July 9, 2009 at 1:18 pm (advertising, Branding, commercials, marketing, TV advertising) (ads, advertising, advertising campaign, Anthony Sullivan, Billy Mays, brand management, building a brand, can you hear me now, caveman ad, celebrity commercials, commercials, donavan freberg, encyclopedia britannica, encylopedia britannica kid, flo, geico caveman, geico commercials, get a mac, Jason Long, John Hodgman, mac, mac vs pc, marketing, Paul Marcarelli, pc, progressive, progressive insurance, ShamWow, Stephanie Courtney, The Groundlings, tv, tv commercial, tv commercials, tv spin-off, Verizon Guy, Verizon wireless, video, video marketing, viral, viral video)
Sure we know Billy Mays, Anthony Sullivan, and the ShamWow Guy because their job is for us to remember them, trust them, and as a result buy their amazingly life changing products. But what about the actors who have repeating roles on commercials?
In the past we had some memorable endorsers, such as Donavan Freberg – the Encyclopedia Britannica Kid, but now there seems to be a new and growing multitude of these single product (or company) pitchmen.
Starting in 2001 we were introduced to Paul Marcarelli – the Verizon guy who brought us the “Can you hear me know” phrase. They’ve even gone so far as to bring the “network” to an actual customer (or so it seems). Some people claim the phrase is more popular than the service.
We had the GEICO Caveman ads, which have aired for GEICO Insurance since 2004. The ad series has produced 19 commercials to date, had a short-lived TV spin-off, and has also had viral videos, websites, and a short film made with the characters.
2006 brought us the “Get a Mac” commercials with John Hodgman as a PC and Justin Long as a Mac. The American version of this ad runs in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, while other spin-offs are shown with different actors in Britain and Japan, according to wikipedia. The number of TV and web based ads for this campaign is nearing 70 for the US and Canada alone.
In 2008 we were introduced to Flo, the friendly & helping Progressive Insurance cashier played by Stephanie Courtney. The actress, already known by some for her work with The Groundlings, has an ever-growing fan base.
So who will be the next great ad age celebrity? Time can only tell, but for now we have some strong competitors.