Home > Uncategorized > Why are you staring at me?

Why are you staring at me?

Recently I was in India and spotted some, no actually many, celebrity ads.

Over the years, there’s been a lot of ink, and pixels, spent on the use of celebrities in advertising.

Some people call it lazy advertising.

When you don’t have an idea you use a celebrity. I am not such a cynic.

I believe celebrities can be used well.

At the very basic level they generate quick awareness. I remember when Santro first signed on Shahrukh Khan the MD of Hyundai Motors India said very matter of factly that for a new brand with small budgets using the celeb helped get visibility and brand recognition. An honest man.

This of course loses meaning when you see the same celeb in a multitude of brands. Now there is a celeb equal playing ground and the celeb is achieving nothing beyond enriching their bank balances

So celebs to generate awareness is not effective.

Some brands use celebs in interesting ways. This Amex spot with Conan is a great example. There are of course many examples from the same stable.

Like any ad there is a need for a story told well. Usually the story centres around the brand.

However, when a celeb is involved often the story revolves around the celeb. Good advertising integrates the brand story with the celeb story so you remember the brand and it is not a prop for the celeb.

What I don’t get at all is the use of celebs that do nothing for the brand

See here some ads I saw over a couple of days. They feature different celebs and all they do is stare vacuously at the reader. What really is the point of paying top dollar for this?

Different brands, different ads from different agencies but all using celebs in pretty much the same way! Who knows what they are endorsing and more importantly why?

Is the idea awareness, endorsement, preference or something else altogether?

Lots of celeb ads seem to be going down the same well trodden path.

Such a waste.

Celebs can tell great stories!

Or they can stare.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,
  1. Ryan J McKay
    August 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Or they can get on your nerves and turn you off the brand completely. I think that for luxury brands especially there is only a small a pool of high profile actors available so they jump at the chance to put anyone on contract without thinking about the relevance of that personality to their brand. Unfortunately money doesn’t buy style, or in this case credibility.
    Nicholas Cage and Mont Blanc is an example I cannot get my head around. Whenever I see him looking at me from the Mont Blanc store window, wry smirk, long carefree locks, chin wresting on wrist, it makes me physically sick. Why would a luxury brand want to be associated with a man who doesn’t epitomise style, taste or fashion. Could only be that he is ‘famous’ and ‘available’. The other one is Kevin Costner as the face of Turkish Airlines.. It’s a ‘What the hell was their agency/marketing department thinking?’ moment. When I first saw a bus with big Kev’s face printed across the side I thought it was a gag. Or he was Turkish. Unfortunately neither was true.

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