Monday, January 24, 2005

:: adgruntie :: Celebrity Endorsers

+ Are celebs really an advertisers best friend? The LA Times takes a look at the pros and cons of celebrity's in ads.
Celebrity endorsements are as old as advertising itself. In the late 1800s, Queen Victoria's laundress was used to endorse Glenfield Patent Starch, Mark Twain's mug appeared on a bag of flour and two brands of cigars, and Sarah Bernhardt's face sold Carter's Liver Bitters. In the late 1940s, people took note when Ronald Reagan and Lucille Ball posed in Chesterfield's magazine ads under their "quotes" endorsing the cigarettes.


Whatever the context of the celebrity endorsement, choosing a personality means an advertiser must scrutinize values and beliefs as closely as career trajectories. "What do they actually stand for?" asks Dan Burrier, chief creative officer and managing director of the L.A. office of the advertising firm Ogilvy and Mather. "What is their real self or their screen self or their on-the-court self? And where is that going to be in six months? But most of all, does it ring true? Is this a forced fit? Or is this somebody that's going to spiritually align with the brand? Would they actually use it? Is it actually part of their life?"


"With product placement or home improvement shows or the use of celebrities in voice-overs for animated movies, the whole notion of marketing and branding and the reflection of fame is so well known by kids and adults that it's no longer a matter of 'You could be beautiful like this if you buy the product,' " says Ogilvy and Mather's Burrier. "People are so far beyond that, so sophisticated, and turn off so quickly to anything that smacks of pandering to a lower intelligence."

Celebrities most likely to inspire buying from a Jericho Communications survey from 2004 of 4,236 shoppers in seven malls nationwide:
Jon Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton, Sean "P.Diddy" Combs, Martha Stewart (yes folks, that's even after she ended up in jail)

Celebrities least likely to inspire buying:
Donald Trump (Visa better stop running their Check Card ads with him), Dick Cheney (ha), Tyrell Owens, Teresa Heinz Kerry (maybe that was Kerry's downfall- next time keep her on the sidelines), Ashlee Simpson (she's even least likely to inspire buying of her albums too!)

Looks like this year's Super Bowl will have some star studded ads as well. From the information I've found so far we should be seeing Burt Reynolds, Dennis Rodman, Mike Ditka (although for some reason he always seems to pop up in ads), MC Hammer (I thought he last was supposed to be referred to as "Hammer" but maybe he went back to the "MC"), and Brad Pitt.

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