Celebrity tech endorsements to be wary of, 2012 edition
Martin Scorsese has popped up in an advert for Apple’s Siri personal assistant. He joins the esteemed company of Samuel L. Jackson, Zooey Deschanel and John Malkovich in promoting Apple’s voice-activated digital butler. But they’re not the only big names signing up to promote tech products, as we showed last year.
So who else has been at it lately? We’ve rebooted the franchise of celebrity tech endorsements, so let’s take a look.
Scorsese/Jackson/Deschanel/Malkovich – Siri
As we say, Scorsese is just the latest to bang the drum for Apple. The new ad sees him in the back of a taxi, firing a barrage of questions at Siri. Apple’s personal assistant responds in turn, helping Marty reschedule an appointment, check his calendar, find a friend, and check on the traffic.
This follows Samuel L. Jackson using Siri to help prepare for what looks like a hot date, Zooey Deschanel asking if it’s raining, and Malkovich being very easily amused.
Some weren’t so enamoured with Siri’s abilities though. A New Yorker brought a lawsuit against Apple in March, accusing the Cupertino company of being ‘misleading and deceptive’ with its claims about Siri. And Siri launched in the UK without access to any local services, rendering it no more than a cute novelty. No wonder no British celebrities signed up to big up its skills.
Professor Green – ZTE
Yes, the Chinese mobile maker roped in rapper Professor Green to help capture the yoof market. Wu Sa, director of mobile device operations for ZTE in the UK, said Green’s “vibrant and energetic” style matches the company’s brand values. This is the company that knocks out cheap – though admittedly decent – Android phones.
“Ultimately though, the relationship is symbiotic,” Sa added. “ZTE is supporting an artist with one of the most anticipated albums and tours of the year, whilst Professor Green is attaching kudos and relevance to ZTE as we drive our brand to a social networking-driven youth market looking for choice in the handset market.”
Green’s quote didn’t appear in the announcement, but we can imagine it was along the lines of: “Yep, what he said.”
Carl Barat – Philips Fidelio speakers
Last summer, the ex-Libertines star partnered with Philips to promote the company’s Fidelio speaker range. This involved playing a gig at the Paramount bar, the venue at the top of Centre Point, the huge tower block at the intersection of London’s Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road.
We’re sure the man knows a lot about sound quality, but in the promo video there’s nary a mention of what Philips has to do with anything.
Alan Sugar – YouView
Sugar’s YouView TV service was unveiled earlier this month. It promises subscription-free on-demand viewing, yet the Humax box you need costs £300, which is a lot.
Sugar himself admitted the offering is currently a “carcass of the real experience”, with a “minimal amount of features at launch.” He also believes the high price will come down before long.
It’s nice to see Sugar sticking to his straight-talking ways, but one question remains: How can you expect anyone to pony up £300 when you admit the service is nowhere near complete, and you say the price will fall very soon? Maybe someone should take Siralun aside and quietly suggest there’s a time and a place for his no-nonsense approach.
Mila Kunis – World of Warcraft
Now here’s one you can genuinely trust. Kunis admitted on a talk show she is a huge fan of online roleplaying life-sapper World of Warcraft. Kunis. World of Warcraft. And you can tell she’s not making it up. She looks a little embarrassed about it, even saying she was so addicted she had to stop playing.
But she obviously knows her stuff; it’s unlikely you could pay one of the world’s sexiest women to pretend to like a game like Warcraft unless she was really into it.
If you’re looking for a poster girl, you could do a lot worse.