Recently, I wrote about the latest iPad Air commercial from Apple. I'm not going to lie. It brought a tear to my eye. Apple is the master of generating emotional responses. But this is not about an Apple ad, or an Apple product. One of my favorite, currently running ads is for a product that I wouldn't accept as a gift. I am referring to the Beats line of headphones. (I'm a Bose man.) I find the sound produced by Beats headphones to be offensive. Beats is a triumph of branding. But unlike Apple, it is a failure of product execution. That said, they know how to advertise.
I am also not a big fan of celebrity placement in ads. It is extremely manipulative. It would be one thing if the celebrity genuinely liked the product. But in most cases, they are just paid to pretend that they like a product. Advertisements are already manipulative. Celebrity placement just feels like cheating. You are not selling the product anymore. You are selling the image and connection with a celebrity.
That said, I believe that Beats had a great use of celebrity placement. The San Francisco quarterback plead his role so well, it almost made me become a fan of his, and I don't much care for him or his team. That is how powerful this ad is. The director's cut of this ad is so well done, it also brought a tear to my eye. It did what commercials are supposed to do. It invoked an emotional response, which caused me to feel a connection with the protagonist, and ultimately, the product. I still wouldn't take a pair of Beats as a free gift. But here's to the advertisers who do it right.