1863. That was the year brand endorsement by celebrities was born.
Pope’s Leo XIII and Pius X, and a certain Queen Victoria ‘endorsed’ what was the Coca-Cola of the 1800’s – Vin Mariani (which was also known for containing significant levels of Cocaine…coincidence?)
Now, nearly 150 years later, and with celebrities dominating the media more than ever before, I’d like to nominate ten high profile names who you WON’T see fronting PR campaigns in 2010.
Why? Well, that’ll be pretty obvious (I hope) as you read this post.
And, as always, there’s a moral / lesson associated with anything produced on The Comms Corner…feel free to grab it at the end.
The Tainted Ten of 2010
1. Tiger Woods – AAA LICENCES: Learn to drive (a car) like Tiger. Umm, can’t see these guys (or a million others) queuing up for Tiger in 2010.
2. Michael Jackson – Sadly in 2009, that ‘was’ it for MJ. Strangely though, a ‘not alive’ Michael would probably be safer bet for a brand than an alive one. Still, I can’t see him being that ‘active’ in 2010, can you? (RIP by the way, I miss you)
3. Kanye West – Mr West has clearly decided that the ‘just being talked about strategy, no matter the context’ is the one for him. Unfortunately, that approach would cause most PR people to go into cardiac arrest…we all like a challenge, but…
4. Gordon Ramsay – F**k, f**k, f**k. No Gordon, it’s not your swearing that scares me in 2010, it’s the fact that you might go off and do just that with someone you’re not married to.
5. Marlon King – For those who aren’t aware, Marlon (the nice chap) is a football player (Soccer to some) who decided to punch a woman in the face after she declined his sexual advances. Yep, sign him up in 2010…if he’s not serving time.
6. Kerry Katona – Kerry, who for a long time has been the ‘face’ of the Iceland brand in the UK for the last few years has made the life choice to spend more time ‘off her face’ which isn’t usually the recipe for success when selecting a name to align with a campaign.
7. Pamela Anderson – One of my favourite nominations. Another one who ‘allegedly’ prefers to operate in fairy land as opposed to the real world, which also makes her a ‘questionable’ spokesperson in 2010. I hear she is taking panto offers though…
8. Silvio Berlusconi – Does this one need an explanation?!? Really?!?!?
9. Chris Brown – Poor R&B star Chris Brown had a tough year. So tough that in 2010 I’d go far as to say that not only will brands avoid him like the plague, but if he was caught in the driving rain he wouldn’t even be offered an umbrella, ella, ella…
10. Blank – I’ve purposely left this one blank so you can help pick the final one (and perhaps a handful more) – here are some of my additional recommendations to help you get started…
– Amy Winehouse
– Christian Bale
– Jonathan Ross
– Russell Brand
– Bobby Brown
– Heather Mills
– Jodie Marsh (who is she again?)
– Jordan / Katie Price
– Lindsay Lohan
(Just drop any thoughts you have into the comment box below)
Oh, back to the moral of the post.
Nothing can elevate a brand / product like a celebrity tie-up can.
However, as we’ve seen of late with Tiger Woods, nothing drives fear into brands more than a very public scandal.
So think long and hard about your strategy involving celebrities in 2010, because although the negatives and positives haven’t changed, the speed in which both can occur these days has.
P.S Thanks to the people who helped contribute to this post.