Rob and Don discuss how various companies have aligned with celebrities and how this alignment has effected people’s perceptions.
Don Mock 0:20
Episode 66, Rob, we’re back.
Rob Broadfoot 0:22
Don Mock 0:23
My catchphrase. I always have to say We’re back.
Rob Broadfoot 0:25
Don Mock 0:26
Alright, what are we gonna talk about today? I think you came up with an interesting idea.
Rob Broadfoot 0:29
Well, I watched last night that movie, The Ben Affleck directed and produced… I think he directed as well. I know he produced it.
Did he direct it?
Don Mock 0:44
I have no idea.
I know he produced it. I know the two of them-
Rob Broadfoot 0:45
The Dream Team of both of those gentlemen back together.
The Dream Team of Aflac and Damon back together. I watched that movie.
Don Mock 0:52
Rob Broadfoot 0:52
Don Mock 0:53
Yeah. Would you think about it?
Rob Broadfoot 0:54
I thought it was great. I thought it was like a delicious-
Don Mock 1:00
It’s like comfort food.
Rob Broadfoot 1:01
-Trusty candy bar.
Don Mock 1:02
Oh, on the heels of our last podcast.
Rob Broadfoot 1:04
I know exactly what I’m gonna get, and it’s gonna be delicious. Was it a groundbreaking film? Absolutely not. No. Do we all kind of know the story? Sure. Yeah. But Matt Damon is an amazing actor, I think.
Don Mock 1:16
Rob Broadfoot 1:17
I thought he did a really great job. I thought that there was a lot of fun, hust throwback 80s.
Don Mock 1:22
Rob Broadfoot 1:23
You’d mentioned the soundtrack.
Don Mock 1:24
Thesoundtrack was phenomenal. Yeah, great soundtrack.
Rob Broadfoot 1:26
The soundtrack was good. Not as good as the Beef soundtrack though. I don’t think.
Don Mock 1:26
The Beef soundtrack is strong, very strong, because it’s so bizarrely 90s-specific.
Rob Broadfoot 1:37
Don Mock 1:38
It’s in this weird little offshoot of the musical world. I don’t know, why is it that 90s, do we know?
Rob Broadfoot 1:44
Because it was so quirky that it’s just another quirky ingredient a delicious quirky stew.
Don Mock 1:50
In a beef stew?
Rob Broadfoot 1:51
In a beef stew.
Don Mock 1:52
Yeah. But they all tied so well into each individual episode, too. It was perfect. The title sequence was a wacky every episode. That’s a great show.
Rob Broadfoot 2:00
The only thing, if I if I had to come up with a negativity about the soundtrac,k is that it was all the obvious.
Don Mock 2:11
Rob Broadfoot 2:12
No, for Air. Like it was just the obvious ones.
Don Mock 2:14
Rob Broadfoot 2:16
It was great. I mean, it was all 80s.
Don Mock 2:18
But there’s no deep cuts on that.
Rob Broadfoot 2:19
There’s no deep cuts. I like to the good deep cut. Oh, my gosh, I haven’t heard.
Don Mock 2:23
Yeah, I agree.
Rob Broadfoot 2:23
- That in whatever. But I thought it was great. It was exactly what I needed it to be. Sometimes when a film does that, it’s perfect.
Don Mock 2:32
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say this about almost every single movie on the planet now. It’s too long. It was a good movie. Iinteresting, like, oh, it’s the middle aged sales guy and whatever. Fom his perspective. But did that movie really need to be two hours long?
Rob Broadfoot 2:45
I’m trying to think where, without giving anything away, where they could trim the fat on that.
Don Mock 2:51
I’m not an editor so I have no idea.
Rob Broadfoot 2:54
It didn’t feel overwhelmingly to me, but I thought it was really good. But anyway, it got me thinking about the idea of celebrity endorsements. Why we do them, what they mean, the effect that they can have on companies and brands and products.
Don Mock 3:12
Yeah. It’s interesting
Rob Broadfoot 3:14
What’s good, bad. I Don’t know. All the things. Clearly, I think you could say that Michael Jordan was probably the most lucrative celebrity endorsement deal of all time.
Don Mock 3:16
I think so.
Rob Broadfoot 3:28
I think they said that- Spoiler alert! They said that Jordan still makes like $400 million a year. Based on that passive income, based on the shoe deal alone.
Don Mock 3:42
I think what’s interesting. We talked about it in the office that, obviously, the deal doesn’t become the deal, without Michael Jordan living up to being Michael Jordan. Talking about celebrity endorsements and whatnot. Obviously, it has to be categorically relevant, and there has to be a performance aspect to it. \
Rob Broadfoot 3:59
Don Mock 4:00
Well, that’s true.
