Celebrity Gossip Advertising

April 24, 2008 By: erik Category: Complaining, Internet, Media, Musings 1,369 views

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McKissAnyone who lives in Spain and has a television that they turned on this past Easter will have seen video of two celebrities kissing on a balcony under a McDonalds sign. I care zero about the Spanish celebrity gossip scene that overruns the broadcast networks day and night. I do my best to remain uninformed about what’s going on, so I don’t really know who the kissers in said video are. Actually, in my search to find an image of them, I was unable to avoid learning that the man in the video is the son of Isabel Pantoja, the diva and queen of all that is celebrity scandal gossip in Spain. Whatever.

As I was watching this video loop repeatedly hour after hour as people discussed the implications of this new intimate relationship, I started subconsciously wanting a hamburger. That’s when it hit me!

What if advertisers paid celebrities to do scandalous things on video with their products or in front of their advertisements?

Obviously most of the real A-list celebrities will probably prefer their honor to whatever sum a corporation might pay for a faked scandal, which is probably more than you might think. But some of the more cheeky actors might actually enjoy the challenge of trying to fool the paparazzi that hound them so doggedly.

It’s not so hard to imagine, say, Lindsay Lohan’s agent telling her, “Look, there’s an offer from Pepsi that they will pay you $10,000 if you perform some stunt, at least 30 seconds long, involving Mountain Dew and your breasts while there are both video and photographer paparazzi around…with a $5K bonus for nipple visibility.”

Would the companies really benefit? Definitely. If an “amateur” video were leaked to YouTube of some “bad boy” celeb, like Matthew McConaughey, picking a fight with someone in front of a KFC, I have no doubt that KFC’s business would benefit from the added public awareness of its brand. And if McConaughey was heard saying something silly like, “I’m gonna get extra crispy on your ass!”, people all over the country would pick up on it and repeat it ad nauseum (especially if Jay Leno’s pocket got lined, too).

Not to even begin to mention how much extra play time a video would get if it were leaked that it might have been faked! Just imagine…they’d never shut up about it!

The truth is that I have no idea how much of the celebrity gossip content is “manufactured”, but I suspect that there’s an untapped advertising gold mine there.

  • Today my ani-spam word is “sleepy”, which is how I feel. You have a twisted mind. Have you ever thought of going into advertising. 😉

  • Fascinating.

    I need to work “I’m gonna get extra crispy on your ass!” into a conversation.

  • I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there actually is some product placement of that kind going on out there.

  • The point about your mind being twisted seems accurate. It doesn’t mean the idea isn’t pure genius though.

    The only potential pitfall is that the ‘situation’ would have to seem completely legitimate of there would be a negative backlash against the brand and the ‘celebrities’ as no one likes a sell out and no one likes to be tricked.

  • Is it really that much more of “selling out and being tricked” than current Photoshopped magazine ads are? I suppose that people are accustomed to a certain level of formality in their advertising. People understand (consciously) that a television spot with David Beckham kicking a soccer ball, smiling into the camera, and then driving off in a BMW while rock music plays is a paid endorsement and has no bearing on David’s personal car preference. Even though the advertisers know that already, and their real goal is to establish a link in your brain between their brand and pretty/talented people.

    I could be wrong, but I suspect that even the discovery and the public disgust that goes with it would still benefit the corporation. The old “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” concept. As for the celebrity, it’s hard to say.

    I’m sure I’m not the first person to think about this, so maybe there’s a good reason that it hasn’t been done/discovered yet.

  • michael
  • Uh, yeah. Like that!

    Man, I really want a GM car now…

  • Uncle Neil

    The TV networks apparently make a lot of money from advertising which they give to golf tournaments which increases purse. Tiger Woods has received a million dollars just for appearing at a televised golf tournament. In his first 12 years on tour Tiger Woods won more than $100 million in winnings and $700 million in endorsements or advertising. In 2007 Tiger Woods won $22,902,706 in winnings and $668,550,000 in endorsements.