Celebrities are often tapped by many companies to endorse their products, and even manufacturers of electronic cigarettes are joining the bandwagon. Attaching a famous face to a product will definitely work wonders for their sales margin, but only if the correct face has been chosen, and the campaign was done right.
This week, the e-cigs community had quite a stir when Jacob Fuller, CEO of the UK division of Blucigs, disclosed plans of using Lady Gaga to promote Blu. The plan was to have a video shot, with the high-profile star talking about the e-cigarette.
The news was definitely huge, earning all sorts of reactions from all sides.
In an interview with journalist Andrew Cave, an excited Fuller talked about how e-cigarettes are all set to surpass the sales of actual tobacco. He even talked about the past marketing campaigns of Blu, utilising various celebrities and famous faces to put the brand on the front lines. He mentioned Kevin Spacey’s character in “The House of Cards” using Blu e-cigs. Blu even made it on The David Letterman Show. Actor Stephen Dorff, who is the celebrity spokesperson of Blu in the US, even made appearances in the UK for the brand. Clearly, this strategy of using famous names and faces is not going to end any time soon.
And that was when Lady Gaga’s name came up. It is to be noted that the controversial hitmaker is already working with the US division of Blucigs, and the UK division sees no problem in getting in on the piece of the action and bringing her to the UK as well.
Needless to say, groups opposing electronic cigarettes aren’t going to take this lying down. They accused the company of targeting the younger generation – the main demographic comprising Lady Gaga’s fanbase – and luring kids and teens to get into the habit of smoking.
The planned Lady Gaga video is not the first celebrity advertisement for Blucigs. Aside from Dorff, stars such as Courtney Love and Jenny McCarthy already endorsed this product. However, the uproar was not as great, considering how they were older and were relatively unknown by the younger demographic.
Lady Gaga, on the other hand, is a different story. Even toddlers know of her. Tween girls are emulating her – the way she dresses, the way she sings and dances, and even the way she styles her hair. This is why critics are coming down heavily on Blucigs for choosing her.
It seems Blu is doing some quick damage control, though. It denied any plans on getting Lady Gaga on board, even going so far as saying that Fuller was misinformed and thus, said things that were false.
But not everyone is buying it. After all, Fuller is the CEO, so how could he have been misinformed?
Cave had the interview with Fuller recorded, so Blu is going to have a hard time fixing this. At the moment, no one can tell what permanent repercussions this event will have on the e-cigs industry as a whole, but there is no denying that Blu has put itself in hot water, and may have a tricky time trying to get out of it.