Celebrity gridlock

Russell_simmons "The Magic of Macy’s" features celebrities decorating for the holidays.  We see Usher, Jessica Simpson, Donald Trump, Martha Stewart, P Diddy, Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, and Russell Simmons (pictured).

This is the "stack and rack ’em" approach to celebrity endorsement.  If one star is good, eight is better.  It gives coverage.  Chances are, someone in this gang of eight will speak to the consumer.

So it’s good for Macy’s, perhaps.  What about the celebrities?  What does it mean for Usher to be seen with Hilfiger?  What about Donald Trump and P Diddy? 

Without research, we can’t know for certain.  On balance, it’s probably good for Martha Stewart.  It takes her out of that sui generis bubble into the world.  On balance, it’s bad for Kenneth Cole.  Here’s a guy who helped pioneer social marketing and now he shares the screen with that monster of self-regard, Donald Trump. 

The agency must answer for giving us Jessica Simpson as an airhead. Could they not have cast her against type?  The "ditzy blonde" used to charm us.  Now she is an embarrassment, an actual "retard."  Jessica Simpson may wish to dismantle the women’s movement.  Macy’s shouldn’t help. 

And why does Tommy Hilfiger say "Santa, you’re really working that red velvet thing."  I mean, really.  It sounds like he’s flirting with Santa.  This just seems wrong.  Surely what happens at Macy’s stays at Macy’s. 

On balance, it feels like everyone looses.  Even Macy’s.  It is interesting to "crash" stars together in this way.  This sort of thing can be good for a brand.  But these celebrities in this treatment end up something less than the sum of their parts.  It’s as if we have stumbled into a dystopia where stars gather for a close up only to discover that they must share the camera with some one else. 


See the ad for Macy’s on YouTube here

2 thoughts on “Celebrity gridlock

  1. Marshall

    Oh! I rather liked it. Wonderfully orchestrated and clipped. Enchanting. A little old fashioned Xmas magic – which is quite an achievement – like we’ve had 2006 of them.

    But then being European – I didn’t really recognize anybody – and definitely not by name.

    So it was just nice people having a nice time at a nice time in a nice place.

    And I can buy into that.

    Where’s my nearest Macy’s?

  2. Jonathan Gadd

    I like it too. Finally there’s some strategy in Macy’s advertising. A nice move away from people bouncing around on beds.

    Admittedly the “house of brands” strategy is a well-troden one, but it’s charmingly executed.

    And I had no idea that so many celebrity endorsed brands were so mainstream and well-distributed.

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