Rob Broadfoot 4:00
In this deal, yeah.
Don Mock 4:03
Because Jordan goes on to become the greatest basketball player. I will say, I think he’s better than LeBron. Send me hate mail. I think he’s the greatest basketball player ever.
Rob Broadfoot 4:12
I don’t disagree with that.
Don Mock 4:14
I know, but there’s always a generational gap.
Rob Broadfoot 4:16
Well, there’s there’s that, or there’s the idea that… was he the greatest competitor ever? I mean, from a sheer, I am the most amazing competitor.
Don Mock 4:27
I think he won like 24 or 25 of his last 27 playoff series, when he got into the playoffs with the Bulls. I think he is an unbelievable competitor, for sure. Is he the greatest athlete? I don’t know. I would say Bo Jackson was probably the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen.
Rob Broadfoot 4:43
That’s a great documentary.
Don Mock 4:44
I think fantastic. 30 for 30. I think that Jordan is the greatest basketball player that I’ve ever seen, for sure. I think he’s better than Kobe. I think he’s better than LeBron. It was absolute incredible.
Rob Broadfoot 4:57
Thevthing about it, was also that it’s not like he- some of these guys now are just so massive. He wasn’t a massive, massive dude. Who else is taking off from the foul line?
Don Mock 5:08
Yeah, it was crazy. Well, Dr. Jack. But I think anyway, where I was going with this, I think was that Jordan held up his end of the deal, of course, becoming the greatest ever. To the point where, I think, and we’ve talked about Nike in the past. And Nike not necessarily selling shoes. I mean, they sell the spirit of competition. They sell you being the best you, empowering performance, through their equipment, or whatever the case may be. But I think what’s interesting is that- you mentioned he still generates $400 million a year, because it has transcended from Air Jordan, obviously, to Jump Man. And if you think about it, Jump Man as its own brand, tying into his competitive nature, and his winning philosophy has jumped- no pun intended- away from basketball as well. I mean, you see college athletics, and you see teams. They don’t even have the Nike logo. It has the Jump Man. I think maybe it’s Michigan. There’s some team out there where it’s like, oh, the entire football uniform is Jump Man. It’s not even Nike. Jordan didn’t even play football. So that’s very interesting, if you think about the power of the brand, sort of evolving over the last 20 years. What they’re doing with it. Fantastic stuff, I think.
Rob Broadfoot 6:19
Then you have also, I would say… I don’t know if it’s on the opposite end of the spectrum or not. But I read a thing the other day that… I know your theatrical hero, Johnny Depp just signed a deal to be the celebrity endorser of, I think it’s Dior cologne. $20 million for three years.
Don Mock 6:42
Rob Broadfoot 6:42
$20 million for three years.
Don Mock 6:44
Wow. To smell like Johnny Depp.
Rob Broadfoot 6:46
To smell like Johnny Depp now. And remind you… this is more of an interesting just I think, where we are as a society. I mean, a year ago, he’s are on trial for the assault, a very bad thing.
Don Mock 7:00
Rob Broadfoot 7:01
Bad things were happening. That clearly went his way.
Don Mock 7:05
Rob Broadfoot 7:06
In the public eye. So he came out looking like a hero, and now as a $20 million endorsement deal and all of these things. I guess, because he was on tour with, is it Jeff Beck? I think.
Don Mock 7:17
I Don’t know.
Rob Broadfoot 7:18
So he plays guitar.
Don Mock 7:19
He does? I didn’t even know that.
Rob Broadfoot 7:20
Yeah, he was in that-
Don Mock 7:21
He’s one of the actors and wants to be a musician?
Rob Broadfoot 7:23
Yeah. But he’s been in a band. I think they’re called Hollywood Vampires. You can fact check that
Don Mock 7:28
Rob Broadfoot 7:29
I believe it’s Hollywood Vampires. Anyway, he’s been on tour with Jeff Beck and goes out and plays with Jeff Beck.
Don Mock 7:33
Rob Broadfoot 7:34
So Dior got wind of that. They did this crazy photo shoot with him with a guitar and just using those shots for the ads. I mean, what else do you have to do for-
Don Mock 7:43
I mean, is that a good use of 20 mil a year? I mean, does that help sell Dior your fragrance around the world? I mean, they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work.
Rob Broadfoot 7:53
Their bet’s pretty hard on it.
Don Mock 7:55
Rob Broadfoot 7:57
So why does it work? Let’s think about why something like that makes sense. It makes sense because Johnny Depp, I don’t know what his influence or social media following is, but presumably, it’s high. it’s very, very, very high.
