With the battle for market share growing tighter, automakers continue the time-tested tradition of recruiting titans of sports and Hollywood for their ad campaigns.
The trick is picking the right celeb -- one whose image won't backfire, and whose persona meshes with the marketing theme.
Chrysler is the current viral star, with Dodge Durango spots featuring Will Ferrell as movie anchorman Ron Burgundy, timed with the upcoming Anchorman 2. The spots have drawn millions of views on YouTube.
Because celebrities are seen constantly on social media, marketers need an "intense focus" to make the right picks, says Henry Schafer, executive vice president of Q Scores, a company that researches and measures the consumer appeal of more than 20,000 celebrities.
"It's pretty easy to follow the ups and downs of celebrities these days. The advertiser needs to particularly be more in tune with the social and professional trends in the celebrity's life," he says.