by Sarah Mahoney,
While choosing celebrity spokespeople for brands is always a bit of a crap shoot (actress Kirstie Alley for Jenny Craig comes to mind), it can be especially tricky when ads target women. In fact, a new analysis from Women at NBCU’s Brand Power Index reports that the less likely the matchup, the more apt it is to get women’s attention, and to be seen as a positive for the brand.
“Unexpectedness is resonating with women,” writes Melissa Lavigne-Delville, VP/ insights for NBCUniversal Integrated Media, in is report. “The biggest movers this quarter were brands with a surprising celebrity spokesperson, like rock legend Bon Jovi for Advil. It was this unusual pairing of celebrity and brand that gained the most traction among women.”
Jon Bon Jovi, she writes, probably gets points for both novelty and familiarity. While the singer has been around for 30-something years, the Advil deal marks his first-ever brand endorsement.
The following brands also made big moves up the Brand Power Index, using these spokespeople:
Kinect for Xbox 360 used a handful of different famous faces, including musician Selena Gomez, actor David Hasselhoff (who makes appearances in both a chicken suit and cheerleading outfit) and Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster, with an assist from Elmo. The brand leapt 119 notches up the 500-brand index.
Minute Maid jumped 121 spots on the index, powered by Ty Burrell, who plays the hapless husband Phil Dunphy on “Modern Family.” (In the spots, he loses a stare-down competition with a navel orange.)
Retailer The Gap rose 49 spots, using YouTube’s 11-year-old star, Maria Aragon, in its holiday commercial, “I Want Candy.” (The tween’s cover of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” has over 47 million hits.)
And speaking of “Modern Family,” women are crazy for just about any brand repped by actress Sofia Vergara, who is currently appearing in spots for Diet Pepsi, Kmart and CoverGirl. (Diet Pepsi increased 49 notches up the index, Kmart, which launched the Sofia Vergara collection back in September, along with the “Work What You Got” ad campaign, climbed 29 spots, while CoverGirl gained 37 spots.
The index gauges buzz among female consumers, measuring online search data from comScore, social media buzz data from New Media Strategies, and person-to-person conversations tracked by Keller Fay Group.