The notion of celebrity itself has been around for centuries and to think that it will either die away or significantly increase in use is nonsense. Ever since particular saints made certain churches the place to be (“When it comes to interment there’s only one place for me: Canterbury”), so celebrities make certain products the
ones to have. The only thing that has changed is in how well these celebrities are managed and promoted – although getting thousands of pilgrims to trek hundreds of miles across medieval England without a major press and poster campaign is pretty impressive.
So, although I hate to disagree with one of the greatest adland celebrities – Hamish Pringle – and the expertise of Marketing Week (MW October 16), celebrities have always been a part of the marketing landscape and will continue to be. Just like any other creative concept – “the demonstration”, “the comparison” and so on – “the celebrity” will go in and out of fashion; but it will always be around, like it or not.
A bit like Hamish Pringle, really.
In addition, I would like to bring to your attention the most striking product placement I have ever come across. On the Victoria Line recently, I saw a nun quenching her thirst. Her chosen drink? Innocent of course. Now I know those guys are pretty good marketers, but that really must be applauded.