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Why Celebrity Endorsements don't always work

Celebrity endorsements are becoming more and more popular these days. Whether it is a new product or service, celebrities have become advocates for these brands and are able to attract a crowd of people through a simple social media post, TV ad, magazine cover, etc. While this may seem like a good idea, celebrity endorsements don’t always guarantee success the way companies had intended them to. One false move in the media, and that glorious endorsement contract goes up in flames due to controversies surrounding their personal lives. Before attaching your brand to a famous name, consider these huge celebrity endorsement fails:

Scott Disick (2016) Instagram posts are now a common marketing strategy used by many companies in various ways. Just recently, Scott Disick received huge backlash after posting an Instagram endorsing Bootea. In his post, Scott included the Instagram advertising directions… IN the Instagram! This was not a smart move on his part as it seemed to disavow his use for the product. A definite lose-lose situation. Bootea had millions of followers witness someone being dictated how to comment for the brand. As for Scott – come on, you had one job.


Helena Bonham Carter (1990s) The famous British actress, Helena Bonhman Carter, was a spokesperson for Yardley cosmetics in the 1990s. All was well until Helena announced that she never wore makeup, and had no idea why the brand had chosen her. Clearly, the company terminated their relationship with Helena shortly after this statement went viral.

Tiger Woods (2009) As if the sport of golf wasn’t pristine enough, Tiger Woods embodied that squeaky clean image and had ultimately become untouchable in the game. A perfect match for the untouchable Gillette, Nike and 6-year partner, Accenture. When the dirty laundry was aired regarding Tiger’s extramarital affairs, the consulting brand was quick to remove the household name from the 83% of marketing materials containing his image. According to Accenture, their campaign is about high performance and Mr. Woods “just wasn’t a metaphor for high performance anymore.”

Having your brand in the spotlight alongside a celebrity can take you to the top, or bring you crashing to the bottom. All in all the high risk, high reward has been very successful for brands such as Michael Jordan for Hanes, and Tyra Banks for CoverGirl, but brands need to be prepared for when things go wrong.