The Celebrity Factor--A Star is Born in Your AdvertisingBy: Kahlia Hannah
As Americans, we are obsessed with celebrities. We know who the stars are dating, what their favorite foods are, and, thanks to MTV Cribs, we even know the intimate details of their home decorating styles.
With our paparazzi-like fixations on the famous, it is no wonder ad campaigns involving celebrities are more successful than any other type of advertising. Michael Jordan says "Wear Hanes" and we do. Sarah Michelle Gellar says "Use Maybelline cosmetics" and we buy the lot. Even Carrot Top, considered by many to be the most repulsive and annoying person ever to grace the screen, gets us to call AT&T.
So how do these fun facts help you in your advertising? Let me explain.
Unless you own Coca Cola, Pepsi, Verizon, or Kentucky Fried Chicken, you probably can't afford to lay down a cool million for celebrity advertising. Luckily, you don't have to.
One way to get a celebrity in your ads is to use local celebrities. This is a far cheaper, but still effective strategy to get your prospects' attention.
Try a popular DJ, news reporter, politician, social figure or merchant. Some of these people will jump at the chance to be in your ad. An offer of $50 or $100 dollars will usually do the trick
I am especially fond of using local DJs. We spend up to an hour or more in our cars each day listening to these characters, so we get a mental image of them locked in our heads. In most cases, the DJ looks nothing like what you imagined. When you see them on a commercial, you can't look away, thinking, "I can't believe that's what he/she looks like!" It's a great way to hold your viewers' attention.
But if you don't want to pay for a local celebrity, there is an alternative that often works just as well. Become a celebrity yourself!
This is not as difficult as it sounds. If people see your face on television, billboards, and newspaper ads with consistency, even though you are advertising your own product or business, they will begin to consider you a celebrity.
When people see you on the street or come into your store, they will recognize you immediately. What is that, if not fame?
I recently went to movie and found myself sitting next to a local merchant who stared in his own commercials. I felt as giddy as teenage girl at am N'Sync concert through the entire movie. All he did was pay someone to shoot a commercial with him in it, for crying out loud, but I was still bragging about it to all my friends the next day.
Staring in one's own radio, TV, and newspaper ads has worked for thousands of people just like you. It doesn't matter if you are cross eyed, toothless, or speak with as much energy as an aging hound dog. If Carrot Top can be famous, you can too. And the more famous you are, the more successful your advertising will be.
© 2002, Kahlia Hannah
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