Whether it's Jay-Z giving free albums to Samsung users, or Alicia Keys serving as Blackberry's creative director, celebrities and smartphones are a seemingly perfect match. But while the stars do a good job of selling phones to the rest of us, when it comes to their personal devices it takes a special kind of sales technique to get Martha Stewart using a Galaxy S3. In Fast Company, Shane Snow details Samsung's "white glove" parties, in which a combination of fellow celebrities, Samsung reps, and free gadgets are used to lure stars to the brand.
It's sort of like a Tupperware party, but with free smartphones, where Samsung reps make the conversion as painless as possible, providing everything from customized devices to technical support. And once an influencer has converted to Samsung, they start holding the parties themselves. "People love things that are free, particularly celebrities," Dana Brunetti, president of Trigger Street Productions, says. "They're the last people that need something free, but it's smart. They wouldn't buy it otherwise."