I spend a lot of time thinking about advertising. I mean, it is partly my job. I communicate through visual cues, and advertising is an underlying part of that. Whether it is the first impression you get when you come to a website that I have developed, or it is your feeling and mood after you have looked at a logo I have created. I am always looking at unique and different ways to advertise the particular project that I am working on. Like for instance, myself. I am going through the stages of a re branding of myself as a designer, a blog addict, an opinionated realist, and a social networking junkie. But I am always asking myself how I can spread the word about what I am doing. A blog can only do so much, you know.
But I came across a collection of the top five flops in celebrity advertising. It was showcasing the campaigns that were ran featuring pop stars at their current point and time and I had to agree with most of them. One included Eric Clapton, arguably one of the top five greatest guitar players in the history of music, being a poster boy for Michelob. Here is a guy that plays a guitar and sings pretty tunes for a living. Why does he need to appear in a commercial for a low carb and water based beer? Or how about the one with the Olsen twins being poster girls for Milk. You remember the Olsen twins, right? Michelle Tanner? No? Full House, duh! That might actually be one of the better TV shows I have ever seen. And to think I grew up with those girls. They got hot for a minute, but then that all went out the window with their addictions and lack of stardom once the show was canceled.
But the one that got me laughing inside was the one with John Daly. John Daly is better know for the beer drinking wife beating long ball hitter on the PGA Tour. Playing very few events now, but still holding strong to his PGA Tour card, he walks around the course with out a care in the world. He has the sensibility that nothing can touch him and he shows it in his attitude. I met John back in 2000, when he was on his beer diet, and was drinking nothing but Diet Coke, and he was much calmer than he is today. He has a gambling problem, can not keep a woman in his life for more than a few months, and is a lot of trouble with some bookies over huge debts that he can no seem to pay off.
But he is a spoke man for a product that I truly enjoy from time to time. He is a poster child for Hooters. Not the actual female variety, but the kind that comes in Mild, Hot, and BBQ. He walks around wearing that logo on his hat and shirt and golf bag, and every time it makes me smile. Why would you take a guy that could pass for a Hooters waitress and give him a sponsorship?
Of course, with the trouble that he is currently in, and others with the state of this economy, he should count every dollar that he can get his hands on. But why is this important to advertising? For a few reasons, really. First, his face is plastered to that product. You see it all over him on the golf course and all over the restaurant in posters and billboards trying to sell you on the goodness in the breading. Look at Tiger Woods for example. His name is associated with Wheaties, Buick (he was recently dropped as a sponsor from Buick in an attempt to cut costs), Nike, American Express, Gillette (his newest endeavor), Target, The First Tee, and the list truly does just go on and on. But how do these differ from Hooters? They are respectable, that is how. I would much rather have my name on the side of a Tag Hauer watch poster than one with cleavage and mustard stains.
The other reason that this is important is the ability to sell that product based on the image that represents it. John Daly is a bad boy with an attitude problem. He drinks beer, smokes cigars, and has a short temper. Now, take a look at the demographic that dines at Hooters. Do you think they are exotic car driving watch wearing suit and tie on Friday mornings kind of people? I mean, sure you will see those kind in the there from time to time, but think of the normal crowd you can expect at a Hooters. It works. It fits the style of the restaurant, and it fits his mold as a sports figure and a person.
Tiger is rich. He has a calmness and always seems to be at a state of peace (except when he hits into the bunker or sinks an always impossible putt) and looks good fitting with all the products he endorses. Sure, the pay check is what speaks to him at the end of the day, but he would not take a deal with Buffalo Wild Wings. No matter what they offered.
I just wanted to point out that those that decide where their lacking advertising and marketing dollars know what they are doing. And by the looks of it, John is not skipping too many plates of wings.