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  Should a CEO Star in Company Ads?
 
 This is not a simple yes or no question. It depends on so many variables -- the product, brand and importantly the appeal of the CEO him/herself. With Dr. Z, he didn't embody the DaimlerChrysler brand like Oprah, Martha or Branson do for their brands. 
Anonymous - September 29, 2006
 
 We have seen in the recent case where Pepsi india ceo came out in ads giving messages about the quality of Pepsi cold drinks and it has really worked well with the indian public. I don't think a Sachin Tendulkar ad or any other celebrity ad would have the same effect. So there are occasions when the company excutives can be the real brand ambassadors. 
Anonymous - September 30, 2006
 
 'Desperate times call for Desperate measures!!!'

I will associate this quote with the 'Cola Crises' that recently took place in India. The CEO for PEPSI India had to lead the brand and endorse it because literally speaking, no other person (ality) comes nearly responsible than him for taking care of the integrity of the brand. The campaign had an emotional touch to it.

I believe if the CEO of a company is a well known Personality, i don’t see why he/she can’t represent his/her own brand. Infact ill encourage such an act.

So, what stands important here? It’s the 'Personal Rating' of the head of the company itself.

Hats-off to Oprah, Branson, Wimpy and on with the never ending list.

Still not to forget……

'Desperate times call for Desperate measures!!!' 

Rehan Tahir Butt - October 1, 2006
 
 I don't think it works too well, unless it is the founder of the company where the personality of the founder and the brand are closely interlinked. CEOs appearing in mass media look like just that -- CEOs appearing in mass media selling their brands, they are doing a job and they might try to be cool and informal, but it seems even more fake than celebs endorsing brands. Also, the Pepsi India spiel by R Bakshi was tepid at the most and very obvious voice-dubbing did not scream out 'credible'! 
Indira Bisht - October 1, 2006
 
 Only if the CEO is willing to take specific direction regarding his/her public persona from a brand management professional.

When a CEO appears in a premeditated and mediated form of brand communication he becomes in many ways objectified. The 'object' created can be a very powerful tool, but only if it is managed properly. The CEO, who is likely, by human nature, to have a subjective preference to his/her appearance might not be the best decision-maker when it comes to advertisement presentation.

Markets change fast and the CEO literally needs to sign off that he/she understands the use of his/her voice and body for marketing purposes is in the best interest of all company stakeholders and therefore will succumb all brand-based decisions to the professionals working for/with the company.

A risky situation, but can add an enormous amount of credibility to a brand if managed with care. 

Kevin Jasmin, Graduate Student, Emerson College - October 2, 2006
 
 As a one-off high visibility, standout of the clutter maneuver, I think it might just work. But I dont think it can be a part of the Master Strategy to establish and strengthen a Brand's positioning. For that you need well executed advertising based on indepth understanding of the Brand, the Consumer, the Market & the Mediums being used. The Advertising has to be geared to achieve an end broader and beyond just entertaining and aweing the audience! 
Ali Zafar, Director Strategy, Contact Plus - October 2, 2006
 
 My question would be, in what car would he have travelled when having this deadly accident ? 
Hans Suter, Director, STZ - October 2, 2006
 
 This will do more harm than good! I imagine this action as a parent coming down the playground asking 'who hit my kid'?

If a CEO comes out as a last resource to make people buy the product, than it's more like begging for money than selling the product. You should try harder and show your reasons why should I buy your car and hope it works! Simple as that. 

Vladimir - October 2, 2006
 
 Alot of CEO's have a great public personality. I'm not sure about desperate times but that is surely the angle Ford is taking by releasing its http://fordboldmoves.com/ internet campaign. 
Kris Meister, Interactive Designer, BrowserMedia - October 2, 2006
 
 It is a risky move using the CEO as spokesperson -- Oprah, Martha and Branson and the Donald ARE their brands and not such a risk -- Dr. Z's credibility first must be established no one knew him prior to the ad campaign.

And he was the personification of the winner in the merger -- the european -- in a US market home of the survivor -- not a good call.

Take the late Frank Perdue he was a pioneer in the world of CEO spokesperson. Why did it work so well for Perdue? He owned the company, so you could believe him and (and I say this with respect) he looked like a chicken! a connection was made with the consumer.

In today's business world CEO's careers are as certain as last quarter's results or stock investigation. Why would you build brand on that sort of risk? 

