Iceland look for a new ambassador

Iceland is finally ditching its celebrity-focused marketing strategy and looking to appoint one of its customers to become its ‘brand ambassador.’

I have yet to notice it, but the supermarket chain has launched a nationwide PR campaign to find a ‘new face of the brand’, inviting people to attend live auditions at the end of March. Digital agency And Digital has created a microsite, Newfaceoficeland.co.uk, to promote the auditions and these will be judged by Iceland’s chairman, Malcolm Walker, and its current ‘face’, Coleen Nolan, who will be giving up her role.

Members of the public will then be able to vote from an online shortlist of candidates, with a winner being selected in April.

As we are all aware, Iceland has used (BMC – ‘so-called’) celebrities in its marketing activity for quite some time now. In 2006, it began sponsoring ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me out of Here!’, and has aligned itself with former contestants such as Kerry Katona, Christopher Biggins and Jason Donovan.

I am holding my breath in anticipation, aren’t you?!?

This activity of using celebs is called “testimonials” or “celebrity endorsements”, and apparently, consumers relate to the person(s) appearing in the ad: If the celebrity / athlete / star uses the product, then it must be good, so I will purchase it too.

Does anyone actually think that using celebrities for advertising actually works? Recent examples like Gillette with Tiger Woods and Thierry Henry spring to mind!

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