Posted by Nicci | Posted in Way Back Wednesday | Posted on 06-04-2011
There are all types of pitchmen in direct-response marketing. Billy Mays, Anthony Sullivan, and even Vince Offer (better known as “The Sham-Wow Guy”) have all become celebrities in their own right, simply by virtue of being top infomercial pitchmen. Other pitchmen are famous for promoting their own products: Ron Popeil, Jack LaLanne, Richard Simmons, Susan Powter, Matthew Lesko, and Richard Sherer (the Video Professor) take the airwaves to sell their own programs and inventions. Infomercial exercise videos have launched their own field of stardom with fitness experts including Billy Blanks, Shaun T, and Chalean Johnson selling challenging exercise routines to devoted fans.
Long before pitchmen became famous simply for being the visible, personable face of an infomercial product, marketers knew the importance of using a famous face to endorse their products. Before pitchmen became celebrities, celebrities became pitchmen.
Stardom sells, and the following lists includes some of the most famous faces to launch infomercial celebrity endorsements.
- Models – Cindy Crawford (Meaningful Beauty), Christie Brinkley (Total Gym), Daisy Fuentes (Winsor Pilates), Vanessa Williams (ProActiv), Elle Macpherson (ProActiv)
- Athletes – George Foreman (George Foreman Grill and Everyday and More Cleaner), Hulk Hogan (Hulk Hogan Ultimate Grill)
- MMA – Chuck Liddell (JackRack), Georges St. Pierre (Rip60), Randy Couture (Tower 200)
- Actors/Actresses – Chuck Norris (Total Gym), Mario Lopez (Ultraflex), Barry Williams/”Greg Brady” (TimeLife70′s Music Explosion), Susan Lucci (Malibu Pilates)
- Singers/Musicians – Jessica Simpson (ProActiv), Katy Perry (ProActiv), Justin Bieber (ProActiv)
As I look through this list, I’m noticing that ProActiv Acne Solution really seems to have a corner on the celebrity pitchman market. I mean, who doesn’t sell this stuff? Just for fun, I’ll go ahead and post a list of Celebrities with Formerly Bad Skin who’ve appeared in ProActiv commercials:
- Julianne Hough – Dancing with the Stars
- Jenna Fischer – The Office
- Alyssa Milano – Who’s the Boss, Charmed
- Vanessa Williams – singer, actress, model, disgraced former Miss America
- Justin Bieber – singer
- Jessica Simpson – singer
- Katy Perry – singer
- Alicia Keys – singer
- Mandy Moore – singer, actress
- Jennifer Love Hewitt – actress
- Kelly Clarkson – American Idol, singer
- Avril Lavigne – singer
Celebrity endorsements lend a familiar face to the infomercial pitch, giving television viewers a sense of trust and a brush with fame. After all, infomercial products are designed to make our lives easier, and if it’s good enough for those accustomed to a life of luxury and the finer things, shouldn’t it be good enough for us?