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Best of The Best

Best of the Best: Celebrity Endorsements

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Ad campaign uses star power to target folks from all walks of life.

[h3]Levinson Jewelers; Plantation, FL[/h3]

Best of the Best Logo[dropcap cap=W]hat do an all-pro NFL quarterback, a university dean, a chef and a banker have in common? It sounds like the start of a clean joke one could tell their pastor after a Sunday service. But these and other South Florida celebrities, notables and business leaders are part of a significant promotional campaign for Levinson Jewelers.[/dropcap]

[componentheading]THE IDEA[/componentheading]

Launched this April, the “Live Life … Levinson Style” campaign is geared to convey the message that jewelry is a suitable fashion accessory whether a person is working at the bank or playing on the golf course. “People wear jewelry to do many things like work and play,” says storeowner Robin Levinson. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, you can ‘Live Life … Levinson Style’, that’s the central message of the campaign.” 

The “Live Life” campaign has a line-up of 11 South Florida celebrities, notables and business leaders. Levinson’s list is heavy in sports celebrity figures: including former all-pro Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, as well as current Dolphins running back Rob Konrad, cornerback Sam Madison, and coach Dave Wannstedt. For baseball fans, Levinson’s features Florida Marlins outfielder Jeff Conine and the team’s president David Samson. 

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But the “Levinson 11” is an eclectic blend which also includes superstar chef Steve Martorano, owner of Café Martorano, Union Bank president Lynne Wines, and Dr. Randy Pohlman, dean of the H. Wayne Huizenga School at Nova Southeastern University.

[componentheading]THE EXECUTION[/componentheading]

Best of the Best: Celebrity EndorsementsThe campaign took Levinson’s in-house marketing team roughly a month to organize. The photo shoot was spread over four days. “Juggling the schedule of these very busy people proved to be one of the toughest parts of organizing this campaign,” Levinson said.

In the brochure, the 11 are pictured with their favorite pieces of jewelry. For the men, it’s solidly watches, while the women’s tastes run the gamut from watches and matching earrings from Bulgari to a diamond bracelet and a matching ensemble from Penny Preville.

“These people are actual Levinson customers,” says Levinson. “When it came time to select jewelry we guided their choices and they trusted our judgment.”

The campaign debuted in Luxe Living Magazine — an insert in The South Florida Business Journal. Since its April launch the campaign has been run in other South Florida lifestyle and business magazines such as City & Shore Magazine, Weston Lifestyle and Ocean Drive Magazine. 

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The campaign will be spread over several mediums and is already on billboards throughout Broward County. With the number of Miami Dolphins players in the campaign, it’s no wonder that the ad will be featured on the Pro Player Stadium’s Jumbo Tron scoreboard during the second quarter of every Miami Dolphin home game this year.

In November, “Live Life” TV and radio commercials start as part of Levinson Jewelers’ Christmas promotions. That same month, the “Live Life” campaign will be included in the jewelers’ fall catalog as well. 

Inside Levinson’s giant 10,000-foot store, there are even Duratrans featuring each of the celebrities and business leaders featured in the campaign. “Everybody sees it,” Levinson said of the store’s campaign. “Some customers joke with us and ask why they weren’t asked to be in the ‘Live Life’ campaign.” Maybe next year.

[componentheading]THE REWARDS[/componentheading]

While directly linking sales to the campaign or the media attention it has garnered is difficult, Levinson cites a 25% increase in customers visiting the store this year. And while no concrete plans have been made for next year’s promotions, Levinson says that “If this works as well as I think it will we will do another ‘Live Life’ campaign with another new 11 or so people.”

[componentheading]DO IT YOURSELF[/componentheading]

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Levinson encourages other jewelers to think about a “Live Life” campaign in their market. “Each market is different so the campaign must be structured differently — especially when choosing the people you want to represent your products,” she says. “The first thing to do is to set aside a budget —even if it means buying less inventory. A good rule of thumb is 3 to 10% of gross sales. The most important thing is getting the word out. If you don’t have customers all the inventory in the world won’t bring them in.” 

As far as getting your market’s local talent pool to work with you, Levinson says, “Work on establishing a relationship with these people before the campaign,” she advises. “All of the people in our catalog were very honored to be a part of the ‘Live Life’ campaign based on the quality of our store and the jewelry we sell.”

[span class=note]This story is from the October 2004 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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