From Golden Girl To It Girl: Betty White Has Become Marketing Magic
It's time to coin the term the "Betty White Effect." Sure, it might not be up there just yet with the kind of one-two punch that Oprah can lend to a product or program, but it seems that nothing is hotter than Betty White right now, and that means a lot of people want to capitalize by using this golden girl as their golden ticket.
A source close to Betty tells me her phone has been ringing off the hook for months -- as it should be -- with endorsement and sponsorship offers. Now is Betty's moment. First, her delightful turn in Snickers' Superbowl commercial made it the most well-liked spot during the football game, then more than half a million supporters lobbied to get her on 'Saturday Night Live,' which itself experienced a much needed ratings boost by having White host the show.
On Saturday night, 'SNL' had its best ratings since 2008, with an estimated 11 million people tuning in to see Betty talk about her muffin. But more than the ratings boost was the shear hilarity of the show; for the first time in a long time, 'SNL' was at the center of the national conversation this Monday morning. 'Saturday Night Live' was good with Betty White. Really good! And that kind of chatter is something you just can't buy.
Ted Wright, one of the managing partners of Fizz Word of Mouth Marketing, crunches numbers and did all sorts of sweet mathematical magic to calculate how many conversations Betty's kick-ass 'SNL' appearance generated. Based on a viewership of 11 million people and just how awesome that viewership thought Betty was, Wright estimates that Betty generated more than 4 billion conversations about 'SNL' over the past few days.
While you can't put a dollar amount on that kind of thing, you can say it is damn good for a late night show that hasn't exactly been receiving high praise lately.
The thing about Betty's appeal is that she isn't hitting a specific demographic sweet spot, she's hitting all of them, and frankly there isn't a single celebrity out there that can straddle so many generations at once.
"For those folks who knew 'The Mary Tyler Moore' show, who are 50 and up, she is a household name. People who grew up with the 'Golden Girls' are just hitting middle age, and now the Facebook generation of 18-25-year-olds looks at her as this cool, funky, freaky old lady," explains branding and PR guru Peter Madden of AgileCat Marketing and Branding. "She has this mass appeal that absolutely no one else has right now."
Now, everyone wants a piece of Betty -- from marketers offering up to 7-figure deals for a 30-second ad to sitcoms dying to book Betty for a guest spot.
But Betty, at 88, doesn't want to rush into anything, even if the Betty White Effect may be a bubble of sorts.
"Betty seems aware that this is a bubble and doesn't want to overexpose herself, making any potential appearances a bit pricier to execute," marketing expert Brandon Mendelson tells PopEater. Mendelson believes that this bubble can't and won't last. "Betty is at the point of media saturation, and although not likely to occur in the next few months, by the end of the summer, the bubble should be deflated and her prices would be back down to a more affordable level."
It's possible that Betty could be a bubble, but we think it is more likely that Betty will create a trickle-down effect of marketing good will for a variety of stars of a certain age.
"Betty White has managed to reduce stereotypes of older people by showing them as funny, clever or even bawdy. As a result, we may see more older Americans in brand marketing campaigns targeting multiple generations," explains Brook Jay, president and CMO of Chicago-based integrated marketing firm All Terrain.
Betty White is the It Girl of the moment! And honestly no one deserves it more. How refreshing is it to talk about Betty instead of Lindsay Lohan's latest slip and fall (that she is the one slipping and falling is pretty ironic, huh?). Betty's pals tell us she will be weighing her options and doing something she loves rather than snapping at everything that comes along. Smart lady. It's true that experience does indeed breed wisdom. Could Betty Be Heading To 'Dancing With the Stars'? >>>
Watch Girls on Pop with guest Jo Piazza chat about Betty White:
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