Don Mock 8:12
More than mine.
Rob Broadfoot 8:13
It’s more than yours and mine combined. Maybe.
Don Mock 8:15
Rob Broadfoot 8:18
But you do that, because you hope that humans are going to relate and be influenced by the people that they look up to. That’s an obvious answer. But that’s pretty insane to think about it. To me, it’s more insane to think about the fact that a year ago… that’s what we do to our heroes. We beat em up, knock em down.
Don Mock 8:35
Yeah, of course.
Rob Broadfoot 8:37
That idea that a year ago, he was not being seen in a favorable light. And now we’re rewarding him with… I don’t know if he did anything or not. I have no idea. But anyway, I thought that was interesting. If you think about that part of it, and human behavior, you’re putting a lot of faith. When you do a celebrity endorsement, in my opinion, you’re putting a lot of faith in humanity, and specifically in a single person.
Don Mock 9:00
Yeah the behavior of that person.
Rob Broadfoot 9:01
The behavior of that person.
Don Mock 9:03
Yeah. And not only just that person, but the sphere of influence around that person. Because we’re so sensitive now about everything. Everything is under the microfine. Microfine?
Rob Broadfoot 9:15
Don Mock 9:16
Yeah, everything is under the microscope, to where, even if someone in your inner circle does something, that isn’t looked favorably upon, bad things are then cast on you.
Rob Broadfoot 9:26
I’ve got two words for you.
Don Mock 9:28
Rob Broadfoot 9:29
Don Mock 9:30
Jared Fogle. Yeah, that’s a good one.
Rob Broadfoot 9:32
Talk about celebrity endorsements gone bad.
Don Mock 9:34
Yeah, that is a good one.
Rob Broadfoot 9:35
Now he became a solicit for Subway sandwiches. I don’t know how many years ago that was.
Don Mock 9:40
A decade ago.
Rob Broadfoot 9:42
A decade ago?
Don Mock 9:42
Rob Broadfoot 9:44
Jared Fogle, for those who don’t remember, but I’m sure you do. He was the guy who presumably lost all this weight eating nothing but Subway sandwiches.
Don Mock 9:52
He was a large and in charge man. Then he decided, hey, I need to lose some weight. I’m going to eat a six-inch cold cut combo
Rob Broadfoot 9:58
Every day? Every day.
Don Mock 10:01
For the next six months, and he shed like 200 pounds or whatever. It was the whole, oh, you can still have fast food. But unlike McDonald’s and Burger King and Wendy’s and everybody else, look at him. He ate at our restaurants all the time. His whole thing, I think was he was holding up the pants. He’s holding up the big pair of jeans. Yeah, it was like, Hey, make a healthier choice. Eat at Subway, eat fresh.
Rob Broadfoot 10:24
I think one could argue that, unlike Jordan… Jordan has a talent and was used to being a celebrity. Now they rolled the dice, because he wasn’t a celebrity at the time. He was becoming one.
Don Mock 10:37
Rob Broadfoot 10:38
But an amazing athlete. Superb talent. One could argue that Johnny Depp has a superb talent.
Don Mock 10:43
Rob Broadfoot 10:43
Pirates of the Caribbean, he’s a great actor. Yeah. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.
Don Mock 10:47
Rob Broadfoot 10:48
Edward Scissorhands. And the list goes on. So those type of people, and even the Kardashians or people like that. They’re used to being a celebrity.
Don Mock 10:58
Yeah, they’re used to being image conscious.
Rob Broadfoot 11:00
They’re used to image and they’re very image conscious and whatever else. You could argue that Jared Fogle became a celebrity because of this random… And therefore he, he did bad things. For those who don’t remember, he was caught. There was child molestation, it was I think.
Don Mock 11:17
Bad things are happening.
Rob Broadfoot 11:18
Bad things. and I think he’s in prison, still.
Don Mock 11:20
I really don’t know where that story ended, to be totally honest. But yeah, I mean, he’s out. Point being is, that is the celebrity. I guess he became a celebrity because of his trait of losing weight. Then subway kind of made him a celebrity.
Rob Broadfoot 11:34
Don Mock 11:34
And then it was, oh, we can no longer endorse the behavior of our friend Jared. He’s out. Hard pivot to something else quickly.
Rob Broadfoot 11:43
And look at recently… maybe here’s, if we think about the damage that can be done when when celebrities- or whomever, endorsements-
Don Mock 11:52
Yeah. Enndorsements gone wrong?
Rob Broadfoot 11:53
- Gone wrong. This isn’t a gone right or gone wrong, I think this is more of a company position. But Bud Lite. If we’re talking about topical situations.
