Multi-million dollar companies are notorious for using celebrities as spokes-models to help increase sales in their products- and plenty of A-listers have jumped at the opportunity to have their mug tied to a huge brand in exchange for thousands, even millions, of dollars.
With marketing being such a huge part of a businesses success, in fact it is possibly the most important aspect of a successful business, it’s no wonder that these big name companies are willing to shell out millions in exchange for a celeb endorsement to help boost their brand… and boost their brand they do.
In many cases, paying millions of dollars to a celebrity to endorse a product is a pittance to what the company earns in boosted sales.
As for the celebs, as you’ll see the money is so outrageously high, inspite of already earning millions of dollars at their “day job”, it’s impossible to turn down such incredible amounts of money for very little work. For example, Brad Pitt’s Chanel No. 5 commercial couldn’t have taken that long to shoot and you’ll be amazed how much he was paid for it (see below).
You may remember a few, such as when Angelina Jolie lounged casually in Cambodia with her impeccable Louis Vuitton bag, or 50 Cent’s endorsement for the stylish and trendy G-Unit sneakers.
And who could forget the self replicating Beyonce dancing across the television screen for big name soda brand, Pepsi?
All of these companies paid mind boggling amounts of money in order for these celebrities to help increase their product sales.
Did it help or hurt the business-or not do anything at all for sales?
Read and watch to find out who the top 10 highest paid celebrity endorsements were and if they were effective at increasing product sales-or a total flop.
10. Brad Pitt for Chanel No. 5
Chanel is an iconic brand worldwide, so what better celeb to endorse the company perfume line, “Chanel No. 5” than an equally iconic celebrity, Brad Pitt?
The fashion line reportedly shelled out 7 million dollars for Brad’s appearance in their commercial. He also happened to be the first male that the company has ever used in the promotion of their Chanel No. 5 perfume line.
The company reports this as an overall success, as he brought more men’s awareness into the brand and also helped it become recognized as both a men’s and women’s brand.
That said, the commercial itself was ridiculed extensively. The commercial was even parodied on Saturday Night Live.
9. Angelina Jolie for Louis Vuitton
The luxury fashion brand known for it’s gorgeous handbags, Louis Vuitton, hired Angelina Jolie and reportedly paid her 10 million dollars for her appearance with one of their designer bags. Pictured with a rural Cambodian backdrop, the company went under fire for using a poor country as the setting for such a luxurious, high ticket item but the marketing scheme was an overall success after the company saw a relatively large increase in sales. To help matters a bit, Angelina also reportedly dropped a decent penny for charity from the money she received from the advertisement.
8. Jared Fogle for Subway
Subway was in hot water long before the Jared Fogle scandal. However, they still dropped 15 million dollars for Jared’s endorsement after learning that he lost 245 pounds eating the tasty sub sandwiches they sell at their shops. The company saw a continued decline in sales before-and after-Jared’s scandal so it is safe to say this attempt to boost the company name was smothered for a variety of reasons. Better luck next time, Subway.
7. Catherine Zeta Jones for T-Mobile
When T-Mobile hired actress Catherine Zeta Jones to endorse their services, they had no idea she would be such a huge hit. After being paid 20 million dollars, she was eventually replaced but the company loved what she had to offer so much that she was asked to come back for another round of being the T-Mobile brand spokesmodel. This is a pretty clear win for the company, so we are classifying this as a Catherine Zeta Jones success story.
6. Jay Z for Samsung
Jay Z is a huge name in the music industry, which is why it’s no wonder that Samsung swooped in and paid the celeb 20 million dollars in addition to an album promotion in order to promote and sell the Samsung Galaxy phone. The company reportedly saw an increase in both web traffic and social media followers after utilizing Jay Z as the face-and sound-for their company. A considerable win for both parties, Jay Z and Samsung both benefited hugely from this marketing ploy in many ways.
5. Beyonce for Pepsi
Beyonce could be one of the fiercest, most widely known celebrities of our time. With a hugely loyal fan base, an outstanding voice, and overall breathtaking physical beauty Pepsi scooped her up for a multi-year contract that paid out 50 million dollars. The company had what would appear to be a good idea, using such a powerful celebrity as the face of their brand, but her moving and grooving across the television screen and her face plastered all over Pepsi cans nationwide simply wasn’t doing the trick for the general public. Pepsi saw a 4-7% sales decline after the pop star’s face became their brand image.
4. 50 cent for Reebok’s G Unit Sneakers
Reebok hired on rapper 50 Cent to be the name of their stylish G Unit sneaker and made him one of the highest paid celebrity endorsements when they gave him an astonishing 80 million dollars to sport and model their product. Even more shocking was that when the commercial aired, it was the highest earning commercial of all time. The company made a good move employing 50 Cent for this gig, as the company saw a huge boost in sales for the sneaker and several stores even had a hard time keeping the shoes in stock over the holidays. The bottom line for this high paid celeb endorsement is that it paid off in a big way for both 50 and Reebok.
3. Lebron James for Nike
Basketball players and company endorsements go together like bread and butter, so it seems only natural that Lebron James would sign on with one of the biggest sports apparel companies in the world: Nike. They paid him 90 million dollars to endorse their brand for a period of 7 years. For all of you who struggle with math, that’s about 12.9 million dollars each year. Nike made a smart move by hiring on Lebron to be their main man for that period of time, as they saw a sales increase of 340 million dollars. It was a massive success to say the least.
2. Tiger Woods for Nike
Even with Tiger Woods scandalous behavior, he still managed to land a contract with Nike. The second highest paid celebrity on our list, he received a jaw dropping 100 million dollars in return for attaching his name-and face-to their products. Given Tiger’s past, it could have been a total hit or miss for Nike, but in the end Tiger Woods proved that he was unstoppable in the sports world and helped boost the company sales even more. A very smooth, albeit risky, move for this popular sporting brand company.
1. David Beckham for Adidas
Last on this list of highest paid celebrity endorsements is the extremely marketable David Beckham. Loved by millions for his outstanding sports performance as well as his gorgeous face and physique, he was paid-wait for it-160 million dollars by Adidas to rep their sports brand. It’s not the first time he has helped a company boost their sales, and Adidas saw a large increase in their income while David Beckham was under contract with them. This is one celeb endorsement that proved to be hugely beneficial for both parties and he secured his spot as the highest paid celebrity of all time to have endorsed a company name.
Brad Pitt: http://www.marketingmag.ca/brands/did-brad-pitt-sell-more-chanel-90938
Angelina Jolie: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2011/jun/14/angelina-jolie-swamp-bag-ad
Angelina Jolie: http://www.forbes.com/companies/louis-vuitton/
Jared Fogle: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/08/19/subway-trouble-before-jared-mess/31995853/
Catherine Zeta Jones: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/05/20/t-mobile-brings-catherine-zeta-jones-back/
50 Cent: http://money.cnn.com/2004/02/06/news/companies/retro_shoes/
Lebron James: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2015/03/18/lebron-james-is-nbas-top-shoe-salesman-with-340-million-for-nike-in-2014/#545c5e172859
Tiger Woods: https://bus.wisc.edu/mba/brand-product-management/blog/2013/10/23/the-tiger-woods-effect-celebrity-endorsements-increase-sales
David Beckham: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2276177/David-Beckham-shirt-sales-1billion.html