Whilst we were writing the piece on Charlie Sheen’s ad appearances, we started thinking about brands which have happily associated themselves with celebrities of one kind or another, with: actors, comedians, musicians, models and sporting greats.

Of course, there are a whole host of reasons why brands and celebs get together. The obvious one being: at least they can act – especially if they’re already in the entertainment business. But, more often than not, it’s about relevance; such as when a certain personality is just the perfect fit or, occasionally (and even better still), is so “perfectly wrong” for it.

These ads usually leverage off some aspect of that person’s own world. And their direct endorsement – or mere appearance – can take any of the following forms:

There’s the ‘celeb-totally-believes-in-our-product-or-message’ ad; the ‘celeb-embodies-our-proposition’ ad; the ‘it’s-part-of-the-movie-deal’ ad; the well-timed topical ad; the random comeback ad; the response/revenge ad; the pop culture-referencing ad; the ‘they’re-so-hot-right-now’ ad; or simply the…
‘look-I-really-need-the-money’ ad.

So, let’s take a light-hearted look at a few examples where brands have decided to “buy association”.

Each year, the Super Bowl of celebrity ads takes place during the sporting event itself. American football’s Super Bowl Sunday features some of the latest and largest star-studded commercials. In fact, these ads are as much a tradition as the beer, Doritos and bowls of chili. Why? Because so many eyeballs on the big game = bigger budgets = the biggest names.

We’ll kick off with a Super Bowl spot where Alec Baldwin delivers his trademark nastiness with deadpan precision. Then Jennifer Aniston doing, well… “Poor Jen”, as they say.

So, when it comes time to purchase, what are we buying? The product, the creative idea, or the “association” with a particular personality? What do YOU think? Any comments on endorsement? Got a favourite celebrity ad? If so, give us a link below.