Celebrities and Content Creators: A New Era in Brand Endorsement

By Jonathan Baker, with Insights from Calista Zahos, EGC’s Junior Marketing Coordinator
(Contributor: Michael Perpero, Growth and New Business Intern at EGC)

A new campaign combining celebrity star power and professional content creation is being served up this summer. These combined powers will promote offerings from the iconic donut and coffee franchise, Dunkin’. Are we witnessing a new era in brand endorsement?

Presenting the Dunkin’Terns

Inspired by this past season’s Super Bowl spot for Dunkin’—featuring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Damon, and Tom Brady—this campaign presents a series of short videos about the “Dunkin’Terns,” who have been hired to promote “Big Dunkin’ Iced Energy.” Actor Will Arnett and professional content creator Corporate Natalie serve as supervisors to the Dunkin’Terns.

Celebrities galore

As detailed in Marketing Dive, the Dunkin’Terns will appear opposite a variety of celebrities as they aim to spread the message behind “Big Dunkin’ Iced Energy” campaign. And the term “celebrities” goes beyond well-known names in entertainment. This roster of names represents a wide field of industries and interests:

  • Nick DiGiovanni (Chef)
  • Yoon Ahn (Designer)
  • SypherPK (Twitch Streamer and Gamer)
  • Melissa Sapini (Winner, Miss Massachusetts USA 2024)
  • Hilton Carter (Plant Stylist)
  • Joey Fantone (Singer)
  • A.J. McLean (Singer)

Brand endorsement is branching out

Years ago, movie stars, musicians, and sports heroes frequently endorsed different brands, regardless of any personal connection. The Dunkin’Terns campaign proves the change in celebrity perception. People who are interested in cooking or design will likely pay attention to endorsements from, respectively, Nick DiGiovanni and Hilton Carter than they would a movie star or musician. (Hello, influencer marketing!)

Visibility of content creators

As influencers rely on both their personal magnetism and genuine belief in the brands they promote, content creators could become equally familiar to prospective customers. Since she is a content creator by profession, the casting of Corporate Natalie in the Dunkin’Terns videos gives this campaign authenticity in addition to being fun and entertaining.

A word about Corporate Natalie

For those who don’t know who she is, Corporate Natalie is the CEO of Work-From-Home Jokes and the co-host of @demotedpodcast. Her popularity may be summed up in these words from Calista Zahos, Junior Marketing Coordinator at EGC:

“Corporate Natalie is one of my favorite content creators, as she connects humor with working in a corporate environment, while also guiding her audience in how to tackle their 9-to-5 jobs.”

Oh, and if Instagram is any barometer for popularity, Corporate Natalie has 990K followers on that platform.

Celebrities, influencers, and content creators: a crossover?

Could the partnership between Will Arnett and Corporate Natalie be a sign of things to come? Mr. Arnett’s association with Dunkin’ is a modern-day example of an actor promoting a brand. Will Corporate Natalie become as famous as a top box office star? (Who knows? Maybe she already is.) And considering that most of the names who will appear in subsequent Dunkin’Tern represent specialized interests, they too may achieve a greater level of celebrity by association with the Dunkin’ brand and their co-stars (or co-creators). A relatively new organization is another sign of this potential crossover.

Artists Equity

Professional stage actors belong to Actors’ Equity Association. Film and radio actors belong to the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists. In 2022, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon founded Artists Equity, which includes all creatives, as described on its website:

We prioritize and partner with creators through an innovative model, so that all can truly participate and realize the value they bring to a project.

It should be noted that Artists Equity is a partner of Dunkin’ and is behind the creative strategy of the Dunkin’Terns campaign.

Yes, welcome to a new era in brand endorsement.

The EGC Group is a full-service marketing agency that specializes in helping brands achieve and maintain visibility. Looking to boost your brand boost with help from influencers and content creators? Read our PDF—Growing Your Influencer and Creator Network—for a look into what we provide.