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Which Celeb To Pick for Your Cause Marketing Campaign?

Pop quiz: You have an enviably large promotional budget for your cause marketing campaign and you need a celebrity. Do you choose Marcus Samuelsson, celebrity chef? Or do you choose Harrison Ford, the man who has sold more than $3.6 billion in domestic movie tickets in his career and whose planes are worth more than you’ll make in your lifetime?

The answer is, of course, it depends.

Marcus Samuelsson is co-owner of Acquavit restaurant in New York City, plus several others, and has a wonderfully interesting personal history. He’s originally from Ethiopia, but was adopted along with his older sister by a Swedish couple when he was three years old.

He took an early interest in cooking and trained in Sweden, Switzerland and Austria before coming to the United States at age 21 and promptly establishing a reputation as a chef to be reckoned with. He has a philanthropic bent, a brilliant smile and is married to the lovely model Gate Maya Haile.

By contrast, Harrison Ford is so rich and famous that he can now make treacly movies like Extraordinary Measures.

Choose Ford and you’d get a 1000-watt celebrity, who would rather fly his planes than appear at your events or do any publicity for you.

Choose Samuelsson and you get a 50-watt celebrity who cares about some causes quite personally. Samuelsson is probably busier than Ford, but I’ll be he has more time for Feeding America and UNICEF’s TAP Project than Ford does for Create the Good.

So which celebrity do you choose?

If you can live with someone like Ford doing not much more than bringing his celebrity to your cause marketing efforts through ads, he’s definitely your guy.

But if you need a celebrity who will lend not only his name but his passion to your cause marketing, you probably want someone more like Samuelsson.

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