American in Spain

Celebrity Gossip Advertising

April 24, 2008

McKissAnyone who lives in Spain and has a television that they turned on this past Easter will have seen video of two celebrities kissing on a balcony under a McDonalds sign. I care zero about the Spanish celebrity gossip scene that overruns the broadcast networks day and night. I do my best to remain uninformed about what's going on, so I don't really know who the kissers in said video are. Actually, in my search to find an image of them, I was unable to avoid learning that the man in the video is the son of Isabel Pantoja, the diva and queen of all that is celebrity scandal gossip in Spain. Whatever.

As I was watching this video loop repeatedly hour after hour as people discussed the implications of this new intimate relationship, I started subconsciously wanting a hamburger. That's when it hit me!

What if advertisers paid celebrities to do scandalous things on video with their products or in front of their advertisements?

Obviously most of the real A-list celebrities will probably prefer their honor to whatever sum a corporation might pay for a faked scandal, which is probably more than you might think. But some of the more cheeky actors might actually enjoy the challenge of trying to fool the paparazzi that hound them so doggedly.

It's not so hard to imagine, say, Lindsay Lohan's agent telling her, "Look, there's an offer from Pepsi that they will pay you $10,000 if you perform some stunt, at least 30 seconds long, involving Mountain Dew and your breasts while there are both video and photographer paparazzi around...with a $5K bonus for nipple visibility."

Would the companies really benefit? Definitely. If an "amateur" video were leaked to YouTube of some "bad boy" celeb, like Matthew McConaughey, picking a fight with someone in front of a KFC, I have no doubt that KFC's business would benefit from the added public awareness of its brand. And if McConaughey was heard saying something silly like, "I'm gonna get extra crispy on your ass!", people all over the country would pick up on it and repeat it ad nauseum (especially if Jay Leno's pocket got lined, too).

Not to even begin to mention how much extra play time a video would get if it were leaked that it might have been faked! Just imagine...they'd never shut up about it!

The truth is that I have no idea how much of the celebrity gossip content is "manufactured", but I suspect that there's an untapped advertising gold mine there.