The best and worst celebrity endorsements

Celebrity Big Brother 2011 Launch - Hertfordshire

Every so often there comes a moment of branding genius, when the marketing boffins hit upon the perfect celebrity to endorse their product: the living embodiment of their brand.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, another bunch of marketing boffins missed their morning latte, and are about to make the worst celebrity endorsement decision of their lives. Here we celebrate both: the best and worst of celebrity endorsements.

World-beating endorsements

Jamie Oliver and Sainsbury's
International Radio Exhibition Berlin 2012


When M&C Saatchi convinced Sainsbury's to sign the Naked Chef in 2000 it was a moment of inspiration.

By 2003 the company said that his adverts were 65% more successful than the ones they ran before his arrival, and that he was personally responsible for adding £1.12 billion in revenue. The association eventually lasted for 11 years.

Gary Lineker and Walkers Crisps
Walkers Crisps 50th Birthday bash - Alton Towers

From the cleanest player in football to the nation's favourite commentator, Gary Lineker has been the perfect face for the Walkers brand for 19 years - making it one of the longest-running celebrity endorsements in the country.

Researchers at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick say Lineker's value as a figurehead lies in the fact that we admire him, but we also have a sneaking suspicion that he's just like us.

Michael Jordan and Nike
Britain Ryder Cup Golf

The Air Jordans were an inspired idea which have kept both the company and the celebrity wealthy for 30 years.

Jordan himself is said to earn the vast majority of his $80 million annual paycheck from endorsing the shoes – which in turn are said to be worth $1.75 billion a year.

George Foreman
George Foreman launches British Heart Foundation fundraising campaign

George Foreman made more from his two decades as the face of the grill than he ever made in the ring. Before he finally sold his stake, he sold 200 million grills and made $200 million.

The slightly less successful endorsements

Martin Clunes and Churchill
Born Free Wild and Live Concert - London

National treasure Martin Clunes seemed like an obvious choice for Churchill in 2012. He was a funny man that everyone could identify with - and a perfect foil for their hilarious dog. Unfortunately for the company there was one thing they didn't consider.

Just a year after signing up, Clunes told the company he had been banned from driving after accumulating 12 points on his licence. He was immediately dropped.

Kerry Katona and Cash Lady
OK Magazine Christmas Party - London
Katona was always going to be a fairly controversial choice for the payday lender. The first advert she filmed for Cash lady appealed to people who 'like her' sometimes ran short of cash.

It was banned by the Advertising Standards Agency for targeting vulnerable people and she was forced to re-shoot. Just months later the relationship soured even further, when Katona filed for bankruptcy for the second time in five years.

Her contract stated that in the event she went bankrupt again she would lose the deal - so the payday loan company dropped her.

Iggy Pop and Swiftcover
Iggy Pop

The star's association with the brand eventually blossomed, but the early days in 2009 were fairly strained.

In his first advert for the company he claimed that the company helped him save time by looking after his documents for him. Unfortunately it emerged that Swiftcover's terms and conditions wouldn't allow a musician to be insured by them.

The firm immediately amended its terms to allow Pop cover.

Rihanna and Nivea
2013 American Music Awards - Press Room - Los Angeles

The pop star had been appearing undressed in Nivea adverts to advertise its skincare, so it's somewhat strange that it was her regular appearances in next-to-nothing which persuaded the company to part company with her.

In 2012, after a year of being the face of the brand, the CEO said the company stood for family, trust and reliability - which meant it wasn't a perfect fit for the sultry star.

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