Simple ads that showcase the product as the star are good ads in my book. When the product is emphasized by a Celebrity Endorsement, the ads are even better! The new H&M spot for David Beckham Bodywear line debuted at the Super Bowl and was a nice disruption from the typical, overly-produced Super Bowl spots.
The Animals’ iconic song, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," helps center and focus the spot in a dynamic way. Beckham only has a few more years until it’s REALLY creepy that he's only in his under garments, so now is the time to live it up Beckham. Live it up!
LeBron James is continuing down the unrighteous path of undeniably BAD personal branding moves. The PSA for Boost Up has an amazing message, but it SHOULD NOT BE COMING FROM LEBRON. Sure, LeBron finished high school, but he became uber-successful because of his basketball skills – not because of what he accomplished in school. LeBron is known ONLY for what he accomplished on the court.
Shame on Boost Up for getting all jazzed about a huge headliner like LeBron, and letting his star power overshadow their message. The Bleacher Report said it best:
"…if they were set on using an athlete to convey that message of staying in school (and they most certainly did not), it would have been nice to see one who actually grinded through the same amount of schooling as a typical capitalist up and comer, like, say LeBron’s Miami teammate Shane Battier, who graduated from Duke University with a 3.5 GPA."
We want to see you manage your brand in an intelligent and groundbreaking way. Please take a step back and:
Look at the opportunities before you
Look at how authentic the message will seem
Look at how it will affect your brand vision
Look at how it will affect the product/cause your promoting
Please, LeBron, think. Think before your next branding move tarnishes your image even more.
CCAA, a South American (Brazil) language school that teaches English, has a new spot with TWO Celebrity Endorsers – Megan Fox and Mike Tyson. In the spot, Fox represents the “Island of Milk and Honey" and Tyson the Island of Hell.” It’s a classically cheesy spot that is perfect for the teenage boys that are CCAA's target audience. I just had no idea a language school would have the cash to secure arguably A-List talent. Plus, who knew Fox and Tyson were so popular south of the border?
We all saw exactly what Natasha Hastings is made of in this year's ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue (above). Her visibility on Twitter and her ability to engage fans and consumers for Endorsers is equally impressive.
Natasha Hastings is a 2008 Olympic Gold Medal winner (she won an Olympic Gold Medal in the Women’s 4×400 m relay team). And while you may not hear about her in the news every day or see her in the pages of US Weekly or People, Olympic Athletes like Natasha can be major contributors to building brand credibility when the Olympics do come around. In a recent Tweet, Natasha said, "Another @UnderArmour shipment. Love waking up to new gear from them!"
That statement is the type of value Endorsers expect from their Athletes – it’s believable and shows an undeniable TRUE alignment with the athlete. What's more, Celebrity Pitch asked Natasha what she likes to wear when running in cold weather. Natasha replied, "Hard to choose, but any Storm hoody." Ok, it’s simple enough, but the accessibility, authenticity and promotion that Endorsers can gain from Athletes like Natasha that are seasonal and not necessarily "mainstream," is undeniably VERY valuable. Interaction matters for brands, and if a Celebrity Endorser can act as a voice, even better! Keep Tweeting Natasha!
Since the beginning of his professional career in 2007, John Isner has been sporting Nike on the court. However, the tides have changed. Now, for mid-six figures a year, he will be wearing Lacoste on and off the court. Isner to WWD:
“I’m proud to represent a brand that has such a strong history in tennis and sports values.”
What's more, Lacoste will be heavily promoting its "Tall" line in the upcoming years. At 6'9, Isner is the perfect Celebrity Endorser for the brand's line extension. Overall, Lacoste holds about a dozen Celebrity Endorsers in their vault – including tennis players Andy Roddick, Richard Gasquet, Stanislas Wawrinka and golfers Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie.
In the first episode of this season's "Shark Tank," Bill Walton, Hall of Fame basketball player, joined an Entrepreneur to help pitch his product, "Clean Bottle." Walton, one of the most legendary names in professional basketball, said he is not paid (despite wearing that goofy bottle costume), but he's simply a fan of the product. He's just a fan?! Not getting paid?! Bill, I hope you at least have some stake in the brand.
With the inclusion of Mark Cuban as one of the sharks, "Shark Tank" has really stepped out of obscurity. Great choice for Mark Burnett and ABC – Cuban is cocky enough to be entertaining and just a tiny bit offensive. Perhaps the Friday night time slot (a TV Show killer) doesn't help the program, but I'm sure Mark brings many more viewers…and possibly more Celebrity Pitches to the show!
State Farm continues its impressive list of Celebrity Endorsers with BJ Raji, the Green Bay Packer's nose tackle. BJ is now Aaron Rodgers' teammate on and off the field and he continues the relevance of this spot as it updates the creative, but stays true to the message. As stated in the original Celebrity Pitch Post, "Aaron Rodgers Check Yourself With State Farm," this spot does an excellent job of brand/celebrity integration with the emphasis on creating cultural relevance through celebrity qualities – allowing State Farm to continue to "own" Rodgers' touchdown dance. When Rodgers does it on the field, anyone who has seen this spot immediately thinks of the State Farm commercial which makes the endorsement deal infinitely more valuable.