Inappropriate Celebrity Endorsements

This is a guest post from Dr. Faust from The Lamest. I also did a guest post on his site which can be read here.

Advertising has been the cornerstone of human commerce for as long as mankind has had branded products to sell. Archeologists believe the first such product was a caveman marital aid called the “hit on her” club.

Since that first clever caveman marketing campaign, advertising methods have evolved.

Ancient advertising companies generally employed the “buy this [insert product here] or god will smite the shit out of you” approach. Buyers soon became tired of this advertising technique and as a result marketing executives were whipped, crucified or forced to duel it out with Russell Crowe if they ever pitched the “Smitey God” angle to clients.

Dark Ages advert executives learned from their slain marketing forbears by taking a more uplifting positive advertising angle. The problem was the average consumer at the time was penniless, had leprosy and was stuck farming bland vegetables on some crap farm in county serfdom.

Next came the renaissance period. This time in history was marked by huge advances in the arts, science, philosophy a most importantly dressmaking that highlighted heaving wench décolletages. The renaissance was also responsible for the refining of the advertising industry and the invention of marketing’s greatest weapon…the celebrity endorsement.

This Leonardo Da Vinci ad was one of the renaissance’s most effective marketing campaigns. Unfortunately it was so effective it resulted in many Florentine residents borrowing beyond their means and eventually defaulting on their loans, leading to Lorenzo Medici castrating the offending lenders. This was the birth of that great Italian saying “you’re breaking my balls!”

As the centuries rolled on celebrity endorsements became the staple of advertising. If you had a product to move, you needed a celebrity to move it. The more merchandise you wanted to shift the bigger named celebrity was needed.

This formula hit its zenith in 1940 when the Japanese company Nissin used FDR as the face of Cup Noodles. In an ironic and little know twist Nissin was the same company responsible for making the torpedoes that bombed the MSG out of Pearl Harbor. Since that monumental foible, American Presidents were hesitant to endorse products and instead shifted their attention to endorsing puppet governments, military juntas and guerilla groups who opposed their enemies.

Even though FDR’s foray into the world of product celebrity endorsement resulted in WWII turning into a truly global conflict, technically from a marketing point of view it was a roaring success.

All things considered celebrity endorsements have been a massive winner. On the occasion however there have been a couple of epic fails that we thought we should highlight. They are as follows:

1) James Dean promoting safe driving on the roads

The advert:

Why it was a FAIL:
Nice one Jimmy! You probably should have knocked on some wood after filming that ad…FAIL!

2) Olsen Twins Got Milk? Ad

The advert:

Why it was a FAIL:
Any food or beverage advertising campaign the employs an anorexic celebrity is destined to fail. I think a mint Tic Tac ad campaign to combat bulimia breathe would have been much more apt!

3) Gary Glitter

The advert:

Why it was a FAIL:
OK granted this ad was made many years before Gary “I’m a child sex tourist” Glitter got busted in Vietnam. But still look at him, he looks like a pedo! He’s dipping his hand in cream and the ad contains the words “keep hold of young persons.” *shudder* …..FAIL!

4) Pope Leo XIII

The advert:

Why it was a FAIL:
It’s not bad enough the Catholic Church has so many drunk Irish priests. Now they are encouraging alcoholism….FAIL!

5) Michael Jackson

The advert:

Why it was a fail:
MJ was actually a great celebrity for Pepsi. The filming of the ad was where the FAIL occurred.

It also marked fire’s weakest moment in world history. Up until the filming of this commercial anything that went up in flames turned black. Paradoxically Michael started to turn white after this event….FAIL to both Pepsi and Fire!

The Lamest deliver tirades of shame to celebrities, politicians, and your momma in equal portions. The Lamest’s mission is to search for the best of the worst and treat the lame with disdain. The Lamest can be followed on twitter.

5 comments for “Inappropriate Celebrity Endorsements

  1. May 26, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    the work of a genius! ;P

  2. Spewf
    May 27, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    The Olsen Twins. Now that is funny.

  3. August 24, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Great list.
    Soendoro Soetanto

  4. March 22, 2012 at 9:08 am

    fire fail! Michael Jackson turned white. He he, great post.

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