By Hans Ebert


(Source: Vegas News)

It was “trending” around 5-6 years ago- celebrities being named creative directors by brands and with the first of these game changers being a real music in Eurythmic David A Stewart becoming Nokia’s Agent Of Change, a fancy enough title.


(Source: Guardian)

Then came all that hullababooboo when that dead brand Polaroid named the good Lady Gaga as its Creative Director.


(Source: Nitrolicious)

What did Gaga “create” for Polaroid? Around ten minutes of fleeting fame for the brand and lotsa promises. Is she still Creative Director for Polaroid? Is Dave Stewart still Nokia’s Agent?

More to the point, where do Nokia and Polaroid rate today as global brands?


(Source: Its My Views)

Nokia ended up in a bloody mess, pulled outta “connecting people with music,” changed its Executive Board and is seen as being the useless company known for wasting people’s time it has always been and still remembered by some for one of the worst marketing teams in their Regional Office based in Singapore.

Single-handedly, Nokia Singapore and its endless meetings with artists and music companies are credited for turning Singapore into Swingabore.


(Source: Tech Noratic)

Memories of those meetings and vapid business lunches still give me the shits.

As for Polaroid, are they still soldiering on with GaGa in this Instagraming world? One doubts it. It’s been way too quiet for over two years.


(Source: Fan Pop)

After a short break from the hype of hiring celebrities as “creative directors”, it’s baaaaaaaaack- and bigger and goofier than ever.

In one fell sweep, Beyonce, Ashton Kutcher- the “president of pop culture” for Popchips- Alicia Keys- Blackberry’s global creative director- Taylor Swift, Swiss Beatz, Victoria Beckham, will i am- Intel’s “creative of innovation”- and Justin Timberlake have all become “creative directors” for various brands.


(Source: Ad Age)

But what exactly does this mean? How does this all work- realistically?

These brands’ ad agencies actually interface with these celebs and work as a team? The head of creative turns around to Beyonce or Justin Timberlake and say, “Oh, please, Beyonce, that idea’s so Eighties.” Or, turn to JT and say, “Okay, but how about this ‘cos we saw you at the Grammys and thought you were channeling a tuneless Marvin Gaye?”

Seriously, what WAS that performance at the Grammys about? It was touted like some Second Coming but flopped miserably. This was no “Sexy Back.” It was a bloody boring pretentious mess in sepia.

JT is now the creative guiding light for Bud Light Platinum with the entertainer- or his publicity people- saying, “Bud Light Platinum brings a refined, discerning aesthetic to beer that plays well with what I’m doing.” Really?

Celebrity endorsements are barely okay- and usually lazy marketing and advertising. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Rihanna and others have sold their names to brand for a hundred pieces of lucre. In fact, pay them more than enough and they’ll endorse anything the same as celebrities in Bollywood, Indian cricketing legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Dhoni and former Miss Australia- Jennifer Hawkins- once endorsing a new property in Hong Kong.

Do any of these commercials have any impact other than curiosity pieces? Nah. But this trend where musicians and celebrities sit in as “creative directors” and with some vague ideas about strategy and demographics is daft. If they wish to be creative with their own products, fine. It’s not messing about with was an art form- advertising. Okay, perhaps like music, advertising has been devalued and where incompetence has been promoted. But there is something very off-kilter when celebrities start creating ad campaigns and foisting them on consumers and with their handiwork adding to all the hype and clutter out there.

As for those who have asked what were my highlights, it was seeing Katy Perry’s boobs, being taken aback at Adele wearing a dress made outta her grandma’s curtains and that wonderful cameo by one of the coolest people in the world- Prince- giving the extremely normal Gotye and Kimbra something extra to remember about that night.

What LL Cool J was doing hosting the event was lost on me. Perhaps he was The Grammys Creative Director.

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