It’s hard work to gain favourable opinion from the paying public and to build that all important ‘Brand Loyalty’ so is it any wonder some brands look for short cuts?
Attaching a famous personality to your brand is a short cut to public approval.
The idea being that if your brand has been endorsed by someone who is, in the mind of the public, a living legend, sports star, genius, housewive’s favourite, etc. then your brand must be credible and therefore trustworthy.
But what happens when the personality falls off their pedestal?
Is Tiger Woods and his wayward winky the last nail in the ‘celebrity endorsement’ coffin?
Accenture seem to think so as they have withdrawn all ties with the man where as Gillette are still unsure and have opted to ‘cut back Wood’s role’.
Here is a list of Celebrity Endorsements that have gone wrong for the sponsor…
1). Martina Hingis and Sergio Tacchini
Marina was given a $5.6 million sponsorship deal by Italian sportswear company Sergio Tacchini in 1996. One proviso of the deal was she had to wear their trainers and clothing (the very least you would expect for that money).
The deal blew up in Sergio Tacchini’s face when, in 2001, Hingis sued claiming the the shoes were defective, unsuitable for tournament play and the cause of an injury to her foot in the 1998 US Open.
2). O. J. Simpson and Hertz
Just in case you missed it, O. J. Simspon was charged with two counts of Murder in 1994. Previously to that; O. J. had been the public face of Hertz rental cars. After his now famous ‘car chase’, Hertz dropped him like a stone.
3). Helena Bonham Carter and Yardley
in 1993 Helena was chosen as the ‘Face of Yardley’. It was a face which was soon to turn red for Yardley when Helena publicly admitted she didn’t wear make-up.
4). Kate Moss and H&M, Chanel and Burberry
The enduring and seemingly un-ageing face of the Brit Pack scene, Kate Moss was riding high in the Red Tops as her romance with, ex Libertines front man, Pete Doherty leapt from crisis to crisis. The final straw for the sponsors was when she was photographed allegedly snorting cocaine.
5). Cybill Shepherd and the Beef Industry Council
In the late 80’s The American Beef Industry Council enlisted Cybill Shepherd to be the face of their ‘Real food for real people’ campaign to encourage people to eat Beef. In hindsight a Vegetarian might not have been the best choice.