Déformation professionelle - Occupational diseases in advertising and marketing

Axel Eckstein, Executive Creative Director at Leo Burnett Switzerland, writes in Werbewoche about pathology in advertising and marketing. In the fifteenth episode: cataracts (celebriti invisibilis).


We refer to a celebrity who is less well-known than the brand he or she promotes as a cataract. In rare cases, this constellation can cause the celebrity to mutate from a C-type to an A-type. In the majority of cases, however, this results in a reciprocal image tarnishing and even a total loss of the brand image.


The disease has been documented since the early days of advertising. Even then, people observed the so-called vampire effect, which enhanced testimonials such as Napoleon and Mozart, but weakened the products they advertised. Today, Napoleon slices and Mozartkugeln are generic at best.


Cataracts can occur at any age. At a young age, pageant contestants and YouTube bloggers are among those targeted, later former TV announcers or ski racers. The massive appearance of the gray star has shifted from on-pack stickers to Instagram. Typical endorsements include self-portraits next to motor vehicles (#lovethiscar) or cold drinks (#myfavouritedrink).


The low recognizability of the testimonials makes it difficult to identify the disease. Comparison with the list of participants in the jungle camp has become internationally accepted as an indicator. One of the most common methods of making a cataract visible is to mention his name under his photo.

Published so far:

Campaign breach (damnatio memoriae)
Compulsion to order (normomania)
Customer distemper (procure distemper)
Director's Cut (conceptus amputatis)
Salmon jam (risum interrupta)
Premature ejaculation (ejaculatio logo praecox)
Idea bedsores (decubitus idea)
Panic-progressive disorder (morbus pendulum)
Margin inflammation (gastritis profit)
Success strabismus (strabismus successus)
Gold fever (febre auri)
Platitourette (repetitio nausea)
Visual fetishism (stimulus best practice)
Probonose (thrombosis facsimile)

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