Bruce Wright, President, The Wright Agency - October 2, 2006
 
 The 'Ask Dr. Z' campaign was, in a word, goofy.

Given a different context, Dr. Z, may (and I emphasize 'may')have proven to be an effective spokesman.

This ill-advised campaign proves nothing about the effectiveness of a CEO as a spokesperson. 

Jack Flanagan, President, Poseidon Consultancy LLC - October 2, 2006
 
 We are in a different era as there seems to be some consternation towards CEOs and other top corporate officers. Media has criticized their compensation levels and many feel that they are undeserving of their pay. Many corporate collapses have delivered more blows to the CEO’s image with varying levels of negative publicity. As a result, CEOs who are not the brand (i.e. Oprah, Martha..) should avoid being advertising spokespersons as they are not perceived by the public as credible as they used to be in the days of Wendy’s Dave Thomas and Chrysler’s Lee Iacocca.

CEOs should focus on achieving financial plans and their public exposure should be delivered through PR vehicles only. 

Ghassan Kassabji, Managing Director, TBWA\RAAD Saudi Arabia - October 2, 2006
 
 We all know that the CEO is the guardian of the company. His or her role is to ensure its longevity and soundness as a business proposition.

Many founders like Martha Gardener, Oprah and Branson are as much a part of the company brand as their personal brand. So their appearance in company ads, works to support the credibility of the business. Providing of course, they live inside the values they espouse through the company brand. That's where Martha Gardner got caught out, when she was jailed for insider trading and the company brand suffered loss, insurance aside.

On the other hand, if a successfully branded individual like Warren Buffett decided to do his version of "I liked the shaver so much I bought the company", the market would take notice of him in a company ad and it would be good for business. After all, it’s about an established personal brand increasing the value of an organisation by associating their brand with the company’s brand. Marketers know the value of this kind of endorsement.

However, when a CEO, like Dr "Z" decides to appear in company commercials I think this is an issue for shareholders. There is no brand leverage gained for the company.

As a shareholder I would take exception to an appointed CEO overtly building their personal brand off the iconic brand of the company, by appearing in company ads. That is not their role.

The brand of the organization must be considered at all times above any appointed CEO that didn't buy into the business, build it for a substantial period of time (Jack Welsh) or found it. Who knows what they have been up to lately…and what if it doesn’t work for the business, that is an even bigger risk than an ad campaign that doesn’t do much for the bottom line.  

Monika Evers, Image Architect, Evers Image Architects - October 2, 2006
 
 Positioning and messaging strategy are the keys. Remove the “CEO” moniker for a moment and let us pretend that the ads starred the freakishly rural character famed for his ‘hemi drool.’ Complete non-sequitor, right? The reason why the Hemi Drooler works for Dodge (and not for DaimlerChrysler) is based on the same premise, Dodge is a brand built for that audience – muscle car maniacs.

Without the proper positioning and messaging strategy for the character, it makes little difference whether or not the character is a real or imaginary spokesperson, or much-less the CEO. Plain and simple, DaimlerChrysler is built on quality, safety, engineering and performance … not shtick. That was the flaw in this campaign. If the objective was to bring an approachable quality to the German CEO, then, congrats, it worked. If the objective is to sell quality, safe, well-engineered, performance machines … well, of course it’s not going to resonate; you’re showing the CEO as a flippant prankster who, by-the-by is overseeing the company that builds the cars. Heck, that’d keep his own family out of the showroom. 

Jayson L. Truttmann, Director, Business & Brand Development, BLITZ - October 2, 2006
 
 Yes: definately, but as always it should be "horses for courses".
If the CEO has the majority of shares or owns the company, its a plus. It means they will be around in the long run. If they are passionate about life, the product, loves the limelight, its a plus. But regardless its only one building block in brand construction, management & development. This should alays be remembered.  
sinead davies, creative director, davies davies design consultants pty ltd sydney - October 2, 2006
 
 No,I don not think a CEO should star in company ads,unless there is an extreme situation that calls for it,like damage control.eg. The recent Pepsi ad,where the CEO gives his guarentee on the safety of the product. 
Dr.Sunita Pradhan, Dentist, Dental Creations - October 2, 2006
 
