Ad Age Celebrity

July 9, 2009 at 1:18 pm (advertising, Branding, commercials, marketing, TV advertising) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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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.

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Billy Mays – King of Clean

June 28, 2009 at 2:07 pm (advertising, Branding, economy, Florida, News, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Billy Mays

Billy Mays was known for such infomercials as OxiClean, OrangeGlo, and Hercules Hooks. He started his career as a pitchman on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and was thought by some to be one of the last remaining true Pitchmen in America.

His personal branding of blue shirt, khakis, and jet-black beard were unmistakable when combined with that booming voice that yelled at us across the airways nearly everyday. He was telling us that we couldn’t live without some exciting new product in our lives – sometimes we may have given in to this pitch.

Earlier this year the Discovery Channel began airing Pitchmen starring Mays and Anthony Sullivan to showcase how direct response marketing works on their side of the business. It was a good show. Being a designer I work with inventors trying to springboard their products out of their head and onto the shelves. The show displayed how hard and expensive this process can be.

Mays was found dead this morning. Though his overly excited attitude may have kept us up on some late nights; he will be missed. He was one of the best-known sales and marketing people in the nation, and I thank him for getting the face of homegrown inventors in front of the public.

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