Column Date 2010-12-14


How far will advertising people go to find a celebrity to endorse their product?

Well, how about all the way up to God.

There's now a health bar on the market that, according to the manufacturer, "contains the seven foods that God calls good in Deuteronomy." (For those of us who may have forgotten, they are wheat, barley, raisins, honey, figs, pomegranates and olive oil.)

It's called a Bible Bar, and before the more religious of our readers rush out to buy one, there are some things you should know about how celebrities are used in advertising.

For one thing, the Bible Bar is made by the same folks who bring us Noah's Nuggets, King David's Treat, Seeds of Samson, Elijah's Fire, and a book for dieters titled "Moses Wasn't Fat." They've really nailed down an "A" list of celebrities here.

You should also know that each Bible Bar has 270 calories -- 50 of them from fat. Which means it's not exactly the healthiest health bar you can eat. (Quaker's Chewy Peanut Butter bar, by comparison, has just 120 calories.)

Leading me to the conclusion that, at least right now, God is not terribly worried about whether we watch our weight or not.

But this "historical" kind of endorsement opens up vast new areas for the advertising business to exploit.

For instance, I would think that a Power Drink endorsed by Hannibal, say, or Alexander the Great, would have broad appeal: "Contains the 5 essential electrolytes Alexander drank before he ravaged Persepolis!" "Gives you enough extra energy to sack 3 or 4 small cities in a single day!"

For more adventurous consumers, a "Fantasy Bar," made from 100% organic, mind-expanding ingredients, might use Franz Kafka, Hieronymus Bosch, or possibly even Salvador Dali as an endorser.

And last but not least, we'll certainly be tempted to buy "Original Greek Marathon Running shoes" -- constructed according to the ancient writings of Pheidippides, the legendary Greek soldier who ran all 26 miles from Marathon to Athens to bring news of a great victory over the Persians.

Which all goes to proves that celebrity endorsers can be useful. If you sign up the right one.

(c) 2010 Peter Tannen