Clay Aiken – #1 Again!



John Follis is an award winning ad exec and marketing expert.  His company, Follis, LLC is one of the most successful companies in the field of social media, viral marketing and traditional advertising.

Besides running his active company, Follis currently blogs for ADWEEK/AOL’s “Fuel the Future” and The Follis Marketing Report.

On Monday, Follis wrote a blog titled, Celebrity Apprentice (Personal Brand) Winners and Losers.

Follis suggested that the celebrity managers and publicists are trying to find out how their client scored with the public and with potential advertisers.  He suggests that there are teams of people searching through twitter posts, facebook mentions and blogs that help the publicists see how well their client came off on the show.  Follis said:

Though their celeb may not have won, a good primetime showing could mean millions for their celeb in the form of that next TV deal or Superbowl spot.

Follis finishes the article by listing the top winners and losers from this season of Celebrity Apprentice.

#1 on the list of Big Winners is…Clay Aiken.  According to Follis:

Before this season’s CA, few knew much about Clay Aiken beyond his being “that gay American Idol singer.” Clay’s amazing showing on CA has totally elevated his public awareness and personal brand. Not only did it reveal his amazing vocal talents to millions of potentially new fans, but it also revealed him to be a super smart, caring, determined, classy, easy-going, and genuinely good, likeable guy. Perhaps, more importantly, it will hopefully help break down negative attitudes that continue to exist toward the gay community.

The two other celebrity winners are Arsenio Hall and Dayana Mendoza.

On the other end of the list, Follis chose Lisa Lampanelli as top “loser” on the show:

If this was HBO or an esoteric cable channelLisa Lampanelli might have gotten away with her condescending, foul-mouthed antics. Not on NBC in primetime. I’m sure she was told as much by her handlers (if there even is such a thing). Even with her 11th-hour attempt at crisis management by coughing up the 10k for Clay’s charity and acting all sweet and self-effacing with her final comments, it was too little, too late. She may have won big bucks for her charity, but she blew it big time to take her career up a notch. Had she been smarter she could have won while staying true to her wickedly, wise-ass persona. Instead, she just came off wicked.

The other person on the “loser” list is Aubrey O’Day.

You can read the entire blog at FOLLIS And, if you want, you can leave a comment for the author.

According to Deborah Sierchio at Coyne Public Relations:

Many clients clamor for the clout of a heavyweight actor or actress, musician or model, host or socialite to be a part of their public relations campaigns. And with good reason.  Consumers take note of celebrities and their activities, and it is widely believed to result in better “stickiness” for brands and campaigns.

Deborah suggests that there are five desired attributes that people look for in choosing a celebrity to be a part of an ad campaign:


  • Trustworthiness
  • Expertise
  • Attractiveness
  • Respect
  • Similarity to the target audience.

Deborah sums it up with:

Since celebrities can add value and sizzle to a campaign, public relations professionals need to engage them with gusto, but also with caution.  It is crucial to ensure that the celebrity lines up with the personality of the brand and can add to the ultimate objective of the project – to raise the overall awareness and media worthiness of a brand initiative.

You can read about Coyne Public Relations and Deborah by clicking on CPR

So…do you think that Clay gained respect and some opportunities for future adventures by being on Celebrity Apprentice?  What kind of brand would profit the most with Clay as its spokesperson?   What do you see as the most positive thing that Clay gained by being on Celebrity Apprentice?



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