All Articles Tagged "celebrity endorsements"
For many celebrities, a chunk of the bread and butter comes from side hustles as product spokespeople. And more companies are turning to a diverse group of celebs to serve as the face of their products. For example, we reported recently on new gigs for Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas and astronaut Dr. Mae Jamison were just tapped as spokespeople for two separate major advertising campaigns. There have however been some notable campaigns using black spokespeople. We take a look at some of our favorite African-American celebrity spokespeople.
“I’m strong. I’m beautiful. I am a Covergirl” Soulful R&B singer Janelle Monae took to Twitter earlier today to announce a coveted endorsement deal she just signed with CoverGirl cosmetics.
The 26-year-old songtress told Vogue Magazine that the opportunity holds personal significance:
“Growing up and trying to find myself as a woman and experimenting with makeup, I’d go buy magazines,” she says. “I’d see Tyra Banks [in the CoverGirl ads] and I’d think, Wow, she’s beautiful. It never looked like she had on too much makeup. There was just something clean and classic about her face.”
Clean and classic are exactly the words someone would use to describe Janelle’s look. A natural beauty, some would say her style is androgynous, but really she took a gentleman’s look (tuxedo, Oxfords, bowties) and made it feminine. Often sporting black and white, and a high pompadour, Janelle comes off eclectic yet subdued.
About her clothes and makeup, Janelle says:
“I take a minimalist approach to my wardrobe and I do the same with my makeup. I don’t look at [it] as a mask. I don’t overdo it. A bold [shade] of red or pink—something that pops—brings the whole look together.”
She reportedly does her own makeup for her performances, but Vogue says she has been experimenting with CoverGirl’s Lash Blast mascara.
“I keep my eyes pretty simple but I like to make [my lashes] a little darker and thicker.”
Makeup artist and CoverGirl global creative design director Pat McGrath worked on Janelle’s first print campaign two months ago and gave the singer tips to keep her lipstick on instead of swiping it off on the microphone during performances.
”She told me to do the whole lip liner thing first so that it stains my mouth and makes the color last. Thank you, Pat!”
On the opportunity overall, Janelle says she looks forward to inspiring young women.
“I believe in the idea of every woman finding their own beauty superpowers. I want to help redefine what it means to be a strong woman in the music and fashion worlds.”
In 1992, CoverGirl became the first cosmetic company to sign a black model to an exclusive contract. Ten years later, Janelle joins a exclusive list of black celebrities that have represented CoverGirl. This list includes Lana Ogilvie, Tyra Banks, Brandy, Queen Latifah, Rihanna, Paula Patton and America’s Next Top Model Winners: Krista White, Saleisha Stowers, Teyona Anderson and Eva Marcille.
Congratulations Janelle Monae!
What do you think of Janelle’s new endorsement deal?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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Celebrities lose endorsement deals for all sorts of reasons.
In 2002, Britney Spears was dropped from Pepsi after being caught ordering a Coke, and was snapped by the paparazzi while drinking Dr. Pepper. Sharon Stone was dropped from all Chinese Christian Dior advertisements in 2008 for suggesting the country’s earthquake that claimed the lives of nearly 70-thousand people was the result of “bad karma” from Beijing’s policies in Tibet. And Priceline dropped William Shatner for being too good at his job. In his final commercial for the company, the Priceline Negotiator was killed off in a fiery bus explosion.
The latest celebrity to receive the axe from a major company? Rihanna. As the Daily Mail reports, the singer was dropped from Nivea Cosmetics for being “too Hot”.
The star appeared in a series of adverts for the firm, which was a sponsor of her world tour last year, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the company.
And now cosmetic tycoon Stefan Heidenreich – the new head of Nivea’s parent firm, Beiersdorf – has told German media that the singer should have been considered a ‘no go’ for the brand’s family image.
The 49-year-old said: ‘The advert starring Rihanna was a no go. I do not understand how Nivea can be brought into association with Rihanna.’
In one ad, a family is seen moisturising with Nivea while Rihanna’s sultry hit California King Bed plays in the background.
The original video of the song shows the star wearing stockings and lingerie writhing with a man on a bed. Heidenreich added: ‘Nivea is a company which stands for trust, family and reliability.’
Rihanna is off the hook (to employ a phrase from the 90′s) and everybody knows it. Not that she was exactly demure before, but after the whole Chris Brown debacle, she left the scene for a few months and came back more controversial than ever. She’s crass, sings about sex incessantly and was even photographed smoking a blunt. She parties hard, snaps back at critics and sends cryptic tweets obviously geared toward her ex-boyfriend (Chris Brown). Basically, she’s just your average 24-year-old…with a massive amount of money.
