Blogs & Comment

More brands could use a little Michael Bolton

Yes, seriously.

Starburst has a new campaign to explain how it gets so “unexplainably juicy” and somehow Michael Bolton is involved. Of course, we all know this depicted process of candy manufacture is impossible, but somehow it warms the cockles of one’s heart to think that the once majestically-maned crooner is responsible for this sweet treat’s special something.

It may come as a surprise to some that Bolton—a king of that special breed of  ’80s adult contemporary music favoured in dentist offices, department stores and certain circles of hell—would agree to this kind of subtle mockery. But the chart-topping singer has broken the humourless chains of his long-haired legacy, most notably with The Lonely Island in 2011 when he made it known what a major cinephile he was.

He’s since taken this newer, funnier version of himself into advertising. Earlier this year, Bolton starred in a series of ads for U.S. telecom Optimum that played on his dwindling celebrity.

Subtly acknowledging one’s own lame reputation with humour is a winning strategy for any aging star looking to remake their image into something more likable, and substantially lowers the number of people itching to punch you in the face. It worked for Hootie. And Fabio. The tactic also works for the brands involved, who seem like geniuses for the ability to turn mockery and hate into love and applause. His rehabilitation started a while back, but these new campaigns make Michael Bolton look like the King of the Wink N’ Nudge Career Revival. And I for one will slow clap his coronation.