You are currently browsing the archives for January, 2011.
The above isn’t a picture of Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am unveiling a new Intel commercial in which he’s the spokesman. It’s a picture of Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am showing off his new Intel employee badge. From the LA Times:
“The move to bring Will.i.am on as more than simply a spokesman follows in the footsteps of Polaroid, which appointed Lady Gaga its creative director in 2009…. Will.i.am has signed on for a multiyear contract with the company and will be hands-on with technology, Intel said.”
There are at least two reasons that TV spots built around celebrities generally don’t work. One, with a celebrity endorsement in the bag, advertisers get lazy. They don’t work as hard to make great commercials since they hope a recognizable face will magically move product for them. Two, they end up making commercials that are more about the celebrity’s brand than their own (see Snooki commercials for Paramount Farms pistachios). The celebrity, in effect, stars in a commercial about him or herself, and walks away with a healthy check but without, perhaps, a genuine interest in the sponsor’s brand.
Intel is doing something wholly different from overpaying a rock star to pretend for 30 seconds he or she cares about its brand. They’re letting him inform product development, which might result in better products — and which certainly will result in Will.i.am becoming an even more enthusiastic and vocal advocate for the brand and the products he’s helping to shape.
“eMarketer expects Twitter to earn $150 million in revenues this year, the vast majority of which will come from the US. This represents a substantial increase over revenues of $45 million during 2010, the first year Twitter sold advertising.”
More at eMarketer.
Even though Fred Flintstone has long since retired as a tobacco pitchman, cigarette advertising — surprise, surprise — still makes its way to kids and still convinces them to smoke. From a study of 10-17 year-old German students that will appear in the February issue of Pediatrics Magazine, as summarized by BrandChannel:
“Of the students who had seen tobacco ads, 13% of them began smoking after nine months. The more cigarette ads they saw, the more likely they were to start smoking. Researchers said they controlled the data analytics for other factors that could have skewed the results, such as smoking by parents and peers.”
According to an Ace Metrix study of all nationally televised ads in the first 11 months of 2010 (summarized here in Ad Age), commercials featuring celebrity pitchmen and pitchwomen generally perform worse than non-celebrity commercials. While the average TV ad contributed to an 8% lift for the brand, celebrity spots (on average) hurt brands — affecting a negative lift of 1.4%.
What’s going on? Ace Metrix CEO Peter Daboll speculates that relevance and social recommendations have become more important than associations with fame.
“Today’s consumer is more likely to be influenced by someone in their social network than a weak celebrity connection. Today’s consumer is informed, time-compressed, and difficult to impress, and they are only influenced by ads that are relevant and provide information. They don’t want to have products pushed at them, even from a celebrity. In fact, the data show that relevance and information attributes were key missing ingredients from most celebrity ads.”
I wonder, too, if celebrity endorsements make it easier for agencies get lazy — so confident that the famous face will sell the product that they forget to make a brilliant commercial.
Related: Back in November ChasNote asked Would you want Snooki and Rod Blagojavich endorsing your brand? For those of you fence-sitters, here’s some data to help you decide. While Tiger Woods (-30% for Nike), Martha Stewart (-21% for Macy’s), Andie MacDowell (-21% for L’Oreal) and two dozen other celebrities fared worse for their sponsors than did Snooki and Blago, both hurt the Wonderful Pistachios brand. Snooki delivered negative lift of 15% and Blago brought it down by 12%. Go, Snooki!
I didn’t get enough of Ricky Gervais last night on the Golden Globes, so I started my day at the Entertainment section of Huffington Post. Starbucks was today’s sponsor. The page started out looking like this:
And then soon after my arrival, steam emerged from the coffee cup in the Starbucks banner, hiding Mr Gervais behind a veil of noxious vapors.
Normally I don’t like expanding rich-media ads that cover the content, but this one didn’t bother me. Kind of added to the fun of Golden Globes post-morteming.
What do you think?