Entertainment A-List

Entertainment A-List No. 5: Carol Goll

Social-Media Buzz Helps ICM Match Marketers With the Best Celeb Endorsers -- Even the Elusive Ones

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Carol Goll
Carol Goll Credit: Illustration: Dieter Braun

Carol Goll is keeping the old-school celebrity endorsement deal alive, with a new-media twist.

As head of global branded entertainment for Hollywood talent agency International Creative Management, Ms. Goll has helped package major endorsement deals for ICM clients such as Beyonce (American Express, Vivio, Nintendo, General Mills, Crystal Geyser), Kim Cattrall (Olay, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter) and Eminem, whose one-two punch of ads for Lipton Brisk tea and Chrysler made him the surprise star of this year's Super Bowl. She also helped make "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm the voice of Mercedes-Benz USA, where she spent 13 years in brand marketing before joining ICM in 2008.

Ms. Goll and her team help marketers decide which artists would be their best partner by looking at their followers on Twitter, fans on Facebook and buzz around recent projects. Though some clients such as Audrina Patridge and Denise Richards have scored brand deals based on their active Twitter following, Ms. Goll's team often seeks to connect brands with ICM talent that are a bit more elusive by today's "they're just like us" standards.

"People always want more and more from these celebrities because they're just not giving it. It's a different way to brand yourself," Ms. Goll said, pointing to the nearly 24 million Facebook fans of Megan Fox, an actress who does not otherwise have an active social-media presence.

Eminem, the most-liked musician on Facebook (35.89 million fans vs. Lady Gaga's 34 million), had been at the top of many brands' wish lists because of his reticence toward commercial deals. "What was important to Eminem was he wanted to be authentic," Ms. Goll said. "He wanted creative input and control." For both Chrysler and Brisk, Eminem was able to contribute his own dialogue to maintain his artistic voice, resulting in two of this year's most talked-about ads and an ongoing relationship with Brisk expected to extend into his Shady Records emerging-artist program and upcoming tour.

Up next: Putting together the same types of deals for brands as the client. Following recent work for Atari and Joe's Jeans, other brand clients starting to receive the Hollywood treatment include Saks Fifth Avenue, Swarovski Crystal and the National Baseball Hall of Fame .

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