Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm paid to like this

Recently another sponsor of Tiger Woods decided to drop him from their advertising. In this case it doesn't seem to have (on the surface) anything to do with his recent troubles. Gatorade began phasing out his products back in '09 before his revelations.

That begs the question I have often considered, what makes a spokesman attractive to the general public? Many times it is recently newsworthy persons. I am quite sure there will be many Olympians showing up on commercials during the remainder of this year. I'm also very confident in saying you likely won't see any of those still on endorsements by next year. That type of celebrity seems to have no staying power. On occasion someone will breakthrough and is able to launch themselves on to something else. But that is the exception to the rule.

I can't think of any product that I ever purchased because someone famous or newsworthy endorsed it on a commercial or in any other form of advertising. I don't buy Subway because Michael Phelps swims through concrete. I never purchased a bottle of Coke because (back in the day) the high profile Bill Cosby was a Coke guy. I understand companies attractions to jumping on the latest celebrity bandwagon but that doesn't work for me. How little does it say about us as a culture or a people that we purchase a product simply because a noteworthy person is paid to endorse it? Do we really believe that product is their favorite just because we see it in advertising? That's what the advertisers want us to believe.

Endorsements are a funny thing. Companies pay celebrities millions of dollars to promote their products that they rarely would otherwise use, but we wear their name proudly across our *ss free of charge. Who's the stupid one in that scenario?

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