L'Oreal's new Eva Longoria spot gets run through the USAToday Ad Track and the target audience, in their own Lloyd Christmas way, "likes it a lot." I know, I know. I'm relieved too.
Still I can't help but ask: why are there so many celebrity endorsements yet so few that are genuinely entertaining? When did the endorsement deal become the achievement, as opposed to using the celebrity in a unique, clever, memorable way? Know what I mean? Eva could be switched out with Nicolette and you wouldn't have to change a thing because the concept is "we signed a hot actress." But the Ellen DeGeneres AmEx spot, which only works with Ellen, has a more robust concept. You can watch it over and over and still find it engaging.
Last week when Grant McCracken did a lot of thinking -- a lot of thinking -- about celebrity ads, it reminded me of this Ernie Schenck post and HighJive's comment: "reliance on celebrities...it's the stereotypical MO when pursuing urban markets." That's it, isn't it? That's why, for some advertisers, the endorsement deal is the end of the strategic and creative process rather than the beginning. It's evidence of a brand who has no idea of how to talk to its own target audience, urban or otherwise. And maybe no idea of its own identity. Desperate Housewives meet desperate marketers.
Don't worry though. As long as the Marketing VP gets to have his picture taken with someone famous, everybody's happy, right?