The changing ‘celebrity’ face of advertising

Celebrities have always been a popular choice for big spend advertising campaign; we have Cheryl Cole and her ‘I’m worth it’ hair, Coleen Nolan showing us that mums go to Iceland, and of course the ‘blink and you won’t even notice them in the ad’ Redknapps on holiday for Thomas Cook. But as a recent article in Marketing Week shows (Character Building, 25th March) long running characters such as Aleksandr Orlov the Meerkat prove a great hit with consumers.

As the Compare the Market campaign proves, advertising needs to be more engaging with consumers, and using a celebrity to simply say they ‘love’ using a product doesn’t wash with the public. However, there are brands that are using celebrities in interesting ways that get consumers talking about and even tweeting about them.

Walkers recently aired an ad with a host of celebrities paying a surprise visit to the town of Sandwich, Kent reflecting how Walkers can make a sandwich more exciting. Celebrities were there simply to engage with the townsfolk to generate a reaction for the cameras. Jensen Button had a woman screaming as he turned up in a black cab, Pamela Anderson proved a sight for pub goers eyes as she poured a perfect British pint and JLS performed at a sixth form college.

Premier Foods, is about to embark on a celebrity filled advertising campaign for its brand initiative ‘Great Little Ideas’. Celebrities they have signed up include Diversity, Lynda Bellingham and Liz Dawn (aka Vera Duckworth) to offer consumers tips to make their recipes a little bit more exciting.

Meerkats aside, I think we will still be seeing celebrities during ad breaks for a very long time, but perhaps in a more exciting and engaging way…

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