12/06/2011

When I am King: End-dorsements

When I am King...

All products will use unknown actors in their advertising.















There’s something sad about the use of famous people to pitch products. I should buy a watch just because a sports star is paid to wear one during an ad? Or I should buy some insurance just because an actor I know is paid to talk about it? Or I should wear a certain kind of bra just because an actress I like is paid to say that she wears it (which, by the way, didn't fit me at all)?







Unfortunately, the system works: we recognize these people, pay more attention to the ads and, for some reason, feel better about buying the products just because these people got paid to endorse them. It’s a sad statement on society that we look to others to make our product decisions for us, even when these other people are not friends and were simply pocketing a check for the odious chore of selling out.

But there’s something even more pathetic about a company that hires unknown actors to do the job. Take, for example, the ad banner below that I ran across recently. You know when they say the name of the actor that (a) they’re not famous enough for you to recognize by sight, but (b) they hope that you’ll at least recognize their name. But sometimes, when the company doesn’t have enough money or sense, neither one is true and we end up with ads like this one. I don’t recognize the face and I’ve never heard her name before.

This situation drew me in further than any famous face would have; I wanted to know more. It turns out that she’s some kind of finance person, famous (I suppose) in circles where people give a crap. This didn’t make me any more interested in the product, but at least I noticed it just because the situation was so ridiculous.

When I am King, all products will use complete unknowns for their advertisements. Products will be chosen based on the curiosity of people to find out more about the people pitching the product: Who are they? Why were they chosen? What does that have to do with anything? Why am I wasting my time finding out?



It’s also possible that consumers will then make choices based on the merits of the products themselves instead of unhealthy interest in someone paid to fake their interest in it. Alright, maybe not.
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