Mike Heller is a former entertainment attorney who decided in the mid-2000s to change careers, starting his own company when he recognized the power of celebrity endorsements in boosting brand recognition.
Celebrity endorsements are not new. They have been around since the 1760s when a pottery and chinaware company called “Wedgwood” used the endorsements of English royalty for marketing purposes. The company still exists today.
Heller began noticing that there was a keen interest from the public in knowing what brands of products certain celebrities were using. A few examples of superstar celebrities Heller has worked with include the Kardashian family, Pitbull and Mariah Carey. Heller’s company motto is “We connect the dots,” between various brands and celebrities. The brands pay to have their products promoted and the “talent” is paid to promote and integrate the products naturally.
Talent Resources officially got started in 2006 after Heller organized a Grammy reception for Mariah Carey. Her representatives approached him, looking for an opportunity for her. The corporate sponsor for Carey ended up being LG, about to release a new phone with a built-in camera (brand new technology at the time). Heller suggested Carey do a video invitation, then send phones to invitees that could view her video invitation, then use the new LG phone for an entire year.“ LG spent a fortune on it, and they were really happy with the results,” Heller said in a CNN interview.
“That party made me realize this was a real business. “Lindsay Lohan, a guest at Carey’s party, approached Heller to throw a 20th birthday party for her in Malibu, California. Heller arranged for companies like Fiji water and Life & Style magazine to sponsor the party. Lohan’s relationship with Heller continued after this with many other endorsements.
In today’s modern marketing landscape, tactics need to be both subtle and sophisticated. According to CBS News, people are bombarded with an average of 5,000 advertisements each day. In the 1970s, the average was 500 ads a day. In order to cut through this deluge of advertising information, Heller says this, “We don’t like to be in their face, but at the same time we use the house (where he holds events) as a blank canvas to show what brands we’re representing…
These are all things you would want in your own home — and we give it to them for their own home. But before that, can we get a picture, can you talk about it, can you tweet about it?” Talent Resources makes avid use of Social Media outlets such as Twitter and Instagram. Modern-day marketing outlines the number of “touches” needed to reach a potential customer. Often, the number referenced is lucky number seven. Touches could come through any combination of print (newspapers, magazines, mailers), digital (social media, internet ads, banner ads), television (network, cable and internet though Amazon, Hulu, Netflix etc.) or radio (traditional as well as subscriber radio such as iHeart).
Heller points out to CNN News that when it comes to advertising in more traditional ways, like television ads, his method is far less costly. He indeed seems to be a master at innovative advertising placements. He is also working on top secret subliminal marketing campaigns. In addition to parties, Heller works events like the Super Bowl and the Sundance Film Festival. His corporate clients include Fortune 500 companies, and brands including Aston Martin, Red Bull, Tropicana, and Belvedere Vodka.
Talent Resources serves all aspects of the entertainment industry, from agents, managers, celebrities, and PR Firms to corporate brands and marketing firms. Heller seems to be quite humble about his accomplishments, letting the accolades go to the brands themselves in many instances. This seems to work to his advantage. His power lies in making his efforts in marketing appear organic, almost invisible.
This is a company we strongly recommend.