It's one of those tough predicaments: your client wants to be the spokesperson for your new TV spots...well, his new spots. He's the man driving the company-the brand-no matter how much time you've put into it.
A very charismatic and charming man, unfortunately he's "got a face for radio," standing 5' 5" tall with wispy hair that seems to start in his ears and wind it's away around the back of his bald head. From the looks of it, the ears have never seen a trim. (Yummy...)
You weigh the options; he's definitely not stupid, so the whole "we need a perfect fit for the brand persona" BS angle is dead. In his mind he's part of the brand's image, and he is to an extent, just not the TV extent. If you tell him that, the account won't be in jeopardy, but the relationship will be strained. Then again, saying that he's the perfect fit is a straight-out lie. Plus, you'll pay for it in terms of reputation and credibility. Slinky's will start showing up in your office...to remind you of your backbone. So, what to do?
If you are thinking correctly, you'll head down to Media and see if they can dig up research on the effects of CEO's in TV commercials. (That's what I'd do.) They won't have the information, but they'll have an idea on where, and how, to get it. Remember to always love your media department...
In this case, they provide you an Ad Week poll done on LinkedIn. According to the Ad Week article:
When a company uses the CEO in its advertising, do you find the message more credible, less credible, or does it make no difference? Overall, "makes no difference" won a plurality, with 49 percent of the vote. But "more credible" beat "less credible" by a wide margin, 36 percent to 14 percent.
The poll addresses other CEO characteristics such as age, company size, gender, etc, and is available on LinkedIn.
So, unless there's another way out of it, it looks like your spots will revolve around the CEO. Yet, it could be worse...you could be working with kids and goats...