Ad girl and Ad boy

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Hello everyone,

Is it natural/correct to use "ad" (advertisement) + ''boy'' and ''girl'' (in ad boy, ad girl) meaning "a person hired to appear in commercials, advertisements for a company, brand, etc'' in the examples I adapted below?

a. Downey is the ad boy for Nissan.
b. Rihanna is the ad girl for Vita Coco.

I think the correct options are pitchman and pitchwoman because they are standard English.

- But beyond the screen, Downey is the pitchman for Nissan, doing five commercials following the company's "Innovations for All" theme." [MSN CANADA Autos]
- Rihanna is the pitchwoman for Vita Coco, the brand of coconut water endorsed by and invested in by her fellow pop diva Madonna. [Finedictionary.com]


Thank you in advance!
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I haven't come across 'ad boy/girl' before, but I would understand it if I were to. I haven't come across 'pitchman/woman' either, and I don't think I would understand it.

    A fairly common equivalent is 'face'. Rihanna is the face of Vita Coco.

    This wouldn't necessarily work with all products.


    Cross-posted.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I wouldn't use "ad" plus boy, girl, man, woman etc.

    "The face of" is a common metaphor. "Representative" is boring but correct. Jarad was a representative for Subway. He represented that company in many TV commercials. He was also a "spokesman" for Subway.

    "Pitchman" is not used often, and is quite old-fashioned.

    We still use the term "sales pitch" for any long speech selling a product, and we sometimes refer to well-know speakers on TV "infomercials" (30 minute advertisements) as "pitchmen".

    But the two main uses of "pitchman" are out of date: door-to-door salesman (who visit every home, uninvited, to sell products) and "barkers" at carnivals, fairs, and circus side shows that shouted to the crowd, trying to talk them into things that cost a fee.
     
    Last edited:
    Thank you all very much. Ok. "Pitchman" or "pitchwoman" are AmE expressions that aren't used much.

    One question: Does "representative" sound natural/correct in the specific examples below?
    But beyond the screen, Downey is the representative for Nissan, doing five commercials following the company's "Innovations for All" theme."
    Rihanna is the representative for Vita Coco, the brand of coconut water endorsed by and invested in by her fellow pop diva Madonna.
    Thank you in advance!
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I would take 'a representative for XYZ' to mean a sales rep, or salesperson - someone who approaches a company or individual, in person, with the aim of selling some of XYZ's products or services.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Thank you very much.

    Questions: Would you use "representative" in post #5? / Is a "commercial actor" necessarily an actor (of a movie, series, etc) or can he or she be an ordinary person (not famous or artist)?

    Thank you in advance!
    A "commercial actor" is an actor that acts in commercials (ads).

    Most of these are professional actors and get Screen Actors Guild minimum day rates for work.

    A recent set of Chevrolet ads featured "real people; not actors". That only means that they were not professional actors. They appeared in a reality-type advertisement, and were paid a flat fee of $200.00 per person for about one hour's work. They were not members of the SAG so they are "real people; not actors".
     
    Thank you very much.

    So a commercial actor must be an actor. People like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Tiger Woods, Britney Spears, Shakira, etc., who appear in TV commercials cannot be called "commercial actors", but "the face of", as in "Tiger Woods is the face of Pepsi'', meaning "Tiger Woods is doing commercials for Pepsi.''

    Right?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Thank you very much.

    So a commercial actor must be an actor. People like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Tiger Woods, Britney Spears, Shakira, etc., who appear in TV commercials cannot be called "commercial actors", but "the face of", as in "Tiger Woods is the face of Pepsi'', meaning "Tiger Woods is doing commercials for Pepsi.''

    Right?
    They may be required to get SAG card.

    According to this article it is a matter of contention:

    ESPN.com - GEN - Athletes as actors: A sticky dilemma

    [...]Athletes become part of the unions by default when they appear in television or radio commercials. As some of the most visible members of the unions, the membership expects them to honor the picket lines and uphold the principles of the strike...
     

    andrewg927

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Thank you very much.

    So a commercial actor must be an actor. People like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Tiger Woods, Britney Spears, Shakira, etc., who appear in TV commercials cannot be called "commercial actors", but "the face of", as in "Tiger Woods is the face of Pepsi'', meaning "Tiger Woods is doing commercials for Pepsi.''

    Right?
    I wouldn't consider these artists to be commercial actors. They could be called their representatives.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I wouldn't consider these artists to be commercial actors. They could be called their representatives.
    But apparently (from my Google searches) they get awarded a SAG card once they appear in an ad. The SAG then expects the representatives to honor the rules and codes of the SAG.

    That begs the question: If they did not apply for membership to the SAG do they have to accept it once granted?
     

    andrewg927

    Senior Member
    English - American
    But apparently (from my Google searches) they get awarded a SAG card once they appear in an ad. The SAG then expects the representatives to honor the rules and codes of the SAG.

    That begs the question: If they did not apply for membership to the SAG do they have to accept it once granted?
    It's probably an honor to have a SAG card and I don't see why they shouldn't accept it. But they appear in ads because their celebrity status not because it is their career. I would call them amateur actors.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It's probably an honor to have a SAG card and I don't see why they shouldn't accept it. But they appear in ads because their celebrity status not because it is their career. I would call them amateur actors.
    Amateurs in the same sense that modern Olympic athletes are amateurs. Their primary income does not come from acting in commercials. But LeBron James' salary was 14 million over four years and the Nike contract was 90 million over seven years. By that ratio he is a professional actor with an amateur interest in basketball.:D
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think the correct options are pitchman and pitchwoman because they are standard English.
    There have been some interesting comments about 'pitchman/pitchwoman' and the conversation has moved on.
    Perhaps you meant standard American English, or perhaps I just don't know the words! It's funny because I do know 'sales-pitch', but if I heard she's the 'pitchwoman' for Depends, I'd think what's the link between baseball player and an incontinence product.In short, I have no idea what pitchman/woman means out of context.
    'Ad-girl' and 'ad-boy' sound strange, but I have no idea what industry terms might be. 'The face of -' is immediately understandable.
     
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