I am an addict to People Magazine and US Weekly. I love E! and my MTV. Yep, I engulf all of that goodness. On one of my daily visits to People.com, I came across yet another lawsuit that was filed against a celebrity. It wasn't about a racy picture or a drug bust. Nope, it was a lawsuit for NOT wearing an article of clothing. Charlize Theron was recently sued for wearing the wrong watch. Theron is supposed to be wearing only Well watches, but she was caught (gasp!) sporting a Christian Dior watch at a recent Hollywood hoopla. No amount of the lawsuit is given, but it was stated that Jessica Simpson was sued for over $100 million this past April for not wearing the brands she was paid to be wearing. That is a hefty sum!!
So, this brings up a question of product placement. Are celebrity endorsements considered a form of product placement??? I think so. If a company is paying someone to wear their clothing, drink their water, or talk about their new cell phone in the public domain, then indeed, the product is finding its proper exposure, possibly when consumers least expect it.
I am a huge tennis fan and many tennis players are paid by water or sports companies to be carrying the drink with them during a photo shoot, press conference, and anywhere they go off the court. Why?? So fans will see their idols drinking it and maybe will think, "Hmmm...maybe I should be drinking that, too!" James Blake, the second-ranked American tennis player, recently signed with Evian water to be the "product ambassador" for the product. Blake has carried a bottle of Evian everywhere he goes. I have seen it on TV and in person.
Celeb endorsements are a good way of incorporating product placement and promotion into the buying world. I am a victim of buying something that I saw a celeb or tennis player wearing or drinking. In fact, this past summer, I heard one of my favorite tennis players talk about eating at the Waffle House and how great the food was. Waffle House, really? I thought. I wouldn't think he would say that. I would assume a tennis player would eat at a high-end restaurant with healthy food. Maybe not! So, the athlete may have or have not been paid to say that, but The Waffle House is on my list of restaurants to visit in the short future, just to see what all the fuss was about.