Who’s the real star of the show?

Chesterfield Sofa

If you want to advertise any product these days, it seems your best bet is to use a celebrity endorsement. Now, we may not all agree with the modern cult of celebrity, nor accept the fact that just because someone may be famous, that doesn’t make them special. However, the evidence all points to the fact that ‘celebrity’ definitely does sell. It doesn’t really seem to matter what the product is either, or whether the choice of celebrity is relevant to the product that’s being offered. Famous people are capable of selling goods better than the rest of us. Still, it doesn’t always go strictly according to plan; sometimes the product outshines the celebrity. On rare occasions the actor or model advertising the product can even be outshone by a prop, or  by a piece of stage-set that’s nothing to do with the product at all. It’s often said that actors should never work with children and animals. Well, there’s a new category to add to that list now: Chesterfield sofas and tub chairs.

Virgin Media: actor Marc Warren stars in TiVo ad campaign

Anyone who’s seen the recent Boss fragrance advert for its new aftershave Orange Man, will probably have noticed the preponderance of Chesterfield Tub chairs in both the TV advertisements and the magazine shots. Granted the Chesterfield tub chair is undoubtedly a thing of beauty, with its worn brown leather covering and studded trim, yet the star of the piece is supposed to be the actor, Orlando Bloom. The Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean star was picked for one reason and one reason only – his looks. These were meant to sell the fragrance. The only problem was that the real star of the show turned out to be the Chesterfield chair. That’s what people started to talk about on YouTube. Now, it probably won’t have hindered the sales of Orange Man, but it goes to show that even the best advertising executive can’t always cover every base.

Virgin Media’s TiVo advert for its new all-singing, all-dancing set top box similarly missed its mark. The idea behind the product launch was to knock Sky’s HD box off its perch. So they recruited the services of Mark Warren the actor to help sell the idea. The star of ‘Hustle’ might not be in quite the same league as Orlando Bloom when it comes to thespian gravitas, but he’s well known just the same and a familiar face on our television screens. Little did the advertisers know that the real star of this advert was going to be the Chesterfield sofa on which he was sat. The Chesterfield sofa has had a massive number of hits on YouTube and will probably finish up with its own fan page before long. Granted the off-white leather Chesterfield settee is a real beauty, but even so?

So, is there a moral to this story? Can any lessons can be learnt? Well, not really, other than if you want to hire a true celebrity to sell a product, then you can’t really beat one that’s got a pedigree stretching back over two and a half centuries. A Chesterfield sofa is probably far more famous than any of the celebrities who endorse products these days. It’s been around for ages and is seen everywhere. You might not recognise a particular actor advertising a product, but everyone immediately recognises a Chesterfield settee.  In terms of pure celebrity, the Chesterfield sofa is most definitely ‘A’ list.