 If a CEO is only measured and rewarded on the company's financial performance, and therefor mainly has personality relevance for shareholders and analysts, (s)he has no place in corporate ads, as the public at large needs not be aware of the face behind the boardroom doors. If, however, this leader takes public and personal responsibility for the succes of the company's brands, products, services and people, then the public at large would benefit from "meeting the president". It could give the company profile; invoke a sense of pride for employees and a sense of attraction towards recruits. 
Harald Simons, Marketing Director EMEA, Fleishman-Hillard International Communications - October 3, 2006
 
 The question is - is seeing an ad where the CEO acts like a comic going to re-inforce brand name and/or make me go an buy the product. On some low cost items maybe, on a high end car? not so sure. Would want to think that the folks making MY car are serious about it. Iacocca made you feel he KNEW there was nothing better - Dr. Z made for a fun ad, but it was way to casual for what he was selling. 
Linda Zumpano, Admin Asst, St. Elizabeth RC Church - October 3, 2006
 
 Ich habe nie etwas so narrisch gesehen. In English: I have never seen something so stupid. If Dr. Z wants people to buy his cars, then he should definitely think twice about an ad featuring ramming a DaimlerChrysler vehicle into a wall, seemingly on a whim, especially if it's people and not crash test dummies inside. Yes, I know it was all movie magic that us believing it was Dr. Z and the "reporter" slamming into the wall. Nevertheless, the image of a CEO who is a loose cannon was real. Auf wiedersehen Herr Doktor, stick to running the company and let others covince us that Chryslers are solid, well crafted cars worthy of the association with Mercedes. 
Richard M. Salcer, Chief Creative Officer, Salcer Design - October 3, 2006
 
 Generally, I don't think the CEO should be a brand's commercial spokesperson, unless, as one comment pointed out, it is for PR/damage control reasons or if he/she is a renowned specialist or expert in his/her field where the product is relevant (e.g. pharmaceuticals).

At the end of the day, the follow-up question should be how does this build the brand's equity? 

Albert Cuadrante, Managing Director, Acumen Strategic Consulting, Inc. - October 3, 2006
 
 In the case of the Dr. Z commercials, there was also an unintended consequence at work: until the campaign started, most Americans hadn't really digested the fact that good old Chrysler cars are made by a German company.

Dr. Z's Saturday-Night-Live-style ads were almost a mockery for any adult who remembered the brash, very American, Lee Iacocca ads. Dr. Z reminded Americans that their car industry is disappearing down the drain, fast.

Instead of associating the Chrysler brand with the best of German carmaking (which was presumably the goal) I believe this campaign had the effect of associating Chrysler with Americans' insecurity in the face of foreign competition. Whether lackluster sales were the reason the campaign was pulled, or the marketing people just came to their senses, the campaign is definitely better off dead. 

Matthew Healey, Brand consultant - October 3, 2006
 
 Sure. It is much easier if that CEO is already an active brand endorser. However, please consider consumers value measurement in case CEO is considered as less valualble identity for branding in the minds of more skeptical consumers in the future. 
Suthep Amornchairuek, Marketing, Osotspa co.,ltd. - October 4, 2006
 
 In my understanding, the Dr. Z ad is a big mistake. On the one hand there is no distinctive value proposition. Is there any difference between Chrysler and Dodge?, there might be, right?, so why using the same ad with the same CEO, then?. The main point is to understand why somebody will buy a Chrysler and why some others a Dodge, understand those needs and deliver a compelling value proposition for them. Only in that way they cool boost sales.

Secondly, this might hurt significantly their star product “Mercedes”. By explicitly advertising DaimlerChrysler, they invite customer to perceive the same values for all DaimlerChysler brands. Does a potential Mercedes buyer share same values as a Dodge buyer?...don’t think so. Again there is a move towards depreciating the brand Mercedes…don’t know how long it will resist as a luxury car. By the way, it seems that the competition is doing a god job on that.. 

David Millan - October 4, 2006
 
 Yeah, surely, a CEO can endorse his brand. But there is flip side to it, let his image not shape the brand or let not the brand only be confined or identifiable by him. Because a brand is built for the sake of etenity, as for the CEO hi is not. 
kaushik sarkar, Account Manager - October 5, 2006
 
 Unless the CEO has some sort of positive notoriety in their own right, it is a mistake to be the pitchman. Why put energy into trying to get awareness for 2 products when you should be focussing on one. 
Jack, Sims, Growing businesses into Big Brands - October 5, 2006
 
 Until and unless the CEO is a celebrity and the brand's personality is closely woven around the image of this celebrity like in the case of Chanel or a more latest example of Britney Spears perfumes, such a strategy is avoidable as -

1. It may not be a long term sustainable positioning for the brand.
2. It may not always hold relevance and connect with the consumer
3. It may not give a brand the flexibility to foresee upcoming trends and leverage them to its benefit.
4. And if it were so easy to get the CEO himself to create a positive influence on the brand image, why would we need to pay millions of dollars to celebrities?

