Reggie Jackson Drives a Rabbit

reggie jackson drives a rabbit

I saw an interesting article via Digg today that featured 28 Cringe-Worthy advertisements featuring celebrity spokespeople advocating on behalf of a brands including Smirnoff, the Pennsylvania Railroad, and even Volkswagon.

It got me thinking about the appropriate use of celebrities, "talent," and personalities when it comes to brand advertising. Back in the day, pre-internet, Volkswagon would create perceived value for potential customers through endorsement: "if it is good enough for Reggie Jackson, it's good enough for me." This was an important way to show potential customers that it was worth going to their showroom to test drive a car.

As we all know, the internet changed everything, and people now evaluate brands and services via person-to-person interaction as well as social forms like Angie's list, Yelp, and the review sections of Amazon.

Darth Vadar stops VW Today (or at least a couple of years ago) VW is wanting us to laugh along with a 3-year old in a Darth Vadar costume and tell our friends about how wonderful, cutting edge, and cool VW is, rather than rely on celebrity endorsement.

Celebrities can be powerful attractors to a brand, but for me, I'd employ that tactic to drive people to an event either in-person or online. Get hundreds of people interacting with talent and let them share that experience with their networks. You get the benefits of a high-impact experience for your most prized potential and current customers and you get an army of unofficial spokespeople sharing their experience with their friends and industry colleagues.