richard_leeds wrote:Let's take another example. Last year when Hamilton was seemingly crashing in every race, every UK branch of Santander had huge posters of him to advertise their unbeatable offers.
I don't think anyone thought that association inferred that Santander would destroy your savings against a barrier in Spa. The general public simply see highly successful celebrity.
I think that example would be much more relevant if instead of being a celebrity race car driver, Lewis Hamilton was a celebrity accountant or broker.
What did Michael Jordan have to do with fast food? Nothing at all, but McDonald's didn't care and neither did consumers.
People are used to celebrity pitchmen.
Pirelli, on the other hand, prominently displays a product that, even though it's not even close to being representative to what they generally sell to the public, nevertheless doesn't exactly portray their wares in a wholly favorable light; their celebrity endorsement here is the product.
It doesn't do the brand any favors to have former world champions - not just Schumacher - current drivers, pundits and a significant portion of F1's fanbase constantly bemoaning a characteristic of the tires that they view very poorly. I can guarantee you that Paul Hemberey does not want to be forced to answer the kinds of questions he routinely faces these days.
The informed fan, will of course, know the score. The uninformed fan, of which there are many, will likely just associate the word Pirelli with something they simply do not like; they'll have an emotional response. Connotations are very important. If they weren't, the very nature of advertising would be a whole lot different.
You'll never see the names Adolf, O.J. or Osama topping a list of popular baby names for any given year; you'll never see another car called Edsel or Pinto; and the word NASCAR will never be associated with sophistication even if the cars were gilded and powered by small nuclear reactors.