand ambassador for marketers. All sorts of brands clamor over each other to sign on the singer, which has resulted in a number of lucrative deals for her. Too many, in my opinion.
I drove down Sheikh Zayed Road yesterday and saw Home Centre’s 20th anniversary building wrap with Ajram’s smiling face. A few kilometers down the road there she was again representing Damas jewelry, one of her long term brand tie ups. As I stopped at a traffic light, a tram crossed my path and there she was for a third time holding up a Huawei phone and claiming it to be her choice in handheld devices.
Three times for three brands in less than thirty minutes. What message did I internalize from all that about the brands? Nothing. What did I think about Nancy? Well, she’s not very picky for starters.
High end jewellery, mid range furniture and Chinese technology. Is there really much synergy there? What I saw that day does not include Ajram’s ambassadorship for Coca Cola, her past relationship with Sony Ericsson, and her brief stint representing powdered milk brand Anlene. I’m sure I’ve missed a few others, too. While the brands all hope to elevate their image with an alliance with the artist, what this smorgasbord actually does is dilute Nancy’s brand.
For me, her brand no longer has a clear identity. With her vast array of deals, there has been a total lack of consistency amongst the brands she works with. This creates confusion for consumers. Why should I buy expensive jewellery from the same woman who also promotes powdered milk? What value does her opinion have when one year she advises us to buy a Sony Ericsson phone and the next year she swears by Huawei?
This influencer dilution can also be seen with popular bloggers and socialites in the region. The smart ones will align themselves carefully with brands, while others will jump at any opportunity to make money. If you choose to use the services of a brand ambassador or influencer, my advice is to review their history of relationships carefully. If they have a long history of working with brands that have no synergy, it is likely their followers are cynical of their future alliances.
As for Nancy, I doubt her popularity will change any time soon among marketers, but you can be sure I would never hire her to represent my brand, even if I did have the cash for it.