Meek Mill asked the right question in his song, What’s Free. In the first line of the song, he iterates, “What’s free? Free is when nobody else could tell us what to be Free is when the TV ain’t controllin’ what we see” He is absolutely right because the TV/Media control everything you/us as consumers see, even up to the people his celebrity.
Sponsorships if gone right can bring forth brand equity and help companies reach a new consumer base or solidify their share in the market. Celebrities like Meek Mill often get bound into sponsorship deals in which they don’t truly believe in; this causes an unsuccessful sponsorship and leaves the company, TV or Media outlet asking the question ‘What’s Free?’. I say they ask this because technically the celebrity gets paid for sponsorship but in marketing dollars, their support of the brand could be priceless.
In my professional experience, I’ve worked with a lot of influencers, some of who are on the same level as celebrities. My goal is to have these people support the brand I work for without a deal, but this can also backfire. They may not post, or post incorrectly or in the case of many sponsorships gone wrong, the person may not be a good fit for the brand.
I believe it’s time for brands to work with celebrities and influencers alike who truly resonate with their brand because, in the end, no one wants to ask the questions ‘What’s Free?’