What do these couples have actually in common? Let us count the ways: They"re famous. They"re attractive. And also they"re fake.

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America is smitten through celebrity couples, even imaginary ones.

For every real-deal star relationship, choose Ben Affleck and also Jennifer Lopez, there"s a ~ pretend pairing that captures the public"s fancy, like Ross and also Rachel ~ above "Friends."

And climate there room the couples that exist for only one reason--to sell products.

Case in point: the ubiquitous Radio Shack TV ads starring football analyst Howie Long and also actress Teri Hatcher and, more recently, gibbs Ving Rhames and also Vanessa Williams.

Between pitches for cell phones and an individual stereos, the Radio Shack "couples" take part in numerous mutual kidding and much more than a small implied intimacy.

The point out echo TV commercials special James Garner and Mariette Hartley, who patter about Polaroid immediate cameras an ext than two decades ago may have taken a backseat come the celebrity duo"s natural chemistry.

So plenty of viewers assumed the Garner and Hartley were hitched the Hartley began wearing a T-shirt at an individual appearances that read: "I am no James Garner"s wife."

Being themselves, type of

What sets the Radio Shack ads personal is that the celebrities who are matched increase in pseudo-relationships in reality appear more or much less as themselves and call one another by their actual names.

So why use well known folks pretending come have more in usual than a paycheck come hawk electronic gadgets? The same factor filmmaker Nick Cassavetes--son the the late man Cassavetes--has directed some of the spots.

Because it renders money, stated Barry King, a Radio Shack evil president who heads the company"s advertising and also marketing team.

"The thing we look for is: Does that resonate through the consumer?" stated King from his office in Ft. Worth, Texas. "Is it believable? do you think that this folks shop our store? and from the general public reaction the they get, they certainly have been identified with Radio Shack and also with every other."

In fact, it"s typical for lengthy (a hall of Fame defensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders) and also Hatcher (former co-star that the Superman TV collection "Lois & Clark") to be viewed as a real-life couple.

"Teri remained in Iceland ~ above a tour of the `The Vagina Monologues," and all the push was asking her, `Is that your husband?"" King said.

"And as soon as Howie"s in a soccer stadium, men will holler in ~ him, `Hey, is that Superman chick her wife?" He just laughs about it."

Restrained sexiness

Despite Long and Hatcher"s coy rapport, the ads are cautious to save the sexiness on a short leash.

"They"re both married to other folks, and from the start we were very sensitive to that," King said. "The factor we placed them top top monochromatic shade sets, instead of in a normal living room, to be to help establish the it"s this strange people that Teri and Howie space in.

"She never ever sits in his lap. The just thing she does is hit him on his arm. And the very first time she hit him--I think after about six takes--he looked at her and told Nick, `I tell girlfriend what, her hand"s going to wear out a that a lot of sooner 보다 my arm will." "

The on-screen dynamic is less suggestive in ads certification Rhames and also Williams.

"They score more as actors," King said. "People don"t normally see the romantic there. Vanessa"s never said to me that anyone thought that Ving was she husband. Part of that is world know so much about Vanessa. They know that rick Fox is her husband.

"But we still have world in research who don"t understand Howie"s surname or Teri"s name."

Still, King said, any kind of time you placed a man and a mrs together, human being come to suppose some kind of sizzle.

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So why no hire actual celebrity couples--someone like Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston--for an high-quality national declaring campaign? Radio Shack considered that.

"At one point, there was a couple we to be looking at that did end up in divorce," King said. "We were glad us didn"t perform that."