TED Conversations

Tarun Mahani

Curator, TEDx

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The Danger of Celebrity Endorsements of Brands

Paying celebrities to endorse a brand is dangerous territory. This isn’t a new revelation, but brands still shell out massive amounts of money to have the “it” celebrity of the moment appear in ads and say how great the brand is.

The latest celebrity brand endorsement gone wrong story (Lance Armstrong admitting to Oprah Winfrey that he used doping to win all of his Tour de France titles) reminds us once again how risky it is to pay to attach a celebrity name to a brand name.

The list of celebrity endorsements of brands that have gone terribly wrong for the brands is long. Here are a few:

Tiger Woods and multiple brands
Madonna and Pepsi
Kobe Bryant and McDonald’s and Coca-Cola
Michael Vick and Nike
Michael Phelps and Kellogg’s
Kate Moss and Chanel and H&M
O.J. Simpson and Hertz


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  • Mar 15 2013: I am from the Caribbean, a colonised island meaning what I have to say is from a colonial perspective with all the policies including education administered by the sons and daughters indentured labourers and slaves.
    The colonial masters were the bosses living in complete luxary profitably.
    Why would you buy tinned meat from when fresh meat is available?
    Why would you buy Canadian sardines when you buy fresh sardines caught in Caribbean waters.
    Why would you wear 100% wollen garments when cotton is grown in the Caribbean.
    Why did the Hindu indentured labourers tried to intrroduch the caste system in the Caribbean?
    Why would you buy bleaching cream to apply on you skin when living in a tropical country?
    Why straighten your hair when you are born with natural curley hair?
    Why the sons and daughters of the labourers brought to the Caribbean are now the ruling class living in complete luxary and their fellow comrades are living in poverty?
    Why do the influential labourers steal and the money to send it to the colonial masters country?
    Why do the politicians preach the "Master Day is Over" but move millions to the Masters banks all over Europe including Canada?
    Do you know of any school teching "how to use money science" like domestic science?
    Do you know of any school teaching "how to buy stocks and shares" at a elementry level?
    Do you know how to trade gold and diamonds?
    The poor aspire for it to prove what?
    Where the source of poverty starts, it is within your grasp today to rectify poverty.
    Not during my time.
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      Mar 16 2013: Super likes , sir , the questions that you have put forward , these are actually the core of the whole idea , means if the people are educated enough and if they think in this regard , there will be no need to have brands or endrosements either and the price of goods will become less on its own ..

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