But since the world is not black and white, if a corporate honcho enjoys a positive and aspirational public image due to his achievements and the company itself has a clean image, the option of CEO to endorse a product specifically targeted at corporate world should definitely be explored.  

Ambalika Chitkara, Asstt Manager, Marcom, Canon India Pvt. Ltd. - October 6, 2006
 
 It takes guts to put the CEO in front of the camera for a TV ad. But before doing so, co. have to evaluate the reasons for taking such a drastic measure. In times of crisis, showing the CEO of a carmaker makes sense. It can build credibility and shows the human side behind the corp. machine if exec. right. A good situation to use the CEO would be the Mitsubishi debacle in the US.

I can't believe the CEO of DC actually had time to produce the ads and signed off the budget for it. That's a serious embarassment after assessing the performance of the ad. He should not be the frontman on TV, they could have chosen someone more relevant to their products like the car design engineers. 

Lukasz Jaglowski, MD, AD - October 6, 2006
 
 Well this is an good idea to strike when the comapny wants some thing very dramatic.look at the new ad from pepsi india where the CEO it self came to tell the comunity that drinking pepsi is safe .he was the right person on the situation,and whole of the soft drink industry benifited from it. 
navdeep sandhu, managment student, lbsim,new delhi - October 7, 2006
 
 IT can work if the image of the CEO is in line with that of the product. Much like Kingfisher and Vijay Mallya 
misha, student, none - October 8, 2006
 
 In almost all occasions it makes no sense for a CEO to represent his company in corporate ads. One simple reason for this is that today most of the time CEO's don't stay with their company for more than a few years. If a company would showcase their CEO in ads, they would have a new corporate face and therefore image every few years.

The only time this works is when the CEO actually built the company or owns the company. This is why Martha Stewart and Richard Branson, amongst others, stand out. In such instances there is no better person to represent a company in ads other than the owner, because if he can't present himself for the company, then no one can! 

Jeromy Lohmann, Consultant, 21st Century Marketing - October 8, 2006
 
 i think it is a good, yet brave idea to get the CEO in the ad.. it gives out the message that even the top man in the concerned organisation cares for the well being of the consumers. His presence undoubtedly gives more credibity to the message being given out in the advertisement. The only hitch is the anonymity of a CEO, not well- known and well- placed in the minds of the consumer 
garima bhatnagar, management student, LBSIM, delhi - October 8, 2006
 
 Depends entirely on the target audience, and the credibility/percecption of the CEO. If the audience is easily moved, and highly emotional, then bringing out the CEO would be a good idea.
Similarly, the impact generated by a CEOs appearance in an ad campaign is directly proportional to his credibility, personality and general reputation among the masses. 
Mateen Kirmani, Research Analyst - October 9, 2006
 
 not a good idea allways.. 
sabu nair, professor, scms cochin - October 9, 2006
 
 I think the idea is to make an organization look human. Putting a CEO in an ad more often than not makes a human look like an organization...In todays era very few people have the calibre of a Michael Dell or Jack Welch who can carry off such a stunt. Although it would be a good idea to use a CEO (Like Pepsi Did) for fencing negative PR more than anything else. 
Jai, Consultant, Dawnay Day AV - October 9, 2006
 
 Sometimes including the CEO in the advertisements makes the brand more memorable. When I read the brand debate, I stared thinking about Orville Redenbacher, Jim and Frank Perdue, and Dave Thomas. Does the spokesperson have to be the company founder for this type of ad to be effective? Another example that I recently saw on TV is having the founder of Sargento cheese appear in the commercial and using his voice in the advertisement. These executives are the experts on their products and by appearing in the advertisements they are speaking directly to customers. Testimonial endorsements, used correctly, can build brand recognition and trust.  
Hope Corrigan, Marketing Faculty, Loyola College in Maryland - October 9, 2006
 
 Well, such move normally improves the customer loyality and trust on the brands, if the details are put effectively. 
Kaunain Shahidi, Head-Packaging Development, SPIMACO ADDWAEIAH - October 9, 2006
 
 Let's not forget David Ogilvy's doggerel:

"If your client moans and cries, make his logo twice the size.

