Celebrities often promote products that are parallel to their personal brand, but other times their collaborations take everyone by surprise.
Imagine that you’re watching “Pretty Little Liars” and just when it’s getting intense, the show leaves you on a cliff hanger and breaks for commercial. You’ve lost all interest and decide to scroll through Twitter for the next few minutes, until you hear the voice of Snoop Dogg rapping about Hot Pockets. Is it true? You don’t believe it so you look up and it is! The advertisement has now gotten your attention almost as much as finding out who “A” is, and you are now the victim of a celebrity endorsement.
This form of branding is a commonly used campaign strategy to promote a product through a well-recognized face or name. While there are plenty of celebrity endorsements that truly make sense, such as Air Jordans, a.k.a fitness brand meets sports legend to create basketball shoes, others are a bit more far-fetched. Here are some of the most bizarre celebrity endorsements:
Kris Jenner & Poise
The world’s most beloved “momager” teamed up with Poise to advertise their bladder leakage pads. Kris is known for always saving the day or “controlling the situation,” so maybe this one isn’t that surprising after all.
Taylor Swift & Coca-Cola
Maybe Swift’s “reputation” comes from her long list of brand deals. She’s an excellent example of a celebrity endorsing random brands, but her carbonated beverage promotion rolled in a massive check of $26 million for the singer. If I chug a Diet Coke will I make this kind of money too?
Lady Gaga & Oreos
Lady Gaga’s 2020 album “Chromatica” is the inspiration behind Oreo’s new cookies. Not the most traditional way to promote an album release to say the least, but the campaign definitely got fans engaged on social media — so you could say it’s pretty “fantastical.”
Kim Kardashian & Charmin
Waist trainers, makeup and toilet paper? When it comes to obscure celebrity endorsements, Kim Kardashian earns the gold medal. The socialite partnered with Charmin to mark the opening of a public restroom in NYC. Quite different from her usual fashion/beauty endorsements, but she did it with a big smile and most likely a big reward too.
Brad Pitt & Pringles
Young Brad Pitt was the teenage heartthrob of the decade. Back in 1989, six years before he was named the “Sexiest Man Alive,” Pitt was the face of the popular snack brand Pringles. If the brand’s goal was to relay his sensual appeal over to their chip product, this partnership is nothing short of peculiar.
John Cena & Fruity Pebbles
When you hear the name “John Cena,” you might think of wrestling or big muscles. But what about cereal? Surprisingly, the Fruity Pebbles commercial doesn’t include a bunch of yelling and screaming, but it’s still one of my favorites because it’s so unexpected.
Oftentimes, celebrity endorsement is the result of a company wanting their product to be associated with a particular person’s name because of their attractive reputation. They want to pass the prestige from the star to the product. It’s good PR if you ask me — transferring a good perception to a product by turning a person into an advertisement.
Some endorsements attach a celebrity’s name to a more appealing product. Jennifer Aniston’s campaign with Aveeno, for instance, has strengthened her image in the name of clear skin and natural beauty. I don’t think Kim K would appreciate it if her partnership had the same effect, and everyone associated her with toilet paper. Sometimes this type of marketing really only benefits one party’s image and not the other.
It’s really all about connection — whether or not both brands are already well known, and it also grabs the attention of a viewer. I know I’d be more inclined to watch an insurance commercial if Taylor Swift was the agent.
So is it necessary to use celebrity endorsement? Absolutely not. There are a ton of other advertising strategies to boost the publicity of a brand that don’t include partnering with a big name. But is it effective? I’d say so. According to TigerShark Studios, brands can expect a 20-40% increase by utilizing this marketing technique. It’s more about the confusion and oddity of some celebrity endorsements, although our culture seems to love it and respond to the surprise of a wacky advertisement.