It’s no surprise to any of us that when a celebrity is paid to endorse a certain product that said product can go from the obscure to stratospheric overnight. Even well established brands fork out millions to get the right celebrity to endorse their goods including Liv Tyler who signed a five-year $40 million contract with luxury designer label Givenchy.
Even middle market brands talk openly about how if it wasn’t for celebrity endorsement of their brand the step change in profits would never have happened. Watching Michelle Mone owner and creator of Ultimo bras confessed for all on telly last month that if Julia Roberts hadn’t worn one of her bras in the film ‘Erin Brockovich’ then Ultimo wouldn’t be the world player it is today.
Ethical foot wear leaders ‘Beyond Skin’ openly admits on their ‘about us’ pages that if Natalie Portman hadn’t worn their shoes on the red carpet at an Oscar’s ceremony they would never of had the exposure they have now.
And while we are on the subject of shoes, hands up who remembers Carrie in ‘Sex In The City’ coining the phrase ‘Don’t take my Choo’s’ which took luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo to the next level and made them a billion dollar designer shoe brand in the states over night!
So a little experiment I did hatch, if I have over a 200 friends on Facebook surely just by the laws of probability I must know someone who knows someone who’s famous? Right?
After much digging about my lovely list of friends offered up Edith Bowman and Zoe Ball, 2 minor radio and TV celebrities, I know! but hey! I wasn’t complaining. I had a direct line to both, no cold calling or unwanted soliciting all very straightforward.
We lovingly pulled together some fantastic and key Frank & Faith freebies and posted them off with little hand written notes thanking them and cooing etc. We didn’t expect much in return, maybe (fingers crossed) one might be photographed by Grazia wearing one of our dresses! Who knows?
But the reality was we heard nothing! We are not even sure if the parcels ever arrived with them! Zilch, zero, nada, nothing, kiss my bum, nowt!
My neighbour summed it all up quite eloquently last week for me. She’s not fashion but with the ear bashing from me over the years she is now what I call a semi fashion professional.
On a recent shopping trip to Bath she notice down a little side street a collection of little stalls all selling bespoke local and artisan chocolates, a mini Choco market for the discerning chocoholic. Stalls beautifully laid out with handmade and beautifully packaged morsels. But where was the biggest queue? Whose stall was swamped with shoppers eagerly waving their money about? Jamie Bloody Oliver’s chocolate stall that’s who! Shoppers blinded by celebrity completely missing the whole point of what artisan Chocolatier’s are all about. She was appalled!
So why is celebrity so important to us? Why are we drawn to endorsements by the famous? A colleague today at the university where a teach part time suggested the notion of consumers need something to hang their hats on! They need that confidence to buy. If a famous face say’s ‘Hey this is great, this is ok to buy’ Then it must be. She said ‘It’s the apples on the tree theory, we see the free apples hanging on the tree and we think yummy lets have some, but we have lost the ability to judgment call for ourselves. Are the apples free? Are they poisonous?’
We are so used to everything pre-packaged, homogenised and handed to us on a plate held by a cool celebrity’s hand that we have lost our ability to decide for ourselves.
What a shame! Look at all the lovely things we miss out on! But I tell you what Kate Middleton, you wear one of my scarves and I’ll let you know how I feel about a bit of love from the star!