Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Gimmickry

I've always had a problem with the idea of "paid endorsements". I don't think any of us can resist being just a little skeptical of any praise heaped upon a product or service by someone who happens to be a celebrity, who happens to be receiving compensation for that praise. And I think we might all agree that making a real estate purchase based simply on the fact that Erik Estrada recommends or endorses it might not go on record as the most intelligent decision of all time.

I remember Kirstie Alley starring in a sitcom some years back. It was called "Fat Actress", and it put her back into the spotlight. The show made fun of Hollywood's body-stereotypes, and made light of the difficulties being a big woman in a Barbie world. I even remember a few interviews and television appearance where she showed that big can be beautiful.

She then changed course and decided it was time to slim down.

Alley had some major success under the guidance of the Jenny Craig weight-loss system. She unveiled the new "thinner" Kirstie amidst much fan-fare, even "unrobing" the finished product on an episode of "Oprah",

She should get credit for what she did. It's never easy to lose weight, and I don't begrudge her the position of spokesperson for Jenny Craig, because, hey it worked, and she could legitimately endorse the products. Nothing wrong with that.

But I didn't stay on that ride for long. Enter Valerie Bertinelli.

See, now Ms. Bertinelli is jumping aboard the Jenny Craig Weightloss Bandwagon. I'm not in any way criticizing her for wanting to lose weight. I'm not even sure I'm criticizing anything. I'm just saying, the whole thing lacks a little credibility for me, because Bertinelli is going to go under the microscope now, so to speak. We're going to follow along on her quest-for-less-Valerie. But she's a paid spokesperson, receiving what I would presume to be fairly decent compensation for her troubles. I think that I might have been better impressed had we treated to, another "success story made", as opposed to "compensated test-case".

Let's face it, who among us wouldn't give the weight-loss wagon a more willing test drive if there were a little cash waiting at the end of that rainbow?

Just my two pounds err, cents.

14 comments:

  1. I'm not sure if it would necessarily be all that much easier getting paid for it. I've now lost 22 pounds myself and it takes a lot of dedication and watching what I eat and looking for chances to move more. My mom offered at one time to pay me to lose weight and I was so excited . . . but because it wasn't inner motivation, I didn't do it. It wasn't until I finally made up my mind and decided to stop talking about it and was really determined to do something that I was able to lose more than 5 pounds.

    I guess it depends on what motivates us. My best motivator (unfortunately) is fear - I was afraid of my mental state (read: being unable to stop myself from crying in a ball in my closet for days) if I were to get pregnant and hit a certain weight, so I started making changes.

    I totally agree with the gimmicks, though. "I had one pimple on my perfect skin and 7 dermatologists and this product make my perfect face glow!" Yeah. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  2. Kirsty Alley bugs; but go her for losing all that weight.

    I don't know, I'm more likely to buy ProActive because Jessica Simpson uses it (actually it's a crap product that did NOT work).

    Or how about hair color because my gosh, Penelope Cruz or Sarah Jessica Parker look great.

    Like I really believe that Halle Berry, Diane Keaton, and Juliann Moore are going to stoop so low as to buy Loreal or Revlon cosmetics.

    Sorry, I don't buy it (no pun intended).

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  3. Anonymous4:55 PM

    Maybe if Jenny Craig wasn't spending so much to have Kirstie Alley and Valerie Bertinelli they wouldn't have to charge so much for the food and more people could afford the program and then we could all be getting healthy!

    Just my own two cents.

    Monica
    http://journals.aol.com/sonensmilinmon/Pollyannascorner/

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  4. I always wonder what else they are doing to lose weight. You know, the things that Suzie Homemaker can't afford the time or money to do.

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  5. I'm always surprised how well celebrity endorsements work, given how lacking in credibility some should be. It's like people park their brain at the door when they see someone whose autograph they'd ask for.

    The only ones I find convincing in any way are where I can see a difference for myself. So it doesn't surprise that Jessica Simpson endorses that Pro-activ stuff, because whoa, she had acne and acne scars that she could not hide with heavy stage makeup and now look at her.

    My favourite endorsement story is not of the celebrity variety though. I like Jared of the Subway commercials. I just loved that this random guy figured out a simple way to limit his food intake and make a healthier choice than other fast food and suddenly he's known internationally. Subway got seriously lucky the day Jared made that decision, but his life changed too, so good for them.

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  6. kristen: really, on the Pro-activ? Disappointing. Certainly looked like it worked for her. Sarah Jessica Parker's advert for L'Oreal bugs the heck out of me, because that hair colour is so wrong for her. It looks fake and doesn't suit her skin tone at all. I actually use L'Oreal Excellence (because I'm worth it :)) and that ad still makes me grimace every time I see it.

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  7. You're totally right (as usual.....um, blowing smoke up your butt am I?) LOL

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  8. Chosha--the ProActive did NOT work for me--in some ways it helped the bigger zits, but my forehead broke out like crazy!! Very disappointing. I used to use L'Oreal but they stopped making the one I used; so now I'm a Clairol girl.

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  9. I know what you mean. It would be interesting to know how many people jump on the celebrity bandwagon because of the endorsement. They don't motivate me to buy the products...

    I tried to sign up for your auto notification and it won't work...Not sure if it's me or the link thing.

    Hope you had a Happy Easter!

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  10. Shout it from the mountain! Who wouldn't be able to loose weight if you #1) had a personal trainer #2) tailor made meals 3) total support. I still wish Valerie good luck.

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  11. I think I'd be motivated by all the people watching my progress. ;)

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  12. Good point and I agree. Jeez if I was paid to haul ass out of bed at 6am when my personal trainer rocked up, how thin would I be?????
    lol

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  13. I'm on a diet, cutting out and down on things I eat too much of and upping everything I don't eat enough of. But I'm doing it because I'm not happy not because I think I should fit into a stereotype. These women feed that stereotype to me.

    Two CENTS... lol

    ~Lily

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