Celebrities love money. That’s why they go into the business of being a celebrity, after all. Someone has to pay for their Cadillacs, their Rolexes and their bitches on call all night long (a boy can dream…). So they often take up endorsements, associating themselves with brands that want to get some of the magic sparkle dust that’s bound to come from Kristen Cavallari endorsing your product. Right? Right?!
Not quite. Sometimes those endorsements can backfire spectacularly. Want proof?
Two Popes Endorse Cocaine
Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius X liked an occasional tipple. So what? They’re Catholic! Their favorite brand was Vin Mariani, and Leo liked it so much that when they asked him to appear on their advertising literature, he said ‘why not?’.
Well, because Vin Mariani was made with coca leaves, which means that these two representatives of God on earth were pretty much encouraging Catholics like to me cut loose with coke.
Jose Canseco Got Big From Eggs
Protein’s a major part of any sportsman’s diet. It makes them grow big and strong, which is why Jose Canseco was a perfect fit for the California Egg Commission. After all, that’s how he got big, isn’t it?
Oh, you mean that once he was fired by the Egg Commission for being caught in possession of an illegal handgun he fessed up to everything, including steroid charges? Bullet dodged there.
Cybill Shepherd Loves Meat
‘Real food for real people.’ That’s what the Beef Industry Council got Cybill Shepherd to say to audiences in a 1987 campaign when she was hired by them. Beef was delicious, and more people should eat it. Conveniently, they ignored the fact that Shepherd was a vegetarian.
OJ Simpson Near Cars
You’re Hertz. You’re a hugely popular, famous brand in rental cars. You want to hire a good, trusted, popular face from TV and sports to tie in with your brand. Because it’s the 1980s and early 1990s, you call OJ Simpson.
When Simpson leads police officers on the world’s most televised car chase in 1994, you begin to worry when you’re at Hertz. That’s not the brand recognition you need.