Occasionally, the over-confident CEO, spurred on by a cabal of sycophantic Yes men, decides it would be a smart move to be the talent in his company's TV commercials. Ad agencies LOVE sticking boss man into the spots—it saves their lazy asses from having to come up with any original ideas, plus it's then pretty damn unlikely that the CEO will fire them.
Lee Iacocca doesn't look like a car. He looks like Old. Yet in 2005, floundering Chrysler perplexingly picked their former CEO as a pitchman, apparently to attract that lucrative 70+ driving demo. Shitty bloated ad agency BBDO lamely threw in Snoop Dog as a last-gasp grasp at younger consumers. The only good thing that came out of this campaign was that Iacocca gave his fee to a diabetes foundation (his wife died from the disease).
That $75 million failure was followed up last summer by ...another comedic CEO campaign (un-believable) from the same shitty bloated ad agency, this time featuring the antics of the Teutonic head of parent DaimlerChrysler, Dieter "Dr. Z" Zetsche.
Gee, do you think it worked? The sales numbers say nein.
My favorite CEO-powered adwork of all time is the memorable broadcast work for Carvel ice cream featuring the raspy, sometimes unintelligible voice of Greek-immigrant and New Yorker Tommy Carvel. He employed grade school kids to help him with the artwork and voiceover in his spots. You only needed to hear him say "Cookie Puss" (below right) once, and it was burned into your brain forever. He died in his sleep in 1990 at the age of 84. Long live Fudgie The Whale!
One of these is the face of success.
94 years ago, liar H.K. McCann launched his NYC ad agency with the slogan "Truth Well Told." That was a Big Fat Lie. Advertising copywriter copyranter brings you instances of Ad Lies and the Lying Liars who sell them.