Coinciding with The Martin Agencyâ€™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 agencyâ€™s account executive playing the role. Personally, I wasnâ€™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 itâ€™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 â€œcameoâ€ (think Alfred Hitchcock or maybe even Whereâ€™s Waldo), but in order to do a cameo the â€œactorâ€ should be well known beyond the realm of advertisingâ€”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”?