Of Brand Endorsements and Sellable Souls

Yesterday, news hit that Tennis player David Ferrer tweeted about being happy using the Samsung Galaxy SIV smartphone, from an iPhone. This is the most recent incident in a series of such erratas that have caused furore among the press. Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey was seen praising the Microsoft Surface tablet on Twitter using an iPad. R&B Singer and BlackBerry’s “Global Creative Director”, Alicia Keys accused of her Twitter account being hacked in her defence, when the media pounced on her for using an iPhone to tweet something.

In all these cases, sponsors probably goofed up by not enforcing these celebrities to Tweet promotional content using their own device. Or could they? Just because they’re endorsing a particular gadget to their fan followers on Twitter, is there a rule written somewhere that compels them to use the sponsorer’s device? There probably is, or probably isn’t — in the contract they sign. So, why does the media have to give them a hard time without knowing what they can or cannot do?

Why can’t a celeb, typically of a high financial status, have the luxury of using multiple brands of devices as they please? Every OS has unique features that attracts one towards it. I love Android’s swipe-able notifications, iPad’s multi-touch gestures instead of using the home button, and the Kid’s Corner feature on Windows Phone. Even though I don’t expect Oprah or Alicia keys to geek out about different phones the way I do, I personally see nothing wrong if they want to tweet using any device they want to.

But if they are in fact contractually not allowed to use any other device, well then that’s just sad. The only company I see benefit out of these PR nightmares is, coincidentally, the same company whose devices all the above celebs were caught cheating with.

PS: That way, let’s be super vigilant if we ever get a chance to see if Aamir Khan using anything other than a Samsung Galaxy, or Ranbir Kapoor pulling out anything other than a BB10 from his pocket.

Rohan Naravane

Rohan Naravane is in charge of content & product experience on PriceBaba. When he’s not writing about technology, he likes to talk about it and will ramble on if he finds you remotely technological. His on-going endeavours include creating a perfect routine that allows him to get back in shape, followed by marathoning of TV shows/movies after work.

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