Testing testimonials

Sales worth watching

Sales worth watching

Choosing the right celebrity to endorse your brand is never easy, especially when you know they’re expensive. And many marketeers are now saying testimonials have gone too far.

Problem is, they work. Even if this crowd stopper has NEVER won a major tournament, and her faultless frolics off the tennis court attract more headlines than her faults on the court, seeing her with a watch on makes many women want it, and her lifestyle (and maybe even her frolics with Iglesias).

Until things go wrong. When Gazza became the new “Brut man” in the 90s, and declared at the opening photo shoot-cum-press conference in Hyde Park that “I never wear after shave, it stings”, Unilever discovered how this felt.

Lost a big contract

Lost a big contract

So did Slim Fast after their “sleb” slipped up during a gala event. Her chosen joke for the evening was about George W. Not long after 9/11 it went down like a lead balloon. Her sponsorship deal was halted immediately.

Ironically, today most would agree with her sentiments, but when you’re running a brand that’s not what matters. You just don’t want somebody turning your brand into a big loser by hitting headlines for the wrong reasons!

A safer bet? Product endorsement without any danger of your celebrity misbehaving in public (another example: Boris Becker in the broom cupboard): a testimonial you can control … [more]

Alex Woodruff

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