‘Whenever Samsung, Nokia, BlackBerry or any other smartphone company uses a celebrity to hawk their wares, tech bloggers immediately search for instances of that celebrity using an iPhone’ wrote BGR in an article titled, This is easily one of the most annoying things tech bloggers do. The article went on to say:
Often times, the celebrities paid to promote these products in a TV commercial, at an event or in some other advertisement don’t actually use the products they are promoting in their real lives. Shocking though it may be, this is how the world works.
True that. Everyone knows that the actor has been paid to do a job and does not believe that the same brand is likely to be used in real life. This is especially true of product categories & brands ‘below’ the strata of the celebrity. No one is likely to believe that Priyanka Chopra would ride a scooter in real life or that Saif Ali Khan would wear the brand of inner wear he advertises. But there is a difference between traditional advertising as we know it and new media.
On social media, the celebrity is not usually playing a role – at least that’s the common perception. A celebrity’s Twitter stream is meant to be a peek into his or her personal life. So when brands like Samsung get celebrities to tweet about a brand activity followed by general folks discovering that it was not a genuine act, it does strike a jarring note. Imagine a celebrity tweeting about the need to conserve water because many under-privileged kids go without drinking water. People would appreciate his outlook. But if he were to be caught doing exactly the opposite in his personal life, he would be caught out and mocked for not practicing what he preaches. In today’s age, the lines between advertising and other brand content are blurring. A ‘Galaxy11′ campaign where a bevy of football stars come together may have an advertising component but its all played out on digital & social media. It is brand content which has a little bit more credibility than traditional advertising. In that context, tech bloggers mocking celebrities for not using the brand they promote is natural, in my opinion.