The recent Commonwealth Bank ad featuring Toni Collette got me thinking about celebrity endorsement.
Before celebrities became “brands” and were capable of lending their “brand cache” to other “brands”, what happened?
Has the celebrity/company negotiation always gone like this:
Company: Want to promote our product?
Celebrity: I’m not sure. I don’t really wear hats.
Company: We’re a car manufacturer.
Celebrity: I see.
Celebrity: I’m not really interested.
Company: Here’s seven hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars.
Celebrity: I love your cars. Want me to get nude?
Or was there once a golden age where celebrities approached companies and said “Hey, I quite like your shoes. I’ll do an ad for two bob and a can of Tarax sarsaparilla“?
If I were to become a celebrity (and I don’t know why I just used the subjunctive mood, because I already am one) and went back in time to this yet-to-be-confirmed golden age, my first port of call would almost certainly be the Weis ice cream company. I would endorse them feverishly, sleeping only three hours a day (at the very most), and probably dying of exhaustion in my mid 40s (a happy man).
I set down some of the reasons why in an email I just sent to Weis today:
Just a quick note to say your raspberries and vanilla bean ice cream bars are in the top ten things ever invented by anyone in the history of civilisation.
In fact, all your products are bloody delicious and the fact you remain an Australian-owned company swells my chest with the kind of green and gold pride that makes me want to look in a mirror and tell myself “Stop puffing out your chest – you look like a wanker and you’re bringing attention to yourself”.
Your ice creams are better than Pat Rafter and Geoffrey Rush, making them the best things to come out of Queensland in the state’s 150-year history.
Your ice creams are better than steam trains.
Your ice creams are better than the very last illustration in the book Possum Magic where an echidna is looking slightly grumpy because it has a magic star stuck in its quills.
Your ice creams are better than the twist at the end of The Usual Suspects.
Your ice creams are better than esteemed symphony orchestras playing theme songs from computer games.
Your ice creams are better than putting your hand in the pocket of a little-worn coat, feeling paper currency, pulling it out hoping to see Banjo Paterson and seeing Sir John Monash instead.
Your ice creams are better than those fireworks that retain their shape so that they look like giant, ephemeral sky globes.
Your ice creams are better than art deco ceiling roses.
Your ice creams are better than Worcestershire sauce on lamb chops.
Your ice creams are better than a soft cat’s fur.
Your ice creams are better than watching small children bamboozle adults with simple logic.
Your ice creams are better than beating Carlton.
Your ice creams are better than stumbling upon ripe wild strawberries while gardening.
Your ice creams are better than Yarra Trams reply emails.
Your ice creams are better than those Dyson hand driers that dry your hands in half a millisecond.
If your ice creams were a footballer they would be Lenny Hayes (anyone who doesn’t like him must be considered morally unsound and mentally deficient).
If your ice creams were a character from the 1970s Japanese television shows ‘Monkey’ they would be the amusing horse.
If your ice creams were contestants on ‘MasterChef’ they would ignore the advice and direction of the producers, refuse to speak in the present tense during cutaway interviews, never cry, and say things like “My family was the furthest thing from my mind while I was cooking this dish” and “Gary, I couldn’t give a stuff what you’d be doing given the same circumstances; why don’t you fuck off and let me cook.”
If your ice creams met Kyle Sandilands in the street they would punch him straight in the dick.
Your ice creams make me want to dance at parties, even though I am very very shy and have no rhythm or coordination.
Your ice creams make me want to write classical music in the manner of Claude Debussey.
Your ice creams make me want to turn brief complimentary notes into wildly over-written love letters, comparing the object of my affection to fire works and hand driers.
Your raspberries and vanilla bean ice cream bars are in the top ten things ever invented by anyone in the history of civilisation and the fact they haven’t yet been heritage listed is an absolute disgrace.
With love and the least amount of sarcasm or irony I’ve ever put in a letter to anyone – even my wife,
Haught fact of the day:
I lied; I will never dance at a party.