A short time ago I was told by a neighbour that Robbie Williams was moving into our street. I was extremely excited and immediately pictured myself hanging out backstage at Wembley with the Take That boys. I even bought an album to get in the swing of things.
I wont bore you with how, but I subsequently found out that Robbie had asked his manager to look for a new house, who had subsequently asked hundreds of estate agents in all areas of London to send details, one of which had sent the brochure of a house on my street (along with details of about thirty other properties), and this had been translated into the fact that he was moving into our street in the next couple of weeks. He probably never saw the brochure.
This got me thinking that in the fashion world, celebrity endorsement of your product is very important; even essential. But if you’re a pant manufacturer, and you say that Mollie Sugden wears your pants, this could mean a number of things. The implication, of course, is that Mollie Sugden actually chooses to go out and buy your pants rather than buy anyone else’s.
However, it could mean that Mollie Sugden once bought your pants, but doesn’t usually, and it could even mean that Mollie Sugden wore your pants on a shoot once (not very likely) because the stylist told her to (more unlikely).
More worrying is that it could mean that your over-imaginative PR agency thinks that maybe Mollie Sugden might have possibly worn your pants sometime in the past, because they are the sort of pants that Mollie Sugden would like. Add to this the most likely possibility, that Mollie Sugden is paid to wear your pants, and you can see how all might not be as clear as you thought when you first became aware of this incredible piece of information.
What I’m saying is that every brand has a list of celebrities that, they imply, choose to use their product in place of any other, and that we, the punter, have to take that piece of information with a pinch of salt.
For the brand owner there are other considerations to grapple with. What if someone that is a tad embarrassing chooses to wear, and even flaunt, your brand across the pages of the gossip columns? It can be a permanent job managing your celebrity endorsements, and the celebrity list that you send out is picked over with a fine-tooth comb, I can promise you.
My only question at this point is: do we the punters care any more about endorsement? I guess it’s not the clincher when you’re buying something, but you need to know that someone more successful than yourself at least isn’t offended by it.
Who knows, I guess it’s all just part of the wallpaper these days, and far more important within the company than outside it. In fact, George Clooney recently wore a pair of Grenson shoes for a photo shoot and we received not a single phone call.
There, did you see how I got that in? That was a celebrity endorsement, PR’d by me and I’m now assuming that you’ll go out and buy some Grenson shoes, and when you wear them, people will exclaim, “Oh look, is that George Clooney over there?” As I say, don’t forget the pinch of salt.