The clever people who produce television commercials have many weapons in their armoury. One tried and tested approach concerns celebrity endorsement of products or services. You know the kind of thing. Pick a well-known celebrity - usually from the worlds of sport or entertainment - and get him or her to endorse the thing that is being promoted.
It is important for companies to be associated with the right kind of celebrity. There are famous people who could hamper sales. For example you wouldn't want Roy Keane - the former Ireland international footballer - selling baby foods and you wouldn't want Katie Price (aka Jordan) to advertise insurance products. In each case sales would probably nosedive. It is important to get the right celebrity "fit".
Leicester-born and squeaky clean football presenter Gary Lineker is a marvellous choice for the promotion of Walkers crisps. They are made in Leicester and Gary is so inoffensive - liked by both men and women. Potential purchasers of these crisps would feel no sub-conscious animosity towards the product because of him. Quite the opposite.
|Bland and irritating - Ant and Dec - advertising "Morrisons"|
|Uncle Len Goodman promoting "Farm Foods"|
When I watch television I mostly prefer the BBC, but occasionally I will find myself switching over to commercial channels. There I have recently noticed commercials for the Yorkshire-based supermarket chain "Morrisons" and for the frozen food specialists "Farm Foods".
No doubt at huge expense, "Morrisons" are using familiar celebrity presenters Ant and Dec for the purposes of endorsement while "Farm Foods" have called upon Len Goodman the affable seventy year old head judge of "Strictly Come Dancing". You see Len pushing a trolley round a "Farm Foods" store with a huge grin on his face while he purportedly considers the savings he is making.
Morrisons ads will sometimes rely solely upon voice overs by Ant and Dec while at other times we see the Geordie pair smiling inanely as they prance about in Morrisons supermarkets or settle down to a festive meal cobbled together from the supermarket's product range.
As I watch these ads, I think "ah but!". There's absolutely no way that Len Goodman would ever shop at "Farm Foods" and I simply cannot see the millionaire Ant and Dec combo giving two hoots about saving pennies at Morrisons - again a place they will surely never visit in real life. For me these endorsers are inappropriate and instead of making me warm towards "Farm Foods" and "Morrisons", I feel slightly repulsed. The endorsements seem contrived and inauthentic so I will keep supporting German business by shopping at "Lidl" and "Aldi" - even though I have noticed musical matchmaker Jools Holland creeping into the latter's Christmas ad campaign.