Tag Archives: Nike

Celebrity Endorsements: Risky Business or Rewarding Endeavor?

When you think about Oreos, what comes to mind? America’s favorite cookie? Check. Glass of milk? Most definitely. Shaquille O’Neal? Not so much.

Well, Kraft Foods begs to differ. Just last week, Kraft released a 30-second commercial in which Shaq is teamed with Eli Manning, Venus Williams, and Apolo Ohno to defeat the mysterious “hooded menace” who threatens to overtake the affectionately termed Double Stuf Racing League (DSRL).

One would think that companies would be reluctant to pair up with a celebrity after the infamous “crash heard ‘round the world” and resulting backlash towards golf-legend Tiger Woods. Such is not the case, it seems. Agents and CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) will always get starry-eyed by the big names of “celebrity” because 1) brands love endorsements, and 2) consumers buy into “celebrity.”

Companies recognize the risk that comes with choosing the celebrity-endorsement approach; many have learned the hard way that it becomes a reflection of their brand. Putting a face to a name makes the brand recognizable; more so when that face is famous. According to Anita Elberse, associate professor at Harvard Business School, some companies have seen their stock increase by .25% on the day an endorsement deal was announced. That doesn’t mean that every brand needs a celebrity-endorser; it has to be relevant to both the brand and the consumer.

However, celebrity endorsement is always worth investing in if you have the right person.

International pop star Lady Gaga is set to revive the instant camera for Polaroid as its Chief Creative Officer.

Teen singing sensation Justin Bieber lends his famous hair and unblemished face to Proactiv.

New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady relies on Smart Water when hitting the gym to train for (hopefully) another Super Bowl appearance.

According to marketing research firm Millward Brown, U.S. celebrities show up in more than 15% of advertisements. Not all of the appearances are in front of the camera, mind you. Sometimes, all a celebrity needs to do is be seen toting around a product or updating their Twitter account with a simple 140-character tweet.

American socialite Kim Kardashian spotted with an exclusive Hermès Birkin bag.

That 70’s Show actor Ashton Kutcher tweeted behind-the-scenes details about Popchips (snack food item).

Celebrities generate gossip and gossip requires word-of-mouth communication. If consumers are talking about a celebrity and can link him or her back to a brand, the emotional connection or self-expressive benefit that consumers feel for / towards the celebrity is transferred onto that brand. As you can see, this is 50/50 chance that marketers must gamble on. When a celebrity behaves (Shaq), the brand (Oreo) does well. But, in the case of celebrity misbehavior (*cough* Tiger Woods *cough*), the brand (Accenture, Nike, Tag Heuer) suffers.

With that said, reports show that celebrities still push products. But the question that marketers need to ask of consumers is: Would you buy a product based on a celebrity endorsement?

Written by Vicki Truong


Old Spice Takes Home an Emmy

In my post “You Have 30 Seconds… Impress me” I discussed several commercials that hit the mark in terms of an effective commercial. One of those commercials was the Old Spice “What Your Man Can Smell Like” campaign.  I felt the use of comedy paired with the gorgeous former NFL receiver Isaiah Mustafa, made it a commercial that would stick in your mind long after watching.

The success of the campaign continues as Weiden + Kennedy, the ad firm behind the genius commercial, received the Emmy for the 2010 Outstanding Commercial at the Creative Arts Primetime Emmy Awards. The Old Spice commercial beat out Snickers’ “Game”, Audi’s “Green Car”, Absolut’s “Anthem”, Nike’s “Human Chain” and Coke’s “Finals” campaign. However, this is not the first win for Weiden + Kennedy; last year the firm took home an Emmy for their Coca-Cola commercial, “Heist”.

Weiden creative directors for Old Spice, Jason Bagley and Eric Baldwin stated that “Winning an Emmy is a surreal experience. It’s such a great honor to be recognized by the entertainment industry and encourages our desire to create work that not only sells products, but entertains people. We’re very honored to have been one of the three Wieden + Kennedy spots nominated. Owning half of the six nominations is a testament to the amazing creativity happening inside the walls of our office, and the talented people and clients we get to work with.” (Adweek). After viewing Weiden + Kennedy’s work, I look forward to seeing more from them.

Weiden + Kennedy is a full service ad agency based in Portland, Oregon with office all over the world. Their clients include not only Old Spice but Coke, Converse, Dodge, Target, Nike and Levi’s.

Written by Caitlin McDonough

More Junk in the Trunk, please.

On its blog, Nike announced the release of its new “real women” ad campaign. The new ads are a reworking of a 2005 campaign celebrating a woman’s natural curves. The clever text of the ad invites anyone unhappy with a woman’s extra “junk in the trunk” to kiss it. The sassy nature of the ad was definitely enough to catch my attention.

Nike however, is not the only company utilizing the “real women” angle in its ads. Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” made a huge splash in the media by recruiting real women off the street to pose for pictures in their underwear. The women in the campaign ranged from sizes 6-14, a big difference from the typical model sizes of 2 or even 00. Dove’s marketing director for the campaign, Philippe Harousseau, stated, “It is our belief that beauty comes in different shapes, sizes and ages. Our mission is to make more women feel beautiful every day by broadening the definition of beauty.” (source)

It should come as no surprise that companies are choosing to “go with” a healthy body image approach ever since the controversial Isobelle Caro advertisement. The ad served as an attack on the fashion industry that pressured models like Caro (who has dropped as low as 55 pounds, CBS News reports) to resort to extreme weight loss.

WebMD reports that Anorexia Nervosa has the highest death rate of any mental illness, with 5% to 20% of reported cases resulting in death. However, despite all of these statistics, our culture still has an obvious obsession with being skinny – as seen with websites like “The Skinny Website” and endless articles on how much weight celebrities seem to gain or lose. So really…just how effective are these ad campaigns?

Seth Stevenson, a writer for Slate (a daily online web magazine), gives the Dove campaign an A for short term effectiveness stating that it grabs the audience’s attention and gets people talking. There is something endearing about the underdog getting their day in the spotlight (the underdog in this sense being the average woman). However, Stevenson gives the campaign a D for long term effectiveness. As much as we want to get behind the “average woman,” he claims that subconsciously Dove’s product will eventually be viewed as for “fat chicks.” (source)

Personally, I feel that his critique is a bit harsh. I think that the women in this campaign look amazing and it is not just because of their bodies. The self confidence and happiness that these women exude is enough to make any woman look incredible, regardless of their size, and that is what I think most people will remember from the ad.

Ads that promote a healthy body image, like those created by Nike and Dove, represent huge steps in creating a more positive outlook for women and create a standard for other companies to live up to. Perhaps if we continue in this direction, a woman can open up a magazine, view the advertisements and love herself rather than hate herself.

Written by: Caitlin McDonough