Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Personal Endorsements


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In the first Ghostbusters movie, Annie Potts’ character Jenine Melnitz asks Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore, “Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster, and the theory of Atlantis?”  Winston replies, “Uh, if there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.”

I’m reminded quite often of that scene while listening to one of the local radio stations.  They do an good job of selling “live”personality endorsement ads.  Perhaps too good

Endorsements can be a powerful tool for advertisers but before you sign on for a campaign do your homework and avoid the following common problems.

  1. Make sure your personality isn’t (and won’t) be endorsing an identical or similar product.  The same voice and inflection make the ads sound nearly identical.  Even after months of listening to their ads, I can’t tell for sure which restaurant does the 2 for 1 dinners and which one has the million dollar game room.
  2. Make sure your personality isn’t endorsing more than 2 businesses.  Personalities who do multiple live ads for various businesses tend to end up sounding like a shill for anyone who’ll pay them.  Most of the ads I hear are for products the personality has used and I suspect has gotten for free for the plug.  Your house has been painted, you have a new sunroom, and front door. Let’s not forget your new HVAC system, car, cell phone and jewelry.  Reminds me of NASCAR and the ads all fade into blah, blah, blah.
  3. Even if you avoid the first two problems, personalities run out of things to say if left alone.  Too many of these “live” ads are read by people who have no genuine enthusiasm or meaningful things to say about the product.  It doesn’t take long for the audience to get the fact that the personality likes the Prime Rib, make sure they always have something fresh to talk about.  Make sure it’s something the audience cares about.

Make every ad dollar count.  Let me know if you’d like some assistance.

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About wizardwalter

After more than 35-years refining the craft of ad writing I know a bad ad when I see or hear one. The majority of my time is split between consulting a select group of small businesses and creating effective ad campaigns for others. I look at the world first as a consumer, then as a marketer. Rather than bringing pre-conceived notions and snap answers to my clients, I bring a lifetime of experience based on trial and error as well as 20 years of successful sales management experience to the table. I have been an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin, has taught at the Wizard of Ads® Academy and speak to groups of business owners on ways to improve their advertising any chance I get. I look for business owners who have a burning desire to grow and a passion to make it happen. Then I help bring out their best. When I’m not working with clients, I’m usually researching, writing, recording commercials and viewing the world in a tree house down the road from Lake Michigan. I travel light and have easy access to Milwaukee Mitchell and Chicago O’Hare. If you’d be interested in discussing your situation let’s talk.
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