Becoming a celebrity is a fairly sweet deal. Aside from being paid to do things that most of us can only dream of doing, you can also make a large amount of money on the side by endorsing and advertising products. Celebrities have fans, and they can persuade their fans to buy things if their favorite stars tell them it would be a good idea to do so. The relationship between celebrities and marketing goes all the way back to the earliest days of commercial television over seventy years ago. During that time, some of them have become rather strange.
So long as the money is right, it seems there’s nothing that some celebrities won’t put their name to. The product or service might have nothing to do with them, and in some cases, is clearly nothing that the celebrity themself would ever consider buying, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to push it on us. Here are some of the strangest celebrity endorsements we’ve ever seen, from the charming to the downright bizarre.
Kim Kardashian Sells Toilet Paper
Most of us know Kim Kardashian best for either her reality television show, her marriage to Kanye West, or just the fact that she and her family are constantly in the news. She’s omnipresent, and she can command fees of millions of dollars for recommending products. She’s been asked to endorse a number of strange things in her long career of being famous for nothing in particular, but the most bizarre of them is toilet paper. In 2010 she was paid to come along and promote the “Charmin Holiday Toilets” in New York City, which was apparently once an annual event. The event let shoppers know that there were free toilets available nearby and that they’d find Charmin toilet paper inside them. She was flanked by two people in bear costumes at the launch event. We have no idea why.
Ozzy Osbourne Sells Margarine
Ozzy Osbourne is, as any fan of heavy metal will tell you, the “Lord of Darkness.” He was the frontman of the legendary metal band Black Sabbath for several decades and won the hearts of millions of people all over the world with a reality television show that followed his family more than a decade ago. At the peak of his reality TV fame, he signed a deal to promote the quirky British brand “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter,” which aimed to persuade people that margarine was a better choice. The TV commercial involved Ozzy cloning himself for no apparent reason. It’s not the most rock and roll thing we’ve ever seen, but it was delightfully surreal.
Mariah Carey Sells Potato Chips
Mariah Carey’s entire image is based around the idea that she’s extremely glamorous. It’s difficult for us to imagine that she does any of the trivial things that most of us do, and we’re almost positive that she doesn’t eat potato chips. She did, however, pretend to eat potato chips for the benefit of the Walkers company in the UK. The advert never aired in the US, but British viewers got to see her put a cheese and onion flavor chip to her mouth in the advert. She very clearly never bit into it, but that didn’t stop the commercial from being a huge success on that side of the pond. Her face also appeared on bags of Walkers potato chips for the duration of the campaign. It was an unlikely commercial partnership, but one that she was allegedly paid just under twelve million dollars for.
Dolly Parton Sells Online Slots
Dolly Parton is probably the most famous country music singer who ever lived, and she’s an incredibly astute businesswoman. People laughed at her when she opened her own theme park and confidently predicted that it was doomed to failure. That was back in 1985. Here we are in 2021, and “Dollywood” is still open. She had the last laugh then, and she’s still having the last laugh with her own online slots promotions. The casino industry makes astonishing sums of money online, and Dolly is getting a slice of that pie. She has her own personally-approved online slots game called “Dolly,” which features a jukebox of her greatest hits and multiple appearances from Dolly on the reels, as well as access to some prized online slots promotions. Leander Games worked with the legendary performer to create the game in 2014, and it’s still available on slots websites all over the world now.
David Beckham Sells Fish Fingers
It’s been a few years since David Beckham hung up his boots and stopped playing soccer. But there was a time when he was the most famous soccer player in the world. He even helped to promote the popularity of the sport in the USA when he joined LA Galaxy from Real Madrid. As a handsome man with a global following, Beckham was a marketer’s dream. Some of those marketers worked for a company called GO3, which hired him to promote fish fingers. For those who are fortunate enough not to recognize the term, they’re sticks of cod coated in batter. Beckham’s face was plastered all over the packaging, and he was also occasionally required to appear in public holding huge plates full of the offensively orange snacks while pretending to be happy about it.
Bob Dylan Sells Lingerie
Bob Dylan is a legendary singer-songwriter. You might call him many things, but with no disrespect intended to Bob, the word “sexy” probably wouldn’t be among them. That didn’t stop him from becoming the surprising face of the “Victoria’s Secret” lingerie brand in 2004. Bob wrote a song especially for the company’s televised commercials and then appeared in the commercials with the far better-looking Adrianna Lima. Why the famously non-commercial musician did such a thing is a question that will probably never be answered.
While other celebrities have made equally ill-advised promotional decisions, we don’t think any of them can top Bob Dylan selling lingerie, and so we’re going to stop here while we’re still on a high. If you own a business and you have a product you’d like to promote, always remember that celebrity assistance is only a phone call away. If you’ve got the money, they’ve got the time!