by Joe Baratelli
August 22, 2012

In 1975, I had a hero, Arthur Fonzarelli. But one day something terrible happened. The Fonz changed. He looked different, acted differently and wasn't cool. He was a flamboyant wrestler a la Gorgeous George in the 1978 film "The One and Only." On that day, the pained confusion between character and celebrity began for me. Though I didn't know how to describe it, Fonzie had indeed jumped the shark.

Even before that movie, I didn't want to know the real Henry Winkler or see his feathered, center-parted hair in magazines. Luckily, there wasn't much celebrity access back then. Today, it's a different story, and our heroes and celebrities are accessible, unexpected and everywhere.

Flying to Cannes, Jason Sperling and I were discussing this shift, and he coined a term to describe it: "Celebritize." We didn't Google it to make sure no one else was using this concept, because the ethos behind it cannot be contested.

Celebritizing is an art in itself. You can't make someone into something they're not; you need to celebrate what they are, and make it work. We've used celebritizing with Million Mile Joe, Pintermission, Good Reasons, and Honda Loves You Back. All examples of how we highlight the acts of extraordinary, everyday people in authentic ways.