Should Actors Worry About Appearing in Too Many Commercials?

An article in Advertising Age asks a question worthy of debate: Can an actor be in too many ads? 

Most little-known actors would see nothing wrong with a steady stream of paying commercial gigs.  But if an actor becomes a familiar face by appearing in commercials for too many products, there is a good chance that the overexposure will hurt both the actor and the advertisement’s pitch. 

Not only would audiences potentially become used to seeing the actor as a pitchman (or pitchwoman) rather than an actor (“Hey, it’s the guy from the Cheerios commercial!  What’s he doing next to Tom Hanks?”) but audiences seeing a repeat actor in a commercial might spend time focusing on where they’ve seen that face before rather than on the product that’s being pitched.

Of course, there are also problems if the actor is recognized as appearing in two different ad campaigns that perhaps shouldn’t be linked.  Though not exactly what you want to think about, RPA Group Creative Director Jason Sperling brings up a potential dilemma by pointing out, “If an actor had irritable bowel syndrome in one spot, then how would it affect how I look at his other [commercial] for Del Taco?”

Part of the issue arises from directors and casting directors who end up relying on actors that they feel comfortable working with.  While that’s not normally an issue — nobody complained when Martin Scorsese made eight movies starring Robert DeNiro — but it could become an issue in advertising.  Director Matt Aselton filmed national commercials for Toyota, Walmart, eBay and Dish Network that all featured actress Allyn Rachel (who has appeared this year in several episodes of Weeds as Monica).  Aselton doesn’t seem to think that’s an issue, saying, “It’s hard to find the awesome people.  And if I find them, I pretty much consider them part of the troupe.” Other directors claim that a lack of talented, versatile actors who are willing to do commercials are the reason why familiar faces keep popping up.

Still, Sperling isn’t ready to concede that it’s a good move for advertisers to look for a familiar commercial actor.  He uses the example of an actor who recently appeared in a commercial for Tampax with his agency, saying, “If Tampax man tells me that I should drink Mountain Dew in two weeks, I wouldn’t buy it.”

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/kristen-dunst-fargo.jpg
Kirsten Dunst: Auditions are “the most stressful thing to me on the planet Earth”
Despite being a well-known actress with dozens of credits, Kristen Dunst tells Variety that she still thinks of auditions as “the most stressful thing to me on the planet Earth.” Most audiences first became familiar with Dunst after her appearance as the young vampire Claudia in 1994’s Interview with the Vampire, but Dunst confesses that […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Jessie-Mueller-Waitress.jpg
Jessie Mueller on Following up ‘Beautiful’ with ‘Waitress’: “I think early on I did feel little bit of pressure”
"I was taken with theater from the beginning, it was the coolest thing for me." - Jessie Mueller
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Sean-Hayes-An-Act-of-God.jpg
Sean Hayes on Why He Loves Theater and His Return to Broadway in ‘An Act of God’
"I think one of the worst mistakes an actor can make is run away from the role that made them beloved in the first place, that gave them an audience." - Sean Hayes
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/zachary-levi-she-loves-me.jpg
Zachary Levi on Starring in Broadway’s ‘She Loves Me’: “Honestly, the biggest challenge is just my own brain”
“My whole life, all I’ve ever wanted to do was be an actor and an entertainer and make people happy and also feel like I belonged" - Zachary Levi
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Ewan-McGregor-Last-Days.jpg
Ewan McGregor Talks Playing Jesus and the Devil in ‘Last Days in the Desert’
"I was just trying to play him like any other role, really. Who do I think he was? Who do I want him to be in this story?" - Ewan McGregor