Most marketers who work in the edutainment industry have had to work with a celebrity on one project or another.
Working with celebrities in edutainment creative usually means an extra layer of approvals, commentary, and discussion—along with a little trickier timing because of their hectic schedules and limited availability.
I find they always bring a little something extra into the mix of getting the project done. Not necessarily bad or good, just extra.
During a photo shoot with a well-known WrestleMania star, we were expecting an energetic, loud, rough wrestler to walk into the studio, but instead—much to our surprise—we found ourselves shaking hands with a low-key, very pleasant gentleman.
Our photographer was a little concerned that we weren’t going to get the shots we anticipated because we were expecting to use the wrestler’s stage personality for the shoot. We put him in position on the set, the photographer went behind the camera, and instantly the wrestler morphed into character, grunting and hollering in animated fashion—and frankly just a little bit scary.
The images turned out great, and the shoot was a lot of fun. We never ask for autographs so it was a treat when this wrestling star voluntarily autographed posters for the team.
Working with some celebrity personalities can pose special challenges—like when their photo is all over the packaging and they are very, very critical of their looks.
The retouching, submit for approval, more retouching, submit for approval again, can go on for many rounds before they allow the project to move forward. Things always work out in the end—it just takes a little more patience and a little extra time to get there. As long as you’re prepared for that going in, it’s pretty easy to deal with.
When it comes to edutainment projects, oftentimes celebrities are very enthusiastic and passionate about the project and truly want to be helpful. For example, when working with a TV personality from a kids’ educational show, he not only wanted to be very involved with the creative details, but he also gave us detailed lessons about the curriculum subject matter principles.
One Hollywood actor called to check in and see if we needed anything else from him, even though we already had everything we needed. He also called after the project was completed just to say thank you. We really appreciated his courtesy!
Whether you’re creating DVD packaging, geography posters, or other classroom materials, it’s always rewarding to everyone involved—including the celebrity—to know that the materials are helping to engage and motivate kids to learn.