Pitchman vs. Global Creative Director: Celebrities from Alicia Keys, and Marc Jacobs Commit to a New Type of Brand Endorsement.

There is a celebrity hierarchy in the marketing world when it comes to brand endorsements. It used to be that being a “spokesperson” for a company was a big deal. Yep, back in the day it used to be a big deal to have a celebrity endorsement who would be the personification of your brand—Ronald Reagan for General Electric or Tiger Woods for Buick. But then everyone and his brother and sister seemed to get in to the business of being a “spokesperson” for brands—Demi Moore, Kate Moss David Beckham, Michael Phelps, Katy Perry…The Kardashians. Need I say more? 

So it was inevitable that marketers would need to up their game if they wanted to score a big celebrity fish for their brand. For certain celebrities it is no longer a simple matter lending their name and image. They want to be “involved” with the brands they stand behind. It is a matter of prestige, and a way to protect their reputation among consumers. 

And for consumers, well,  they’ve tired of the endless stream of celebrities hawking goods. They need to believe that a celebrity is truly behind a brand, and has involvement in the brand’s core values, quality, and design in order to be a believable personification of the company and its products.

Say hello to the role of celebrity “Global Creative Director.”

Ashton Kutcher is the Creative Director for PopChips, Lady Gaga for Polaroid, will.i.am for Intel, and Victoria Beckham takes on that role for Land Rover.

And most recently, BlackBerry announced it's hired Alicia Keys as "Global Creative Director". And, American fashion designer Marc Jacobs has signed on with Diet Coke. Of course, Jacobs runs two of his own labels, and serves as creative director for the Louis Vuitton brand. But that’s a whole different type of “creative director” isn’t it. Jacobs will provide general creative input and what Women's Wear Daily called "whimsical, feminine" packaging for the brand, while Diet Coke's new commercial ("Photo Booth Break") reveals Jacobs in the more traditional role of celebrity “spokesmodel.” The designer replaces Jean Paul Gaultier who was creative director for the soft drink in 2012.

Then there’s Beyonce, who just inked a multimillion-dollar deal with Coke rival Pepsi. She reportedly will be allowed “creative input” but the singer did not get a "creative director" title from the brand.

Maybe next year, Beyonce. Maybe next year.

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