"If he should still prove refractory, add a picture of his factory.

"But only in the gravest cases should you show your clients' faces."

Obviously, to quote George Ade, "It all depends."

And let's not forget that true branding is mostly an "inside job." If the product or service and everything associated with it aren't any good, all the fancy schmantzy "branding" in the world won't save it. 

Tim Orr, President, Barnett Orr Marketing Group, Inc. - October 9, 2006
 
 yes, if the ceo is the personification of the brand/company. if the ceo is charismatic, like richard branson, for instance, it could work to a certain extent, but not really in its intended way - even though i see mr branson on virgin ads, i don't really see the connection to the brand, other than he owns it. apple would be good with steve jobs, for instance, because the ideals of that company tie in directly with the idals of mr jobs, and when pepole think of apple, they think of mr jobs. 
vladimir bosanac, Director, Vertical Development, LiveOps, Inc - October 9, 2006
 
 No, this is business school 101. Anytime the CEO is shown in advertising means the company is struggling. Look at Ford and GM. It also shows that your company has lost if focus on its marketing strategy, and most importantly on its product. If you have to really on your company heritage in order to sell your product then your company, which was the king of the hill, is more than likely on the tipping point of falling behind the competition. Nobody cares about a company’s heritage. Heritage is important for only one reason that’s customer assurance that your company isn’t going to go out of business and leave them high and dry, but that is small part of the buying decision (relative to the purchase price).

So if you think your CEO can sell your product your wrong. Stop wasting $ on you advertising and make a product that people actually will crave. Example: Ford vs. BMW. Ok, you say that isn’t fair. Then Ford vs. Nissan.

On a side note if Ford wants to turn its self around then take a stance and design something that people will get strong reactions Love or Hate. If you play the middle ground and go conservative then you won’t stand out, which is what they have done for years. When they were on top they took a stance….now they just talk about how great they once were. Oh, and Bill stop talking about fuel efficiency and what your trying to do and make hybrids. Also, Bill take a history lesson. You got your pants beat off of you once before when the Asian car manufacturers came in with small cars. Well they are back with hybrids and you and your American counterparts are standing around trying to speak with Bush about fuel problems. Your about to get your butts kicked again. If you don’t innovate somebody else will.  

Jason, founder, IHDEA - October 9, 2006
 
 Ford did this in 2001 in Brazil and it was one of the most remarkable campaigns the brand ever did in the country. Of course, the CEO had a message only him could deliver: he challenged people to test drive a Ford and after that, if the customer bought a competitor's car, got paid R$ 100,00 (about US$ 50,00 by that time). 
Rodrigo Maroni, Account Planner, JWT - October 9, 2006
 
 This is my second time to pay the original price for your "buy one get one free" goods. In my understanding, if I just take one of "buy one get one free" item, I should get the half price of the product. However, your cashier said, I need to mention or I cannot get the discount because she cannot know which item is discounted. Yes, maybe they cannot remember all the price in your store, but do consumers need to remember? What does your inventory system work for? Is that right? I believe, to remember which discount goods are is your responsibility not mine. I'm consumer and how can I remember how many items I buy are "buy one get one free" goods? Since you decide the good price for customers, you have to really reward to us. 
Anonymous - October 9, 2006
 
 I am not sure if it is correct to say it will build that much trust by placing the CEO on an ad, but more that it may build connection. Consumers see the man behind the company allowing them to get a human feel. But again if the CEO is charismatic that yes by all means do it. If the CEO lives and breathes the brand he will be a great ambassador. 
Baba Hazuria, Strategic Planner - October 9, 2006
 
 No, the CEO should not be used in brand communications. Usually they are not "marketing personalities, in that they do not really exude a genuine passion for the brand nut probably do it to save the talent cost more than anything else, hahaha. They usually are preoccupied with the bottomline and as most marketers know our department is considered a "necessary expense". But in these times of corporate scandals a plenty, this may in no time damage the brands credibility, and the fact that this CEO talent may have demitted office, will not restore the brands image. The brand should be seperate from the CEO when they become synonymous I have a problem... case in point, Martha Stewart/Omnimedia. 
Raquel Williams, Marketing Manager, Free Form Factory - October 9, 2006
 
