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Understanding the timeless power of the icon

True icons - Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, Buzz Aldrin - are powerfully and infinitely influential. There is huge opportunity for advertisers - but how do you partner iconic talent with top brands in a way that audiences appreciate?

Understanding the timeless power of the icon

The anniversary of one of modern history’s greatest moments happens on July 20, 2019. When Apollo 11 landed on the Moon 50 years previously, as men took their first steps on another world, the rest of humankind joined in awe and celebration.

Whatever feats humans have delivered in the past 50 years, this giant leap is an unquestionable bellwether of historic significance. Neil Armstrong’s photo of Buzz Aldrin on the Moon is one of the iconic images of the 20th century.

What does this say about the gravitas and prestige of these heroes who were both talented enough and fortunate enough to be central to that fêted NASA expedition? They command global respect and admiration, a timeless, unwavering sentiment, re-energised in 2019 as the world celebrates the first moon landings biggest anniversary.

We’ll revisit these astronauts heroics and we’ll celebrate the inspirational Armstrong and, of course, Aldrin both for his feats of discovery and excellence and his latest mission – his passion for mankind to colonise Mars. In a recent interview he outlined his enthusiasm, touting the Total-Recall inspired motto "Get Your Ass to Mars", linking science fiction to science fact.

Icons such as Aldrin are the ultimate brand ambassadors. Buzz’s commercial appeal will continue to skyrocket as anticipation over the iconic anniversary builds.

This is the thing about icons. They’re icons. Times may change, society may evolve, the world continues to spin relentlessly round, but certain individuals retain their stature, their ever-presence as an aspiration to many, their influence.

From Marilyn Monroe and Chanel, to Steve McQueen and Tag Heuer to Sophia Loren and Dolce & Gabbana, there are countless examples of brand/icon partnerships that continue to resonate.

Steve McQueen died nearly 40 years ago, yet he remains one of the archetypal symbols of brand-cool, from images of him riding a motorcycle in a shirt by Barbour to legendary sunglasses by Persol. McQueen was an icon with whom people could relate, his immortal image preserving a sense of hard-nosed yet idealised toughness that influences audiences far beyond the movie-goers of his time.

Sophia Loren, still active and taking part in branded campaigns, remains one of the most desired and photographed women in the world. An icon representing beauty and elegance, Loren has always been an advocate for attitude, confidence, and humility – and that shines through in her past and current campaigns.

Buzz Aldrin is still active and having an impact at 87.  He commands attention whenever he appears on screen and in print. For people of all ages, Aldrin represents discovery of the great unknown. He exudes timeless charm, appeal, vitality, and unwavering respect.

On the eve of the 50th Anniversary of the Moon landing, we are stepping up our efforts to build partnerships with prominent, relevant brands. These are brands who can harness Aldrin’s name, likeness, credibility, wit and courage within their own stories.

At Greenlight, we are in the business of partnering popular timeless icons with companies and brands that understand the power and significance of these personalities, who can draw legitimate connections between the influence of a particular icon and the stand-out qualities of their own brand.

There is an art to this. The icons we represent have all earned their unprecedented places in history and we make it our priority to preserve each of their legacies with the brand associations we cultivate.

We do this by partnering iconic talent with top brands in ways that audiences can unquestionably and legitimately appreciate. When you represent Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Sophia Loren, Martin Luther King Jr., Charlie Chaplin, Muhammad Ali, Buzz Aldrin, and more exceptional icons, there is simply no choice. Respect comes first.