GET REAL: Advertisers Play a Fanfare for the Common Spokesman

While not everyone will grow up to be president, advertising’s ‘real people’ fad makes it increasingly probable that everyone will appear in a commercial at some point. In a sign of the times, New York-based EUE/Screen Gems has set up a production-plus-repping unit called Citizen Films to provide something like one-stop shopping for ‘documercial’ advertising featuring real people. Such commercials cut through the clutter, we’re told, while also helping advertisers get around the cynicism consumers feel toward professional spokespeople. Still, one can’t help but wonder whether the general public will soon tire of real people (i.e., of one another). As real-peopled commercials proliferate, after all, consumers might simply redirect the skepticism they now feel toward big companies and focus it instead on those of their fellow real people who’ve been co-opted. Thus, the wariness we feel toward companies will have been diffused into a general distrust of our fellow man. How’s that for progress?
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)