 The use of company CEO for the brand communication is quite similar to using a celeb for brand endorsement, so if the perceptions and associations for the CEO of the target audience match that of the product and if the use of CEO and reinforce the positive brand associations then it would be ok to use the CEO other wise it would not help to build the brand. The personality, popularity, perception of the CEO as a individual amongst the target audience remains the most important factor to decide whether he can be used or not. 
Samir, Brand Manager, Serengeti Breweries Limited - Tanzania - October 10, 2006
 
 A CEO that is the brand will resonate more strongly with the average consumer in its initial drawing power, sure, but for a company like DaimlerChrysler what ultimately drives purchase intent is delivery of the brand promise - quality, safety and service reliability. That said, put a CEO on the front of an ad for a company that isn’t particularly well-known for its ‘delivery’ (i.e., DaimlerChrysler which has historically been plagued with service quality issues, product recalls and issues with warranty claims payouts), and - for obvious reasons – you will sooner find yourself becoming synonymous with the comically “stoopid” of effective marketing strategies than you will be for driving sales. 
deanna l shaw - October 10, 2006
 
 I would have to say that this depends purely on the personality / characteristics of the CEO at hand.

Most CEOs have a black belt in PR or else they would not have the job in the first place. However, this may not always transpire to television perfectly and this could be due to poor creative advertising decisions (e.g. bad television commercial script).

Some CEOs are hopeless on television -- although loved by shareholders. Hearing Jack Welch's squeeky voice trying to flog GE products during a Super Bowl break is not a pleasurable experience for most people. 

Levon Guiragossian, Director, The Place Marketing Group - October 11, 2006
 
 CEO's replace the brand. its easier for the human mind to relate to another human being than to an object or to an icon. the top of the mind recall is definitly there for a brand/ icon as there are fewer points of recogonition to remember. whereas, the "trust" factor that is built up with a charecter is definitly greter. that is why celebrity endorsments are a way forward in many countries where litracy levels are below par. The face is the company and people buy products for the person. 
Madan Menon - October 12, 2006
 
 The question is moot regarding Branding; this is an etiquette question and would be perceived differently by West and East coast American demographics, European consumers, and consumers in other differentiated cultural markets. Good advertising must first be that, regardless and inclusive of its contributing factors. 
deborah risa mrantz, principal/CEO, grafico design and media llc - October 12, 2006
 
 "Yes ofcourse CEO is a hidden star and talent of the company ads. because on every add presenting to the public he plays a main role in the campaign publicity he has to take care of PR, Marketing,and the target audience. Keeping that in mind he has to take care of every promotion of the branding. 
vasanth arkachari, corporate services IT, centre for development of advanced computing - October 13, 2006
 
 Only if he has good teeth! 
Dr Paul Harrison, Senior Associate, Centre for Business Research - October 14, 2006
 
 Well i really do not agree. Guess your brand can nto be registered ijn the consumers mind by any brand ambasador nor the ceo.
Its the brands evolution over the years that makes the brand unique and stand apart. Well in no ways the ceo can jump ur sales indrectly. 
Deep Vakahria, Student - October 14, 2006
 
 there are two things -
brand and the person.
the brand is known and so is the ceo. now the question is between the two which is bigger and bears a greater impact on society.  
arlette, morgan - October 16, 2006
 
 The question here is, will I switch to Virgin Atlantic from British Airways just bcoz Mr. Richard Branson has ask to do so????....Thus here there are two important things, Firstly the CEO must be/convert himself into a brand (to whom ppl would like to relate to) or he must go in for very selective niche endorsing as may be my boss would rather relate himself more to Mr. Branson than me..."To Reach" cannot be the objective here. 
Sangeeta Shekhar, Sr. Exe. - Busi. Operations, Claris Lifesciences Ltd. - October 16, 2006
 
 Your example illustrates the limitation of CEO branding. Martha Stewart is a brand, yes...an uptight, condescending, know-it-all New Englander. But she is completely different from her stylish and approachable retail brand for the masses. You think Martha buys her stuff at Kmart? Is Richard Branson as much fun individually as the brands he has created? Oprah's brand extensions seem like an extension of her "brand," including breezy magazines and book clubs that reflect her honest, curious style. Using a CEO effectively requires asking if their involvement enhances the consumer's affinity for the brand. Iococca's gravitas was necessary to bolster the reputation of a lagging 1980's Chrysler, and American's perceptions of today's Chrysler may not have evolved sufficiently to permit "quirky" as a brand asset. 
Paul Wilson, Chief Strategy Officer, Felder Communications Group - October 16, 2006
 
