Starring – ME!


Coinciding with The Martin Agency’s launch of the UPS Whiteboard commercials, I had been looking at some old agency work that, instead of actors giving a testimonial, included one of our agency’s account executive playing the role. Personally, I wasn’t a fan, but what did I know? This is my first time working full time in an agency. I did, however, not believe it to be common practice or even something that large agencies would think of. Later, I learned that the actor in the Whiteboard commercials was the creator, Andy Azula, acting in his own concept.

A few weeks ago I was pulled from my office to sit in a photo shoot for one of our clients to be used on the web [shameless plug]. Not really having a choice, as I am a lowly designer, pictures were taken of me that will be used in the corporate website and other collateral. Granted there are lots of reasons this may happen: saving money from having to hire professional models, last minute additions, or feeding the ego. But personally I do not think it’s professional and that it should not be done (especially if the image or video is prominent). I do think that it can be neat and fun to have a “cameo” (think Alfred Hitchcock or maybe even Where’s Waldo), but in order to do a cameo the “actor” should be well known beyond the realm of advertising—or at least generate buzz as a pay-off.
What do other advertising professionals think? Is there, should there, be a difference from a small agency versus a large one using in-house “talent”?