Ad.ly CEO Arnie Gullov-Singh speaking about the era of celebrity endorsements on social media.
“When you see celebrity endorsements of TV, they’re clearly ads. Online, these celebrities, musicians, actors, athletes, are all being themselves and being authentic.”
I was absolutely appalled when I read that one of my favorite comedians, Michael Ian Black, was hocking products via his personal Twitter stream. I can admit that I have, at the least, respect for advertisers who can concoct such creative ways to impede the brains of the public, but have they gone too far by hijacking our favorite celebrities? Or is this actually our own media-obsessed fault? In the good old days you could see your favorite celebrity doing a TV spot like Tiger Woods praising Nike (before the media frenzy and marital downfall), or the latest just-barely-big-enough female celebrity promoting Jenny Craig. It was in these times that we were allowed to be persuaded by what they were selling, or simply change the channel. We were smart enough to know the purpose of their obvious message of persuasion.
With the new frontier of advertising it is becoming less and less obvious what the true intentions behind celebrity messages may be. In fact, there are several companies whose sole purpose is to connect celebrities with producers in order to boost their sales through convincing mediums. One company like Ad.ly, Brand Affinity Technologies, has a disturbingly futuristic video that expresses all that their company can do in the vein of mind manipulation. By tracking celebrity followers, demographics, and lifestyle choices, BAT is able to connect companies to celebrities that will perfectly sway their audience. Integrated celebrity endorsed tweets are 72% more successful then simple banner ads of Facebook (the ones we are aloud to ignore). We know where these common ads are, and are able to ignore them by choice, but these guerrilla ads are an entirely different breed. “Mark Wahlberg is loving the latest episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey?”… Its too hard to decipher. (Maybe).