 Unless the CEO is the brand, it is my opinion that s(h)e should not be used as a model in an ad campaign. My opinion is informed by the fact that 1.) The CEO personal brand drivers are not necessarily synonymous with those of the brand in question,- something that could bring about a conflict in the message sent out.
2.) A CEO may call to mind different associations other than those that are right for the brand.
3.) It is unlikely to predict the future conduct of a CEO and as such, using Her/him in an ad campaign may expose the brand to unnecessary risk should (s)he suffer a nose dive. 
Paul Ng'ang'a Ngugi, Managing Partner-Strategy, GreyOwl Ltd - October 16, 2006
 
 Only if the CEO ads value. If it's a gimmick or ego-driven, then keep the CEO out of the picture. The worst example is Scott Blum in the buy.com commercial. Who is he? And why should we care? 
Mike Barzacchini, Chief Enthusiasm Officer - October 16, 2006
 
 OK - ONLY IF the CEO of the company is already a favorable brand. First time I saw Dr. Z in the ad, I thought he is just one of the made-up president for the commercial... So for the audience like me, there was no branding power even though Dr. Z has hidden attractive personality..... 
Anonymous, Marketing Student - October 16, 2006
 
 I like the way that CEO's are begining to show up in advertisments for their company. Its brave and it saves them the costs of hiring celebraties to do it for them. 
Jared Slater - October 16, 2006
 
 A CEO can star in a company ads if there is a brand fit between the two.

It is important to know the CEO's perceptions amongst the target audience first.

It should be analysed as to what value will a CEO add to the brand if he features in ad ?And its subsequent effects on the target audience .

Most important ,it should be of some relevance to the brand'd target audience.

A CEO if decides to appear in an ad,he/she should be desirable,exclusive and believable to the target audience of a brand.  

Deepak Parashar, Asst. Manager-Marketing, SKF India Limited - October 17, 2006
 
 It really depends on specific situations. For instance in India due to the pesticide issue in soft drinks Pepsi roped in its CEO in one of the ad campaign explaining a young guy that there is no problem in the drink. That approach certainly leaves impact rather than getting that endorsed from a celebrity. 
Asad Humayoon, Marketing Manager, Reliance Communications Ltd, Bangalore India - October 17, 2006
 
 A ceo should only part of the ad if he authecity to the brand. 
TSHEPHO MOSEKI, STUDENT - October 17, 2006
 
 I'm sure that it worked in some cases but in most cases it's the ultimate reflexion of high end executives wanting to be closely associated with their brands, and man do they sound bias and fake. In general i think shoving the CEO in brand ad is a very bad good idea! 
Mazen Mehio, Managing Director, Second Opinion Communication consultancy - October 18, 2006
 
 It depends on the product. If it is for a niche product targetted at an educated audience, the audience is likely to understand the importance of the CEO with respect to the brand. But for a product that addresses a mass population, using the CEO does not make sense unless the CEO herself is a well-known personality/brand. 
sitashwa srivastava, MBA student - October 19, 2006
 
 I agree with Deepak about the personality fit, if the two complement each other i.e Jay-Z (president of Def Jam records) and Heineken then it can be effective. The problem for me comes in sectors which are very "serious" and traditional like banking and finance. You would not want to see the president of your banking group jumping around on screen acting a fool, trying to advertise a new no frills account for university students! Its all about image; Jay-Z embodies the African American dream, Heineken is a premium brand consumed typically by aspirers (especially in the developing world). There is harmony in that relationship that doesn't jeopardise Def Jams image. 
Game Bantsi, student, Monash SA - October 19, 2006
 
 It definitely comes down to if the CEO "defines" the brand's image, then yes, I would say it is a great fit. Consumers look to define themselves through brands they purchase, so the real question is whether or not consumers will relate or define themselves with the CEO. So, do women who make most of the financial purchase decisions, including cars, relate to Dr. Z? I would say no! Does Dr. Z relate to the HEMI driver? I would also say no! 
David Rose, Student of Branding - October 20, 2006
 
 The CEO of an organisation is "the" person who is actually responsible for making the wheels of the organisation turn .
If an AD features the CEO of the company itself , it would undoubtedly pump in a lot of impetus for not only the product but also the company because people woukld tend to associate the product with the "top man" in the organisation .....

