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Tips & Tricks

The Arbitrary Celebrity Marketing Strategy

Some campaigns have seemingly nonsensical celebrity spokespeople – but there can be a method to the madness.

While companies often try to find a logical tie-in when using a celebrity in their marketing – say, a natural connection to the celeb’s hobbies, persona or use of the product – occasionally a firm will pluck a seemingly random celebrity for his or her recognizability alone. This can work to great effect, too, with the arbitrary silliness of the celebrity/product juxtaposition actually working in the advertiser’s favor.

Danica Patrick for GoDaddy
GoDaddy provides every sort of website related service a person could need- site hosting, site building, URL registration, etc. Danica Patrick is the rare female professional race car driver who competes at the highest level of the sport. Rather than use marketing with a nerdy, techie spin, Godaddy advertises as if they sell suntan lotion or lime-flavored beer. The use of NASCAR racer Patrick helps them cross the finish line at #1.

Stephen Colbert for Wonderful Pistachios
Wonderful Pistachios used a variety of impressive or oddly interesting celebs for their attention-getting commercials, but no one they used brought such gravitas and credibility as the dry-witted “conservative” host who talks about the small, shelled treats with the same tone as if he’s discussing government programs or international trade policy.

Kate Upton for Carl’s Jr.

Are Carl’s Jr.’s ads featuring model Kate Upton a tongue-in-cheek spoof on adolescent pinup objectification or the straightforward objectification of a modern sex symbol, messily eating a huge burger? All we know for sure is that the ads worked at grabbing eyeballs, causing buzz, and selling a lot of big, messy burgers.

George Clooney for Nespresso

George Clooney is a notably classy and worldly actor, well known for his varied entertainment and philanthropic activities, circle of impressive friends and villa in Lake Como, Italy. It’s questionable whether he actually drinks Nespresso out of an instant pod coffee system in real life. That’s what makes these lightly humorous ads so weird and likable and so undoubtedly profitable for Nestle.

Rihanna for Budweiser

Despite her partying ways, singer/diva/superstar Rihanna just does not paint the picture of a beer-guzzling lady. But she does possess immense credibility as an artist and success story. The ads, centered around the vibe at an enormous concert, never show her drinking a Bud, but they don’t need to. Budweiser is smartly associating itself with captivating musical endeavors, even if the ad’s star is more of a champagne drinker.

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