The Great Afterlife
No worries, I won’t be getting into any philosophical bull crap here. Instead, I’ll be sharing my many observations of “Where they are now”. A look at some well known folks and what they’re up to now. I’ll begin with an American Icon: The Fonz. Once the epitome of “cool” playing Arthur Fonzarelli or “Fonzie” on ‘Happy Days’, things have changed a bit for actor Henry Winkler. Yesterday I saw him in quite a different role – pitching Reverse Mortgages.
Don’t worry, He’s not alone. Alex Trebek, host of the long time TV game show “Jeopardy” is also on board. They, along with a slew of other celebrities, have been selected for one purpose: Getting to the aging baby boomer demographic.
It’s no mistake that we see more and more of these commercials all the time. Each day, thousands of the “Boomer” generation are reaching retirement age. A time where life changes course and priorities shift from building a life to (hopefully) getting to enjoy it. Unfortunately, due to financial and/or health issues, the later years can be a struggle.
No worries though. Whether it’s a lack of retirement savings, achy joints or even incontinence, many of your favorite entertainers have the solution for you. However you can’t just put any old former star in the role. The most important thing for seniors these days is trust. Back in March, the NY Times had a piece entitled “Aging Stars in a New Role: TV Pitchman”.
“Most people don’t really care whether Michael Jordan actually drinks Gatorade,” said Robert J. Thompson, a professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University. But that’s not the case when someone’s pitching loans, gold or medicine.
The article goes on to say that not every celebrity campaign is a success. We’re all familiar with actress Jamie Lee Curtis’ spot on the Activia commercials talking about “moving things along” in your digestive system. Even though we know the commercial and are familiar with the actress, it’s just not something people want to hear about. A marketing research study showed it was one of the least effective campaigns run in 2011.
Finally, let’s not forget the celebs in all of this. It’s not like most of them are taking these roles because they really believe in the product. It’s because they too likely need some “extra cash” to enjoy their later years. I wonder if they’ve seen the JG Wentworth Commercials or the Western Sky pay day loan ones? Just tell them “It’s your money and you need it now!”. Now that’s a catchy one!