Don Mock 12:03
Rob Broadfoot 12:05
We reached out to the Instagram influencer, and then massive, massive backlash. Did they handle that the right way? I don’t know. That’s for anybody to decide. However, the effect that, at least according to the media, it’s had to their overall bottom line, has been incredible.
Don Mock 12:25
Yeah, pretty, pretty catastrophic.
Rob Broadfoot 12:27
Pretty devastating. I think part of that is because they have been rudderless in their response. It feels like they’re up in arms and don’t know what to do.
Don Mock 12:35
Yeah, I don’t disagree with that. It seems like it was just lalalalala, let’s wait for it to blow over. But they have now successfully made everyone angry, because, it was Okay. We angered this core audience over here by aligning with an influencer. Then we have said, we’re no longer going to work with that influencer. So now you’re upsetting that whole crowd on that side.
Rob Broadfoot 12:56
Just like their beer, they’re response was watered down.
Don Mock 13:00
Dun,dun,dun. Love it. I love it. Well, the Jordan thing too. To your point about being used to being in the spotlight- It’s interesting, because as he grew, his endorsements grew. I think that actually was a benefit to everyone. So you talked about Johnny Depp. He’s got the one with Dior. Well, we’ve got the Nike aspect and all the athletics. But then we had Gatorade. “I want to be like Mike” and all that positive influence. Him with little kids and doing all these amazing things. Putting healthy things in your body, even though Gatorade probably isn’t healthy. But that song, that audio sort of thought surrounding it. Well, that obviously has a halo effect into Nike and into everything else. I mean, he truly became a brand ambassador for all these different companies. I think about another basketball guy. I think about Shaq in that respect, too. I mean, that guy’s on everything good, bad or indifferent. I’m selling like discount insurance. The General. I’ve got Icyhot- Oh, I’ve got pain on my back. I make pizzas. He’s doing pizzas. He was doing Crypto, although now he keeps ducking and dodging his subpoena or whatever. So there’s potentially, you know… but it was-
Rob Broadfoot 14:09
He also owns a Krispy Kreme.
Don Mock 14:10
Yeah. He also owns a Krispy Kreme.
Rob Broadfoot 14:12
It’s jsut crazy.
Don Mock 14:13
So not the same in regards to two or three core high-profile halo effect endorsement deals, like a Jordan. But Shaq just a marketing machine. I don’t know if he takes a piece of these companies, or gets a little equity, or does different things. But I mean, the guy is all over the place doing different things.
Rob Broadfoot 14:13
I have to image they do. I think about also Tiger Woods. Shifting gears for a second.
Don Mock 14:37
We’ve got a lot of athletes
Rob Broadfoot 14:38
I know. But Tiger Woods. I mean, arguably-
Don Mock 14:42
The greatest golfer?
Rob Broadfoot 14:43
Well, I would say definitely the greatest golfer. Well, I don’t know about that.
Don Mock 14:47
Rob Broadfoot 14:47
That’s a tough one.
Don Mock 14:48
Rob Broadfoot 14:49
I would say. I would say probably the greatest pressure golfer, Okay, Just performance under pressure.
Don Mock 14:57
Yeah. Yeah, nerves of steel.
Rob Broadfoot 15:00
Yeah, human highlight reel. But again, we as a society, it’s interesting… He was powerful enough in his celebrity that when he had his is bad spill, if you want to call it that. Was in all kinds of hot water and trouble-
Don Mock 15:15
A bunch of people did drop him right?
Rob Broadfoot 15:16
A bunch of people did drop him but I mean his biggest deals… I mean, Nike-
Don Mock 15:19
They stuck with him, right?
Rob Broadfoot 15:21
Everybody stuck with him for the most part. The smaller ones fell away. I don’t know if Buick… that was a big one for him. I don’t know if that fell away or not. I think it did.
Don Mock 15:28
I feel like it fell away because, he was doing Hyundai, I feel like at some point. He did get a car back. Or he was driv- what was the car he was in when he got to the accident and broke his whatever.
Rob Broadfoot 15:38
That wasn’t a Buick.
Don Mock 15:38
I don’t think it was a Buick. I think that might have had to do with the car at the event itself. Maybe it wasn’t a sponsorship or something. I don’t know. You’re more of a golf fan than I am. That’s for sure.
Rob Broadfoot 15:39
Don Mock 15:39
Any any other celebrity? I’ve got an interesting one I thought about that I wrote down. I don’t know if it’s a celebrity endorsement gone wrong or not. But it is an interesting story about, Be careful about what you-
Rob Broadfoot 16:01
Don Mock 16:02
Okay. You got to travel back in time. Speaking of Jordan, the dream team, actually. Travel back in time to the ’92 Olympics. Do you remember Reebok did a campaign Dan and Dave, going to the Olympics? Do you remember that? I mean, this is old. I mean, I’m dating myself.
