Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sell-lebrity Advertising

Surfing around yesterday and ran into a banner ad with the following pitch:

Build Your Dream Home on Dream Land!
Free Two Day Trip for Two!
Erik Estrada - National Spokesperson
Wazzat?! Huh? What the hell does Erik Estrada have to do with my dream home? I mean, let's be honest here, if I was going to pick a resident celebrity in my dream home, I'm sure he'd be like at least 9th on the list. I mean, c'mon, at least Hasselhoff would look good on the lawn next to the gnome.

But I have to hand it to them, it definitely got my attention. For your viewing pleasure:

Celebrity endorsements do something interesting to our brain. In most cases, the celebrity-endorsed product gains attributes from the celebrity, like how Tiger Woods-endorsed golf gear would seem to be of higher-quality than some lesser-known brand. In the case of Erik Estrada, let's call him Double-E, I'm struggling to figure out what attributes a real estate brand could gain. Therefore, we're left with just the familiarity of his face. For the purposes of these ads, that's really all it takes. You see his face and suddenly this ad campaign cuts away from the noise of other ads (like other ads with less familiar faces).

Apparently, these real estate guys know what they're doing because if you click through to the site, there he is again. The interesting thing is, he doesn't actually endorse anything, that is, there's no quote attributed to him like "These guys are awesome!" His head is the last thing you'd expect to see on the site but there it is and it works. Well, not works like it's going to get me to buy some land but works like it got me to blog about it.

1 comment:

Karl Castaneda said...

It really depends on how you choose your celeberties, and what their "cred" is with the hardcore bunch (is there a group of hardcore dream-housers?). I mean, if you put Tara Reid on a video game program, it doesn't mean a damn thing (too late for Spike TV, unfortunately - 2004 VGAs, FTW!). But when Apple was marketing The iTunes Music Store for the first time, getting recording artists to give their opinions on digital distribution had a really great effect.

Simply put, find people who actually care what they're talking about, and let them show that devotion. Oddly enough, it works.