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JANSPORT BACKPACKS

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Young folks can be a tricky audience for a celebrity endorsement. Holding extravagant notions of their prospects, they don't always feel much deference toward someone whose fame may merely precede their own. And they're apt to resist the notion they should buy a brand merely because some flash-in-the-pan has been paid to pose with it. What's smart about JanSport's ongoing "back"-plus-"pack" campaign is that it doesn't try to get too much mileage out of its celebs. Famous but not overly famous (singer/songwriter Pink is of that wattage), they get your attention without making you feel you come third—i.e., after the celebrity and the brand. The campaign seems especially suited to cultivate loyalty among those who already own a JanSport. The off-the-pedestal display of the star almost suggests she's adopted a bit of your lifestyle instead of imposing hers on you. The back-only view is helpful in fostering this egalitarian tone. While Pink's face probably looks quite different from yours, one back looks much like another (give or take a tattoo). Hence, the ad creates the comfortable sense that we're all equally in need of a new JanSport pack.