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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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    Apr 11 2013: Interesting. I am writing a dissertation on Celebrity Activism: Who ultimately benefits the celebrity or the cause? What are your thoughts on celebrities being affiliated with cause related organisations or campaigns? I feel that there is more 'danger' there as these organisations do not have the funds or the resources to do the same kind of crisis management that a corporation would if the celebrity that it is associated with take a wrong step.

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