Rob Broadfoot 16:17
Don Mock 16:17
There was the one guy, they were both the decath, decathletes? Decathletes? Is that?
Rob Broadfoot 16:22
Don Mock 16:22
And it was, hey, they were Americas superstar track and field guys. And it was, hey, we’re going to the Olympics. Reebok built an entire campaign. One guy was wearing all blue and one guy was wearing all red.
Rob Broadfoot 16:24
Don Mock 16:30
And they had the cool sunglasses. It was all about Dan and Dave. Well, they didn’t qualify out of the US trials.
Rob Broadfoot 16:43
Don Mock 16:43
So is it a celebrity endorsement? I don’t know. But they put all their eggs into this athletic basket. Then it’s the opposite of Jordan. Right? The guys did not compete.
Rob Broadfoot 16:54
Didn’t pan out.
Don Mock 16:54
They did not win. They did not do whatever. Then it was oh, no, we’ve got two weeks of the Olympics here. We’ve got all of our ads in the can. It didn’t really work out, which I found interesting. You know?
Rob Broadfoot 17:06
Yeah. I mean, it’s interesting to think about how companies measure the success of these things, too. Because it comes back to marketing and advertising in general. To a certain degree. you’re taking a calculated risk.
Don Mock 17:20
Oh, for sure. For sure.
Rob Broadfoot 17:21
And the idea that, Okay, I’m going to go you know, pay, I don’t know, Pete Davidson $150,000 for one Instagram post on something. Can I directly tie that to my bottom line? No. Probably not.
Don Mock 17:34
Rob Broadfoot 17:36
So there is a there is a-
Don Mock 17:37
You can vanity URL, you can coupon code, there are some metrics, you can follow.
Rob Broadfoot 17:42
Clearly, we have more tracking built tracking capabilities than we’re used to, just because digital is digital. But by the same token, I don’t think you can truly quantify that with 100% accuracy. I don’t think it’s possible. It was the idea that thinking about how companies-
They have to put faith in it.
- Measure those results. We see this here from time to time, clients will ask us some times, hey, well, if I spend this, what am I going to get? Sometimes that’s a difficult question to answer. I think I’ve said a few times a lot in passing, Hey, if advertising were a magic bullet, we’d be sitting on an island somewhere.
Don Mock 18:23
Yeah, we wouldn’t be doing this anymore.
Rob Broadfoot 18:24
We’re wouldn’t be doing-
Don Mock 18:26
There’d also be no stock market anymore, if advertising was a guarantee.
Rob Broadfoot 18:29
Creativity is subjective at the end of the day. You can you can do all the testing and all of the quantitative research upfront that you want to do. But there is a leap of faith in some of the things that you do.
Don Mock 18:41
Rob Broadfoot 18:43
So just to bring it back down to-
Don Mock 18:45
No, I like that.
Rob Broadfoot 18:46
- to what we do. But yeah, celebrity endorsements. It’s a crazy world. There’s a lot of money spent on it. Big, big dollars.
Don Mock 18:55
Yeah. I think for some industries, it’s a no brainer- fashion, as you mentioned, jewelry, sports. Those aspirational aspect. Luxury, it always makes sense and then any type of aspirational good. Just to circle back around a car insurance and Shaq, does he helped sell? I don’t know, I think that for a lesser known brand, potentially aligning with someone that does have your values or does have wide mass appeal, that it makes sense. Also, I think niche endorsements make sense. So for example, if you’re a video game company, and you align yourself with Ninja, the greatest fortnight player ever.
Rob Broadfoot 19:37
It’s going to elevate your brand into the conversation.
Don Mock 19:39
Then that makes sense. I think, pick and choose your battles wisely. But it is a lot of emphasis to put into one singular individual and you better have everything locked down. You mentioned Tiger Woods. I mean, no one would have ever guessed Tiger Woods ever would have had any type of bruising or blemishing, right? So squeaky clean. But hey, we’re all people. We’re all humans. Things happen. So it’s definitely an interesting thing to think about. Maybe we should wrap it up on that note.
Let’s wrap it up on that note.
All right, where can people find us, Mr. Rob?
Rob Broadfoot 19:45
You can find us on the internets at the worldwide web dot mocktheagency.com. Or you can find us on the socials @mocktheagency, of course. Feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear some topic ideas from you. And just general feedback. We will talk to you next time.
Don Mock 20:29
Cool. Thanks, everybody.