commercial appeal

Ellen DeGeneres Is America’s Best Saleswoman

Ellen DeGeneres, the omnipresent lesbian, is the most equipped human being to make Americans buy crap.

She pushes American Express. She pushes American Idol (and judges there, too). And then there’s her CoverGirl contract, where Proctor & Gamble pay her millions of dollars every year to look like a younger-looking middle-aged everywoman.

And it’s one of her CoverGirl print ads Starch Advertising Research found consumers viewed the most (of some 2,725 ads used in the study), and said they would recommend the product as a result of the ad.

This is no small matter. We all know how Ellen was almost ushered completely out of pop culture when in 1997 she came out to Oprah (and then her ABC sitcom character came out to her therapist, played by Oprah). And now market research — and what other type of trustworthy research besides this kind? — brands this person as the ultimate pitchwoman.

Is it evidence that Americans are becoming more accepting of lesbians (and gay men)? Probably. But it’s also evidence that with the right amount of marketing muscle, America will come around to accepting “the different.” And want to invest in it. Buying a product because Ellen “recommends” it isn’t the same as getting all of America to come around on LGBT equality because she says it’s right, but there are lessons to be learned. And you can purchase them with your American Express card.