With seemingly every modern product associated with a celebrity, most would agree that today’s world is over-saturated with product endorsements….At New Balance we strongly believe that the real “heroes” of our brand are the products themselves, not a single celebrity or athletic endorser. That’s why New Balance adheres to a unique “Endorsed By No One” philosophy.
in the world of huge capitalism, we often find ourselves bombarded with advertisements telling us about this product and that. some worked, most don’t. and as time goes by, we know on the sly tactics these advertisements do to us. we have grown a lot in maturity and intelligence , and thus it challenges the advertisers to create better ways of communications to communicate its message to us.
we have grown to like some of the new ways it has shown to us. i’ve especially find the moove cow placards planted on open spaces as a brilliant form. it engages the viewer to look deeper and fantasizes our thoughts to find out more. i can’t put a finger to more examples, but over the years, i’ve learnt to appreciate greatly at innovative ways the message is being laid out. and it is not without a surprise that most of these do not have celebrity endorsements.
endorsements by celebrities, famous or not, leaves a sour taste in me. most of the time in my observant, the focus of the message is more towards the identity of the person rather than the product itself. [at the rate it is going, if i see jack neo shouting “vacuum here and wipe here…simperrrrr!” one more time, i will gladly crush any mitsubishi’s highest grade energy save air cons to the ground.] consumers are not fools, and in this day and age, we are not blinded by the mere presence of the celebrity to convince us on the product no matter how strong the “herding” mentality drives human conditions.
i was on my way back to home, and in my normal route will pass by the bus stop. and in the country i live in where every place of high human density is whore-lised for advertisements, stands the ubiquitous huge sign board, which amazingly still survives even though beforehand there were complains that the boards can block the view of the incoming buses.
now these boards used to have interesting adverts. i was particularly interested in the “anything” drink campaign where they’ll put suggestive ladies or old woman gazing “anything” to me. it may sound corny or even cliche, but it does provoke curiosity as to what the message it is trying to convey.
the board looks bright and white with a “new moon” logo standing tall above the perimeter. i don’t indulge in traditional chinese aphrodisiacs, but i know that the company is famous for its canned abalones. and yes, i think it was fann wong who popularized its produce. on this particular advert, i see 2 students in their uniforms promoting its new product. these 2 students apparently are top students in the 2007 gce ‘o’ level examinations. and the slogan, along the lines of it, says that they scored brilliantly due to new moon and its apparent brain booster.
now, on any given day, i would have just shrugged off this message. unfortunately, it did not today.
the advert, in my opinion, is so wrong on so many levels! how is it appropriate that the company endorses these 2 students to tell the public that the reason why they scored the grades is due to their product? now, these adverts are only put up recently, so how is it proven that these students have taken their product at the end of 2007 and thus it is justifiable to inform the public that they are there because of it?
now before i am doomed to hell for being petty for berating this small issue, i will like to state this. i do not care about this product. it does not serve me, nor am i indebted to it. and we all know before this, brands essence of chicken has been passed down to generations for its “ability to keeping our mind sharp”.
i am more particularly concerned about this advert due to the fact that this can influence parents, whose perspective of giving its best to their children may succumbed to this tactic. its a hot button issue and this tactic may work without much realization. have the parents realised if these students have actually taken it before the exams? have the parents realised that by putting “top students parading a product” can invoke sentiments to their children? have they thought that because of this, students may aspire to become a top student in the mould that they can endorse a product one day? have they realised that this advert can induce extra pressure that they have to produce to become one of the model students to be publicised to the public? i can only imagine, a wide one at that, but i do not want to see a day when a student tells his / her peers that they want to score high marks just so that they can become a minor celebrity.
and what about the model students themselves? is it legal in anyway to model themselves to endorse? is the school allowed to be advertised for a product? from my stand of view, i don’t find it ethical in any ways to portray any commercialization in the realm of the school’s colors. a school is an institution to induce knowledge, not to convey profits for any organisation. [but if the school is fine with this publicity stunt, why not it change its uniforms and plaster brands all over, just to what it has been done on racing jerseys.in that way, companies will gladly jump into the bandwagon and they can sponsor the students as their walking signboards.]
i have to admit i cannot express well, but i need to express this. let’s put to an end to celebrity endorsement students. students, young ones, are to what they are – young, naive, energetic and full of future. we cannot burden them with more pompous endorsements. we have students as young as 9 years old confessing to their friends that they want to commit suicide because their grades are not as good as their peers. we should support them, not segregate them. not portraying elitism, but to convey inspiration [not by endorsements].
how we should do it? i don’t know but let’s put a stop to celebrating top students per se. as for the rest, i can only hope companies can learn a thing or two from new balance’s philosophy.