Brands and celebrities go together like peanut butter and jelly. My Love Affair, a London-based firm, works to bring the two together in a harmonious and delicious sandwich.
Founded by former Omnicom Media France MD Raphaël Aflalo and Cathy Guetta, wife of music superstar David Guetta, the firm has been around since 2011 and has worked with clients including Chanel, LVMH, and HP. The firm has six employees, a second office in Paris, and business dealings around the world. The company announced in October 2011 that it had hired 5WPR for outreach here in the U.S.
In today’s Q&A, Cathy Guetta talks with us about the firm, its latest partnership, and what it really means to be a “celebrity.”
PRNewser: Where did you get the idea for My Love Affair? And where did you come up with the name?
Cathy Guetta: The idea came from my encounter with Raphaël. My husband David had already done some interesting campaigns with brands, but we thought that he (and all other artists) needed a fully dedicated structure that would be able to understand both the worlds of music and brands. Also, the music industry has been struggling with handling brand partnerships and, as Raphael explained when we first met, brands are more interested in engaging with consumers in a different and innovative way.
As simple as it may sound, the name My Love Affair came from our will to make brands fall in love with music and create a true and deep love affair between these two worlds that have so many things to share with each other.
PRNewser: We’ve moved past a time when artists are considered “sell outs” when they partner with companies for endorsement deals. But is there still a line that brands and artists can’t cross?
CG: This time has indeed long gone. And, in our opinion, for the best. People still tend to think that artists mainly sign with brands for the money they will get in return. These people forget how much these campaigns can be of amazing promotion and exposure value to artists.
There is no particular line not to cross, but all deals have got to put both the brand and the artist in a win-win situation, where both of their objectives can be achieved. Obviously, the more partners an artist has, the more his artistic message can get lost along the way, but an artist can still have multiple carefully chosen brand partners, that will allow him to provide his fans with unbelievably fresh and unexpected content or events.
PRNewser: My Product Placement, which places products in music videos, just launched in partnership with your hubby David Guetta’s record label, EMI Music. Given the quick shots in a music video, how can a brand benefit from this sort of placement? It seems there wouldn’t be much exposure.
CG: We believe that product placement in music videos is a very strong and growing market of its own (more than $30M in revenue in 2011). Even if you look at a very short placement of a couple of seconds in a video, the exposure can be enormous for the product and brand, according to amount of views the video gets when broadcasted. On top of that, we tend to think that the value of a placement lies in its creativity: the more creative/organic, the more powerful it will be for the brand owning that product.
Finally, we tend to look at product placement as one aspect of our business and a great one to build an artist/brand relationship from. The exposure can then become even stronger over time and consumers can really associate a product with an artist they connect with.
PRNewser: These days, it seems anyone can be a celebrity. In your opinion, what is the real definition of a “celebrity”?
CG: I guess the meaning of the word “celebrity” hasn’t changed: a “celebrity” is someone known by the masses. However, people can now become celebrities after being randomly pictured with a star at an event and as their face appears on the Internet the next day.
A true “celebrity” is someone that not only is known by all, but also connects with his audience one way or another over a long period of time. The great majority of celebrities have been working on their profiles for years, using the help of specialists like PR or digital people, helping them build their media and digital profiles.
In this day and age, companies like My Love Affair are also becoming key in helping very famous artists becoming “celebrities” by linking them up with the right brands who will bring them unbelievable exposure.
[Image: Guetta (right) and her partner Raphaël Aflalo]