Using a paid spokesperson is tricky. You can not be stupid about it <that is a big deal … because companies get stupid when they pull out their wallets to pay for some spokespeople> … you can even find someone who fits well … and even find someone who will not embarrass you <the company, the brand, the product> and then … well … some unfortunate timing occurs.
Toyota just featured Grace Potter for one of their smaller more economical models. She is from Vermont. She seems practical and down to earth and when you saw her with the Toyota it really wasn’t a stretch to believe it. And I thought it was a good choice.
And Toyota, being a savvy marketer, placed the television advertisement in the new VH1 Storytellers featuring Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. That was a good choice. Ok. Actually awesome use of compatible editorial environment.
Oh. Oops. Here is the unfortunate timing … during the storyteller portion of the show Grace had just finished a delightful story about how she took off in her car for 4 or 5 days driving back roads trying to unlock writer’s block. Unfortunately she said “I took my car … a Fiat … and just drove.”
Is it a big deal? Heck. I am probably one of a dozen people who noticed it <consciously at least>. There are probably a few more who subconsciously knew something was wrong and it just felt like a disconnect for some reason. But. Here is the deal. If you are gonna pay the bucks to have a paid spokesperson you gotta have some of the details under control … or … well … its just not worth paying the bucks.
Was it unfortunate? Yup. Was it avoidable? Yup. Was it bad for credibility? Yup.