From Clooney to Kravitz, celebrity ad deals are growing

From Vancouver Sun:

Hollywood types are peddling everything from fast-food eateries and reverse mortgages to adult diapers and margarine these days.

What’s going on?

While ad campaigns overseas have featured many American A-listers, such as Brad Pitt for the Japanese company Softbank, George Clooney for Honda and Gwyneth Paltrow for Coach, it seems like bigger-name stars are trying to sell more products and services domestically.

Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones is the spokesman for financial-planning service Ameriprise. Salma Hayek was trying to sell us on Burger King. Clint Eastwood promoted Chrysler during the Super Bowl. And who hasn’t seen Jamie Lee Curtis pushing Activia yogurt?

In the past, it seemed to be almost taboo to see an “artist” do a sales job. U.S. celebrities have typically leaned toward “endorsements outside of the U.S. so that if something was going wrong or if the message was spread out in the wrong way, this wouldn’t really resonate in their home country,” saysRenaud Skalli, head of artist and label relations at My Love Affair a Paris-based international agency dedicated to pairing world-famous musicians and companies for branding opportunities.

Melissa Gilbert, who runs Los Angeles’ Celebrity Link, which matches brands with celebrities, says domestic campaigns are becoming more accpetable.

Gilbert, whose projects have included matching Chris Noth with Glenfiddich Scotch whisky and Kristin Chenoweth with Bulova watches, says, “It’s just been a natural progression of what’s acceptable in society, and there’s no stigma where there used to be a stigma before in regards to doing a commercial. You know, (the idea that) doing a commercial, what does that mean? It means I’m not as serious about my craft, or whatever the perception had been … We’re just not there anymore.”

But how does the celebrity brand marketing campaign work?

Continue reading the rest of the story on Vancouver Sun