The recent Eg can be that ofRajeev Bakshi ( Chairman , Pepsi) who actually tried to to clean up the dirty morsels by emphasising that pepsi is safe .... 

Abhishek Kota, Management student, LBSIM - October 21, 2006
 
 Brands are promisses. If the CEO honor his public promises then, yes, he can stars in company ads. 
lucas compan, ceo, gol marketing and creation [ the fiv5 fiv5 group ] - October 23, 2006
 
 Does Dr. Z look like the personality you associate with DaymlerChrysler? And is it helpfull for a serious brand like DaymlerChrysler to name him Dr. Z? Dr. Z could probably sell a thouthbrush to me or be the main caracter of a comics but to put him in car ads is in my opinion misplaced.

Furthermore, if DaymlerChrysler has a bad run of business, Mr. Zetsche will probably have to leave the company. To put CEOs which are not the owners of a company in an ad, is highly risky seen the policy of hire and fire of CEOs nowadays. 

Manuela Gsponer, Marketing Manager, Distance University of Switzerland - October 23, 2006
 
 Dr. Z wasn't that bad. It made sense to pair his German personality/accent with his American brand. Look at the car itself, hasn't it borrowed a lot from German engineering? The fact that cars aren't moving off the lot might have more to do with the cars themselves than the pitchman.

CEO's should only be casted in ads that call for their talents. Too often, CEO's cast themselves in ads, this is when it looks transparent or egotistical.
See example: Buy.com, CEO Scott Blum. 

Kevin Richards, Senior Designer, MicroStrategy - October 23, 2006
 
 The CEO in company ads must be consistent with the brand promise and delivery on that promise. But, first and foremost, the brand promise must deliver what consumers want; "It is easier to sell what customers want to buy, than what you want to sell." (Unknown source). Perhaps DaimlerChrysler should step back and first take care of that necessary detail. 
Lee Ann Jessop, Marketing Manager - October 23, 2006
 
 In Jim Collins' book "Good to Great" he outlines a Fly Wheel concept which features 6 different stages that companies move through when going from good to great.

The first of these stages is "Level 5 Leadership". The qualities of a level 5 leader include key points such as:

- "more plow horse than show horse"
- "display a compelling modesty"
- "personal humility"

If you judge Zetsche by this kind of criteria you get your explanation for DaimlerChrysler's slide.

It is better that a CEO's focus be on the company rather then the powder room. 

Geoff Henshaw, Marketing Manager - October 24, 2006
 
 If the CEO's image and personality does not fit with the association of the product, using one in its ads would not add consistency in what the company wants to deliver to its audience. How do consumers relate the CEO to the product they are looking at? To some, very little. In this media world with more and more new faces and personalities sprouting for both entertainment and consumer-oriented purposes, for long or short periods of time; introducing the CEO may not make much of an impact to the ad and product, maybe unless done differently. 
Petrisha Sun, www.petrisha.com - October 24, 2006
 
 Remington built a whole company based on the CEO, his visibility in the ad campaign - and his promise of course! 
Jo Sacks, Partner, Brand activation - October 25, 2006
 
 When it comes to brand reputation and trust, “leadership” plays a key role, and if the message that the CEO is trying to give is consistent with the overall communication strategy of the company, then CEO’s appearance might actually add value. 
Birgi Martin, Director, Market Research - October 25, 2006
 
 For the proponents of “CEO for Ad Star,” it helps to look at the whole CEO thing from a long-term cost-benefit perspective. A good illustration; Roberto Guizueta was a very successful brand custodian of the Coca Cola Company, although I am not aware of ads he featured in, he did a lot PR orchestrated analyst briefings which build his image in tandem with that of the company he represented.

It followed thus, that there was no thinking about the coke corporate brand without linking it to Goizueta, and vis versa, for the time he was at the helm, the CEO-PR was great for the company and specifically for its share price and its love-hate relationship with members of its extended family (bottlers.) His exit however left a huge image vacuum that not even Ivestor could adequately fill.  

Paul Ng'ang'a Ngugi, Managing Partner-Strategy, GreyOwl Ltd - October 26, 2006
 
 
     
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