Amazon Studios has picked up a new series with celebrity model Cindy Crawford, fast-tracking the show to get it into their still relatively young lineup ASAP.
Endorsed sounds like a cross between The Apprentice and America’s Next Top Model, where we get a peek behind the doors at the daily grind of the celebrity world. Deadline has the exclusive with this synopsis:
Each episode will focus on pairing a celebrity looking for a brand attachment with a budding business. Crawford, who knows a thing or two about choosing such partnerships and lent her image to endorse products and brands, will meet with a team of leading business and branding moguls to evaluate each celebrity’s needs. They’ll narrow the field of options down to two businesses. Then begins the process of coming up with an ideal match.
After the celebrity hears the team’s expert advice, he or she will visit each business on site and meet with the business’ leaders to discuss how an endorsement partnership could be realized. Each business will pitch the celeb not only their product and business model, but also how the company would use the celebrity’s image in an endorsement.
Crawford is one of the most recognized celebrity faces in the world, lending her image to Revlon and Pepsi during her modeling days, and later pitching for Omega Watches, home furnishings from JC Penny, and a skin-care line she developed with Gunthy-Renker. Somehow, she’s managed to avoid the embarrassing (Bob Dole for Viagra!) or downright weird (Sex and the City for HP? Ozzy for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter?) endorsement deals that haunt some stars as they age.
In 1992 you either wanted to be Crawford, or date her:
Endorsements are a bizarre part of the cultural quilt; consumers and fans over the age of 16 swear we’re not influenced by famous faces hawking products but corporations wouldn’t continue dumping money into unprofitable marketing. And while celebs claim they’d never endorse something they don’t believe in, how can we possibly believe Peyton Manning felt so strongly about insurance that he took time from football to seek out Nationwide? Ultimately we know it comes down to the money, which frankly, just sound greedy.
The key for the show will be to get interesting characters. As with any reality series the nicest, most diplomatic people don’t always make for the best TV; but hopefully the show is going to aim higher than just trolling through The Real Housewives and former Survivor contestants.
Amazon is in need of another hit. The studio has been around for 6 years, promoting it’s unique open-submission policy to crowd-source content, but the first of its shows to make a dent arrived just this year. The Man in the High Castle is critically acclaimed and beloved by a small fanbase, but compared to original content from Hulu and Netflix it’s still a hidden hit. Even Bosch, which should have a massive built-in audience from the Michael Connelly book series it’s based on, has languished.
Much of the problem might lie in viewer awareness. I admit that as much as I watch TV online, Amazon is usually an afterthought, the place I remember when I’ve exhausted my interest in Hulu and Netflix. A show attached to celebrity names who promote their appearances on social media can only bring the studio a useful boost.