This isn’t new though. Rihanna hasn’t changed since she began endorsing Nivea. When she got the deal, the company said it wanted her to promote the brand to a younger generation. Nivea was an official sponsor of Rihanna’s North American and European “Loud Tour” and had a presence at each tour date. As Daily Mail pointed out:
When Nivea signed up the star last year they said they were ‘very excited’ to have her on board.
Nivea board member Markus Pinger said in a press release at the time: ‘Over the past 100 years, Nivea has been an iconic skin-care brand across the world.
‘Rihanna is a music icon and her digital footprint will help us bring our anniversary celebration to consumers wherever they are.’
So, why did Nivea flip the script and decide to demonize her and using a bizarre “we stand for family” defense to do it?
It’s not clear but somehow, no matter how much changes (and stays exactly the same), we’ve refused to define family as anything outside of husband, wife, and biological baby. In fact, Rihanna would fit just fine into a “family” image if we stopped using the word “family” to discredit others’ existence. Does Rihanna not fit into the “family” image because she’s not a wife and mother? Can’t she be a sister or a daughter or a cousin who lives with us? She’s 24 for goodness sakes and the company is selling lotion not wedding rings, bassinets and Sesame Street toys. Single chicks are still someone’s family member and single chicks get ashy legs too.
Rihanna could certainly afford to tone it down on the sexual front, but is this really about her not representing the “family”? Considering Nivea’s history, it’s difficult to give them the benefit of the doubt. This is the same company that had to apologize after running a highly-controversial ad suggesting that black man needed to “re-civilize” themselves.
Considering that, I feel this decision goes beyond Rihanna’s fondness for raunch or her lack of a husband and child. Black celebrities know they walk a fine line when it comes to endorsements. Remember when Pepsi pulled Ludacris’s commercial because Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly called for a company-wide boycott? O’Reilly characterized Ludacris’ lyrics as “immoral” and a bad influence on youth. (Because Pepsi is for kids?) Pepsi responded by dropping the rapper and picking up Ozzy Osbourne of all people. In Rihanna’s case, sex sells, but sex with a black girl is still taboo with “ordinary” people. Though one big wig may encourage you to go topless and seductive to promote the company, another may throw you off a moving train for the same promotion. It’s not as though this company is against “Hot”. This same company uses people like Khloe Kardashian to promote anti-cellulite creams. Why? Because cellulite is not Hot. So, what’s really going on here?
What do you think?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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In 2007, a then-junior Senator Barack Obama’s campaign for the White House took off when the one and only Oprah Winfrey endorsed his candidacy for president. At the time, the Oprah endorsement was seen as a game changer, helping the fresh faced Obama secure the middle class, white, American suburban female vote. White soccer moms all over American flocked to Obama at a moment where the relatively unknown politician from Chicago needed to secure that stamp of approval from the rest of Middle America. With Oprah came immediate legitimacy.
President Obama recently joked about that pivotal Oprah endorsement at a fundraiser saying, “And then, there is my good friend, Oprah, who very early on, when I was still running, just decided that she would support this guy with a name that nobody could pronounce,” Obama said, “And just like books and skin cream, when Oprah decides she likes you, then other people like you, too.”
For more about whether O decides to support O, visit TheGrio.com.
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By Charlotte Young
After spending two years in the dreaded untouchable category, corporate America is finally starting to warm up to Tiger Woods again. According to Wall Street Journal, Woods just signed an endorsement deal with high class watchmaker Rolex.
The prominent golfer saw his marriage and public image fall apart after a highly publicized infidelity scandal in 2009. Woods took an indefinite leave from golf after he was forced to admit to multiple infidelities with more than a dozen women. During the ordeal his marriage wasn’t the only thing to suffer; his endorsement career took a hit as well. Woods was dropped by several major companies such as AT&T, Gillette and Accenture.
Woods was considered the 11th most effective spokesperson for product sales, right alongside Bill Cosby before the scandal. Davie-Brown Entertainment reported that the scandal dropped him all the way down to the 2,775th spot, right next to the Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Given the past, experts were surprised that Woods was able to bounce back with Rolex. In addition Woods hasn’t even won an event in nearly two years and wasn’t recorded among the top 50 golfers for the first time since 1996.
But Rolex told the Wall Street Journal that they believe Woods has “has a long career ahead of him and that he has all the qualities required to continue to mark the history of golf.”
Woods has had a long standing relationship with Rolex. He worked to promote Rolex’s Tudor watch for almost five years before dropping the company and siding up to its rival Tag Heuer in 2002. Tag Heuer paid Woods about $2 million annually for three years and even stood by him after the scandal. Tag Heuer decided to drop Woods several months ago.
While Mark Steinburg, Wood’s agent wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the deal with Rolex, he did disclose that Woods wasn’t coming back into the endorsement game with a considerably lower pay. Steinburg told the Wall Street Journal that he felt “confident and bullish on his marketability.”
