– Ad Age argues that the benefits of celebrity endorsements continue to outweigh the risks in advertising. In the case of Tiger Woods, chronic philanderer, or Michael Vick, dog fighting lord, we’ve seen how mega-star endorsements can go terribly wrong. But for each disastrous blow-to-the-head of humans put on god-like pedestals, there are dozens more smooth-sailing, highly-paid celebs bringing in bank for their brands.
Ad Age writes: “Companies know there’s risk when they choose a celebrity-endorsement approach.” Putting a face to a name and a celebrity to a product helps us to remember and build brand loyalty – this is crucial since we are exposed to “more than 3,000 commercial images a day; our subconscious absorbs more than 150 images and roughly 30 reach our conscious mind.” There’s a lot of competition for space in our brains. Studies of endorsement show sales for a brand can increase up to twenty percent simply because of a celebrity endorsement. Bottom line? It’s “always worth investing in if you have the right person.”
– As many endorsements-gone-awry have been men, let’s turn to Newsweek’s question: “What’s the matter with men?” The mag points out that in the labor force, men currently make up less than 50% (vs. 70% in 1945) and that while women either match or outnumber men in higher education, men “have retained their lead in alcoholism, suicide, homelessness, violence, and criminality.” Lovely. So while Newsweek understands why “so many deadline anthropologists are down on men,” especially with the recession undercutting male-dominated industries, they want to know how men will “get back on track?” They argue that with some men returning or being pushed toward “old models and mores of manhood for salvation,” it only cripples hope for successful adaptation:
“For starters, it encourages them to confront new challenges the same way they dealt with earlier upheavals: by blaming women, retreating into the woods, or burying their anxieties beneath machismo. And it does nothing to help them succeed in school, secure sustainable jobs, or be better fathers in an economy that’s rapidly outgrowing Marlboro Manliness.”
“[A lot of people] know that women aren’t all alike anyway, and neither are men — and they have the unique work and family and relationship situations to prove it. They know that so-called ‘traditional’ gender roles have long left out people of color, and gay people, and trans people, and people who are working-class. They know that the way to empower women isn’t to write a book about how they’re better than men — and that the way to attract men to new careers isn’t to assume they’ll always choose technology over people. They don’t have all the answers, but they have questions — which probably have less to do with masculinity and femininity than with how they can make ends meet and possibly raise a family without everyone telling them they’re doing it wrong. They’re out there — now where’s their trend piece?”
– While no longer in crisis himself, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin talks to W, is primed to get high off The Social Network‘s success, but notes he still fights every day to resist the lure of crack and cocaine (he wrote The American President in a drugged-up state at The Four Seasons). Sorkin always struggles with his first scenes when he’s starting a new project: “First scenes are superimportant to me…I’ll spend months and months pacing and climbing the walls trying to come up with the first scene.” Six showers a day and long drives on the freeway help get his writing juices flowing. David Fincher, after reading the first scene of The Social Network told Sorkin it was “like Citizen Kane meets John Hughes.”