Celebrity endorsements are a cornerstone of advertising nowadays, but an industrial manufacturing giant like Boeing seldom gets the chance to play that game. What celebrity is going to tout stuff like cargo hold capacity and cruising range?
Ever since long-distance transportation evolved beyond the Conestoga wagon, commercial carriers (which, in the 20th century, meant trains and planes) have dealt with an obscure but serious problem. Most every carrier wants to convey a sense of leisure, luxury and sophistication, right? So here’s the problem: What advertising image conveys it?
In the long history of celebrity endorsements (Mark Twain, let us remember, was plugging Great Mark Cigars as early as 1875), brands have learned that while a famous face is the key requirement, a close second is relevance: a credible, believable connection between the endorser and the endorsed. Perhaps nowhere is that linkage more important, or obvious, than in the Macho Man genre.