Woods didn’t make it to professional golf’s last season playoff, the Tour Championship, but he is scheduled to play this week in the Frys.com Open. Reports say he plans to use this opportunity to try out his newly developed golf swing.
(Michigan Live) – Floyd Mayweather participated in the richest fight in history but his broader impact on the business of boxing outstrips the limits of his massive ring revenues. Mayweather returns to the ring Saturday night against Victor Ortiz, in a uniquely cross-marketed fight, as he continues to pave uncommon inroads for a boxer. At age 34, he has defied purported racial limitations, altered the way HBO negotiates contracts, embraced the general public via the Internet like few athletes have, and helped create the most intriguing pre-fight television programming in the sport’s history. Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s adviser, said boxing business acumen “is the one thing Floyd will never get credit for,” although the advancements were far-reaching enough for the Grand Rapids native to appear on “Dancing With the Stars” and as a participant in “WrestleMania XXIV.”
(USA Today) — After making a splash with its unprecedented two-minute Super Bowl ad showcasing rapper Eminem, Chrysler is announcing today plans to keep its urban music theme with a new ad campaign starring rap entrepreneur Dr. Dre. But the ads for its new 300 sedan seek to portray the 300 as a car that drivers aspire to own. They portray luxury as something earned through hard work, not only with Dre, but in additional ads featuring NFL rookie sensation Ndamukong Suh and high-fashion designer John Varvatos. ”This will be a breakthrough in terms of how you speak about luxury (in) this country,” says Olivier Francois, CEO of the Chrysler brand. “It doesn’t speak about luxury in terms of just aesthetic, but about luxury in terms (of) the spirit.”
(New York Times) — SINCE the 1980s, the actor Billy Dee Williams has appeared intermittently in advertising for Colt 45 malt liquor, often with a beautiful woman on his arm and accompanied by the slogan, “Works every time.” Now, to celebrate the introduction of a new product, Blast by Colt 45, a potent fruit-flavored beverage, the brand has a new pitchman, the rapper Snoop Dogg. In a promotional video on YouTube, Snoop Dogg, a white fur coat over his shoulders and surrounded by models in skimpy dresses, poses for the photographer Estevan Oriol while holding cans of Blast and the original Colt 45. The photos will be used for promotional purposes, like making 7-foot cardboard cutouts featuring the rapper for in-store displays, and for delivery truck decals. Blast initially is focusing on “viral campaigns with Twitter, Facebook and blogs,” said Evan Metropoulos, who with his brother, Daren, runs Colt 45 as an owner of the Pabst Brewing Company, the brand’s parent company. Pabst was bought in 2010 by Metropoulos & Company, an investment firm started by their father, Dean.
(The Loop) — Snoop Dogg’s been curbed by the morality police again. This time, he was stopped for his new endorsement deal with Colt 45, for its new fruit-flavored alcoholic beverage, Blast by Colt 45…In researching, I discovered that, though bloggers are relatively disappointed in Snoop, their bigger concern is Blast by Colt 45′s target audience: underage drinkers in urban, predominantly African-American communities. The drink itself is going after the Four Loko crowd (though it’s uncertain how Colt 45 intends to keep its product from being banned, like its predecessor), and will attempt to reach them by leveraging Snoop’s industry connects to get ads for the beverage in heavy media rotation.
(ESPN) — It was after 1 a.m. Monday when I finally got a response to the question that had been on my mind for a full day after Blake Griffin provided the defining image of All-Star Weekend (above): What’s going to happen to the car? The moment Baron Davis popped up through the sunroof to throw an alley-oop pass that Griffin grabbed as he flew over the hood on his way to a two-handed dunk, the signature slam of a revived contest, this instantly became the coolest Kia ever. Let’s face it, pulling up to the club’s valet line in a Kia wouldn’t get any heads turning in your direction under normal circumstances. But pulling up in the Kia Optima that Blake Griffin dunked over? Baller status. I’d leave the Sprite Slam Dunk stickers on the doors, just to let ‘em know.
From what I was told, the car will be given to the Clippers, who will then donate it or sell it in a manner they see fit. I suggest they auction it and either give the money to the family of Wilson Holloway, Griffin’s high school teammate who died from complications of Hodgkin’s lymphoma last week, or use the proceeds to start a scholarship fund in Holloway’s name at Tulsa, where Holloway played football. That won’t be the end of the connection between the car and Griffin. You’ll be seeing the two together in Kia advertisements, something that had been in the works for weeks after Griffin decided he wanted to do the dunk. He let the NBA know he was going to dunk over a car, and the league made sure that car would belong to a league partner, which Kia has been for four years.