21 June, 2008

Friday (Saturday) Ad Haiku: Celebrity Endorsements

Apologies for the day-late draft of this little blog here: I'll clarify why on Monday.

Back to business: I was struck by Taco Bell's publicity stunt to cajole rapper 50 Cent into changing his name to one of the prices on the chain's value menu (e.g. 79 Cent) for a day in exchange for a $10,000 donation to charity. And while this fiasco hits on a number of points--from the stupidity of some agencies' stunts to cross-marketing to brand integrity--I couldn't help but think about the celebrity endorsement aspect. Personally, I see most endorsements as useless wastes of money that could be better spent on a more effective ad execution. The problem is simple: there's usually little to no connection between the celeb and the product they're shilling. What the hell do I care that the chick from Grey's Anatomy drives a Cadillac? So what if Eric Estrada believes I should buy swamp property in Florida?

Where's the connection? Where's the real ethos? You want me to buy something, Mr. Big Shot? You better know what you're talking about, you better use it, and you better live and breathe it so much that you'd do the commercial for free if they asked you to.

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5: Recruiting Millennials.

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