Most companies are not as cool and pretentious as Apple and can't arrange deals to sling Bono-branded iPods. These poor, less exciting vendors are forced to turn to second-rate stars. And when they do, disaster can sometimes ensue.
Just check out HP, which on Monday put out a press release touting its Gwen Stefani custom-designed HP digital camera. Stefani - the lead singer of No Doubt who is now trying a solo act - is pretty gung ho about this camera. Only 3,000 of the "HP Photosmart R607 Harajuku Lovers Digital Camera by Gwen Stefani" cameras were produced.
Each camera ships with a a matching bag, wrist strap, shoulder strap and charms also designed by none other than Gwen Stefani.
"I started Harajuku Lovers because I wanted to design something more creative than a standard merchandise line. So we decided to launch a fashion and accessories line based on the same Japanese influence as my album 'Love. Angel. Music. Baby.'," said Stefani. "A camera is clearly a modern day accessory so I thought, 'Why not design a unique, stylish version of it?' So we added it to the line, and it's super-kawaii ('super-cute' in Japanese)."
Stefani has come a long way from her punk roots. It takes serious planning and ambition to sell out on this scale.
The camera will make its first public appearance Wednesday on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. The rest of you plebs can purchase it, while supplies last, here.
What's next for HP in the way of celebrity promotions?
We're certainly hoping for the Wavy Gravy Acid Blotter Inkjet, Michael Jackson's Lil'Companion iPaq and Saddam's Remembering Me TabletPC. ®