More and more, advertisers are looking to comedians to sell their products, says the New York Times. (I knew Melissa McCarthy becoming the face of Ivory soap was important for some reason!) Apparently, it’s economy-related: people like to laugh during tough times. Go figure. Fred Allen and Jack Benny did radio commercials during the Depression; Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres do TV commercials now.
Beyond the economic factor, comedians give off an image of lightheartedness and humanity, which is valuable for heavy-hearted, faceless, evil corporations. In the words of Charles Torrey, vice president for marketing for the Minute Maid trademark (oh, right, him), “humor is a way to differentiate ourselves in a stodgy category.” (For reference, Modern Family’s Ty Burrell is in a pretty funny Minute Maid commercial losing a staring contest to an orange.) Whatever works, especially if it gets comedians more work.