Know Your Commercial Look

June 23, 2013

George Zimmer: “I guarantee it.”

Recently, Men’s Wearhouse ousted its company founder and long-time commercial frontman, George Zimmer. Zimmer is immediately recognized for his gravelly voice assuring every man in America, “You’re going to love the way you look. I guarantee it.” Many have been left wondering why he was fired especially when company profits have been up. But regardless, the image that Zimmer projected on TV screens since the 1980’s was that of an authoritative, confident, successful man–an image you’ve seen before in the likes of the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World” character.

One only need to see the accounting books of Men’s Wearhouse or Dos Equis to see that presenting this kind of public image does indeed work at increasing profits. This look reflects just one of the many specific appearances that casting directors are searching for today to represent a wide variety of products and services. Some other examples of types are listed in Tom Berland’s book entitled Breaking Into Commercials, in which he describes a number of specific physical “looks” commonly seen in commercials:



“The Most Interesting Man in the World”

1. Character. These are people who exhibit extreme or pronounced facial features, are likable, and their looks may even be humorous. Having a unibrow or a missing teeth can be desirable for these kind of characters.

2. P&G (Procter & Gamble look). This category includes those with a healthy, all-American appearance that is well-proportioned and somewhat common, but exudes a bright and happy energy.

3. Pretty or handsome (but not a model, not glamorous). This type reflects an attractive, natural, and approachable character.

4. Model type. These characters require particularly striking looks that on par with what one expects to see in glamorous magazine advertisements. They often have excellent skin, perfectly white, straight teeth, thick and shiny hair, and toned bodies.

5. Slightly off-beat/slightly quirky. These individuals exhibit a specifically different look from the average, middle-American look. Examples of such a look include Tom Hanks who is both handsome and unusual with his nose and mouth slightly off center. Barbara Streisand, likewise, fits in this category as she is pretty and has a characteristic profile.

6. Quirky/pretty and funny. These are the characters along the lines of Meg Ryan, Cher, Rosanna Arquette, and Goldie Hawn.

7. Urban/city type. This type has a trendy, stylish edge.

8. Suburban type. These people strike you as easy and casual, and can be sporty, and rugged–ready for the outdoors.

9. Ethnic. Caucasian, Latin/Hispanic, Afro-American, Asian, Indian, Native American, Jewish, European–you get the picture.

Having a realistic view of your particular look is essential to getting auditions that are right for you. And, having professional headshots that capture all the looks you can portray authentically can make all the difference in getting noticed. We at Casting Frontier would love to help advance your career with our state-of-the-art digital photography services. Just call (323) 300-6129 or email [email protected] to schedule an appointment today. To learn more about recommendations and costs of our photography services, please click here.

Change Your Hair, Get More Auditions?

September 3, 2012

“I’m not offended by all the dumb-blonde jokes because I know that I’m not dumb.  I also know I’m not blonde.” –Dolly Parton

Emma Stone

Starting out in the industry as a teen, a blonde Emma Stone became fed up by a lack of auditions for serious, worthwhile female characters. Apparently, her agent had typecast her for ditzy roles like cheerleaders, and other vacuous stereotypes. But Emma was no dumb bunny; she strategically dyed her hair dark brown in hopes of landing choice movie roles with heart, soul, and intelligence. Indeed, within one week she landed her first serious acting gig!

“I don’t know if anyone necessarily underestimated me as a blonde–I think I just had a crappy agent…People are closed-minded, man! Like a different hair colour changes everything!” Stone asserted.


Emma Watson

Emma Watson was up against some stiff competition for the role of computer hacker Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, including Carey Mulligan, Ellen Page, Natalie Portman, and Kristen Stewart. Because Lisbeth represents an intriguing complex female character, and the actress chosen to portray her would be signed to star in 3 films, it was one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood. Watson chopped off her long locks in exchange for a pixie cut and auditioned for the cyber heroine. Immediately, the media began reporting she’d cut her hair to more closely resemble the Goth-style, misfit character with spiky hair. Although Watson’s representatives denied she’d lanced her locks for the role, many sites didn’t necessarily buy it. Of course, Rooney Mara landed the part of Lisbeth after all. But in the wake of cutting her hair, Watson did say she planned to grow it back stating, “If I want to keep acting, then it’s more flexible for me to have it longer for different roles.”

Let’s face it, hair is a big deal in our culture. When Jessica Alba recently debuted a new blonde hairdo for her Sin City 2 stripper role, how many people felt compelled to click on the link to see her new look? My guess is…plenty! And of course, Miley Cyrus’ short, blond crop is making more headlines than the presidential race. Whatever hairstyle you decide to go with in your career ventures, just know casting directors, like the rest of us, are looking closely to see your new looks as well. If you have a Casting Frontier profile, casting directors are staying on top of your new skills, new roles, new reel–and, yes, your new do. Knowing your headshot is your first impression, hair style carries a lot of influence in regards to the types you’re hoping to portray. Will changing your hair get you more auditions?  It might. Give it some thought.