In what can only be interpreted as a sincere, not at all marketing-driven stunt, Lenovo hired Ashton Kutcher to be its new product engineer.
There’s a long tradition of companies aligning themselves with celebrities, not merely as pitchmen but in more figurehead roles. Justin Timberlake became a creative director for Bud Light Platinum, Lady Gaga the creative director of Polaroid, will.i.am the director of creative innovation for Intel, and Alicia Keys the global creative director for BlackBerry — which was somewhat dramatic considering that she was caught tweeting from the iPhone she said she’d given up after her title was publicly announced.
But putting the word “engineer” in a celebrity partner’s role–that’s a new one.
“Ashton will help us break new ground by challenging assumptions, bringing new perspective and contributing his technical expertise to Yoga Tablet and other devices,” Lenovo CMO David Roman told USA Today.
Kutcher — who has tried his hand at everything from acting to high school football coaching — added, “Lenovo makes really, really, really good hardware. I hope to make their products as consumer friendly as possible.”
The star did study biochemical engineering before dropping out of college and has invested $100 million in successful startups, so he’s more qualified than your average celebrity.
He also played Steve Jobs once, so there’s that.