When I was growing up in the, ahem, 70s, big budget advertising was the only way in which we came into contact with brands, it was how a brand established itself; set out its stall and companies jostled with each other to create the next BIG advert. And so it was that some brands went for the option of working with a ‘proper’ actor, either as a one off or in a series of ads, certainly during the 70s & 80s it was a popular option. If done well I guess it has the benefit of aligning a brand with certain key attributes of that actor but these days it seems less common. Is it the cost? Perhaps it doesn’t seem clever enough? And of course the decline of the mass market audience means that brands are frequently diverting money away from the ad budget to other ways of communicating with their audiences.
The new advert from American Airlines sees a return to the big tickets actor approach, by using Kevin Spacey in its latest advertising campaign. I am a huge fan of Kevin Spacey after seeing him a few years ago in Richard II and of course his other various amazing performances in American Beauty, American Confidential, The Usual Suspects plus many other brilliant film roles , he really is an incredible actor.
I like the new American Airlines ads, I think they use Spacey’s talents well. They made me nostalgic for an era of big name ads. So welcome back Rutger Hauer & Guinness
and of course, Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter (non better).
With thanks to various friends on twitter who reminded me of some of the old school ads.