McKee says spokespeople must be relatable, whether they're famous or not. Perhaps being attractive also helps.
According to Rohin Guha, noncelebrity campaigns are where new media can play a significant part. Techniques such as releasing dynamic, interactive content (videos and the like), as well as fostering genuine interaction with customers via social networks, are crucial to building up this type of campaign. Of course, Guha notes, you can't force this type of phenomenon, making it "go viral"--all you can do is gauge your target and leave the rest up to chance.
Does It Work?
Knowing that Ace Metrix has found that celebrity endorsements aren't necessarily better than noncelebrity endorsements, you might be asking: Do endorsements of any kind have an impact on the market?
Guha thinks so: As noted earlier, he believes that endorsements from "real" people are important when consumers are purchasing expensive products that they see as investments. Jervøe agrees, and mentions that Intel makes products--chips--that are a part of people's everyday life. The key for Intel's relationship with Will.i.am is therefore not necessarily direct dollars, but the ability to create an emotional connection, through a "brand ambassador," with its consumers.
In the end, a successful spokesperson can mean different things to different companies.
And even the most successful spokespeople don't live forever. The "Verizon Guy" is a good example of a solid brand ambassador with a simple message ("Verizon's voice network works"). But messages change. After nine years, Verizon is retiring the "Test Man" commercials featuring "Verizon Guy" Paul Marcarelli.
As for the "T-Mobile Girl," well, we hope she finds another gig after AT&T finishes swallowing up T-Mobile sometime next year.