Marketing Predictions for Season 13 Cast of ‘Dancing With the Stars’

It's going to be a tough year

As he did last season, Octagon First Call's David Schwab, who helps brands assess the value of celebrities for ad campaigns, is giving us his predictions for the marketing potential of the latest Dancing With the Stars cast. Peer into his crystal ball after the jump.

On Monday night, ABC unveiled its latest cast of talent for the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars, premiering Sept. 19. Twice a year, the show is one giant audition process for celebrity promotions. Win or lose, the waltzing personalities have gone on to reap the benefits of a massive public audience, which they can later turn into major marketing potential.

     DWTS has created and resurrected the marketing and (for some) hosting careers of Brooke Burke, Jennie Garth, Apolo Ohno, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Julianne Hough, Chelsea Kane, and Tom Bergeron, to name just a few. The show took a risk last year by using a lesser known list of talent. In the end, no one struck gold. And looking at the roster announced Monday, DWTS may have missed out again. The show has moved away from its tried-and-true formula of using a well-liked athlete, a TV mom, a former kid star and a famous star of yesteryear. In its place, it's featuring more controversial characters instead.

     Here's a breakdown of their marketing potential of this year's dancers:

     • J.R. Martinez. After suffering severe burns over 40 percent of his body while serving the U.S. Army in Iraq, Martinez has since become a nationally touring public speaker, and now, an actor on All My Children. With a clear demographic that supports his military sacrifices and general optimism, there is a predictable promotional cross-over potential, especially with the 10th anniversary of 9/11 on the horizon. He has the chance to be a corporate motivational speaker forever. He can go from obscurity to a book deal or movie if played out correctly.

     • Hope Solo. The American women's soccer goalkeeper is riding the heels of her World Cup near-success right into the gates of the 2012 London Olympics. As an established, world-class female athlete, Solo has the right resume (Nike athlete, recently signed with Gatorade and Bank of America) and look—a bonus that brought some extra cash to personalities like bombshell tennis player Anna Kournikova and onetime Playboy model/swimmer Amanda Beard. ABC's sister network ESPN will love the promotion as she is featured on its magazine's October "Body" issue.

     • Carson Kressley. The fashion guru first came to notoriety as the style expert for Bravo's acclaimed Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and later, Lifetime's How to Look Good Naked. Most recently, he appears on OWN's Carson Nation, where he travels to small towns throughout the U.S., transforming one person at a time. Kressley is no stranger to brand partnerships—he teamed up with Caress in 2010. The question will be: Can he resurrect his brand appeal to the female 18-39 audience?

     • Rob Kardashian. Rob, the 24-year-old younger brother of the famous sister trio, is a regular cast member on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. In his spare time, he models and manages an all-female band called BG5. This season will test the power of his family's influence. Collectively, they have more than 22 million Twitter followers (he has 2 million alone, almost 500,000 more than the rest of this season's contestants combined). If they all vote, he will do well.

     • Kristin Cavallari. Everyone knows the reality starlet as the bad girl from Laguna Beach and the later seasons of The Hills. With Audrina Patridge as a former contestant, it seems DWTS might have found a demographic that supports this type of celebrity. Cavallari has a small army of nearly 600,000 Twitter followers—a promising sign that the quintessential California troublemaker can sling her social-media lasso toward her fans for promotional purposes. She could become the "publicity stunt" darling for brands from this crop of talent.