Celebrities are selling everything these days – from Beamers, Benzs and Bugatis to weight-loss plans. The endorsement money makes for a good cushion when recording albums and filming movies runs dry for the moment.
Still, as they say, “all money ain’t good money.” And depending on the product or the commercial, it may be a career hurt piece when artist endorsements go wrong. To boot, depending on the celebrity, the product companies may want to run the other way. Check out our “Top 5 Celebrity Endorsements That May Not Have Been Such a Bright Idea”:
5. Mary J. Blige and The Burger King Crispy Chicken Wrap Debacle
This is too recent to really see what the long-term effects of the Burger King commercial fiasco will be on Mary J. Blige. The latest is that Burger King themselves pulled the controversial ads depicting the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul overly excited about their new chicken product due to “copyright issues.”
People, mostly Black we assume, are up in arms over the stereotypical visual that chicken makes Black folks happy as bluejays. If that’s the case, then we’re singing, ‘cause chicken tastes great! But, for Mary, who has won Grammys and worldwide praise for two decades, linking up with something so overt and historically damaging may have been a really bad move. (We're also reminded of a few other "Chicken Fails" - namely, Flavor Flav and MC Hammer. Umph.)
4. Michael Jackson’s Hair-Raising Pepsi Problem
It’s not that Pepsi products are bad (well, except for the sugar and weird ingredients). It’s just that some of their celebrity encounters end up kinda cray. Case in point was the Michael Jackson global news incident of 1984, when his Jheri curl caught on fire during the filming of a commercial. The icon's love for everything over the top, coupled with the big Pepsi budget, led to a pyrotechnic disaster when fireworks ignited the chemicals in his hair. He suffered severe scalp burns, reportedly leading him toward the prescription drug addiction that ended his life years later.
In other bad Pepsi PR, Kanye West’s costly ads were pulled a few years back after he stormed Taylor Swift’s stage in a drunken Beyonce fan fit. Further showing they don’t play that, Pepsi some years earlier pulled Madonna’s ads after she released the religiously-ratchet “Like A Prayer” video.
3. Ice Cube and Coors Light – “You think you colder than ME?”
The West Coast legend Ice Cube has made some of the most gangster rap ever. When he walks in the room, even Deebo gets quiet nowadays. Still, he has also made some questionable promotional moves outside the booth. There was that run of “Are We There Yet” kiddie movies. Ahem, ahem. The latest is his Coors Light commercial, and his hardcore fans weren’t having it. We don’t see anything particularly wrong with Ice Cube selling Coors Light in this ad. Watch Ice Cube's Coors Light commercial below and decide for yourself:
We say, what?? It’s not like it's St. Ides, thank God, and even a swagged-out Billy Dee Williams sold Colt 45 like a champ in his day.
2. T-Pain’s Auto-Tune Microphone – The Christmas Toy Hit of 2011!
Five or six years ago, it was undeniable who the King of the Radio Airwaves was. T-Pain was featured on more Top 10 singles than anyone, and he pioneered the use of Auto-Tune in Pop and Urban Music. Like everything good, the bandwagon jumped onboard, possibly overusing the technology to warp their voices on song after song. And when people finally started to get sick of it, they blamed T-Pain for his role in popularizing it. That’s foul! After taking a PR beating,T-Pain sat out a few rounds, but came back swinging last year with a new deal, new music, and a new TOY???
T-Pain obviously doesn’t care what the haters think. What makes us say that? It could be the obvious way he’s left himself open for madddd jokes by creating an Auto-Tune microphone that kids can use to manipulate their vocals all the way to the top of the music industry. Not. The commercials, though? Pure hilarity.
He has reportedly made a few million dollars by licensing his name and likeness for the toy. A few million? T-Pain, your haters have officially been "chopped and screwed."
1. Warren G’s Erectile Dysfunction Malfunction
Hey, fellas, we get it. Sometimes your little man isn’t working up to his full potential. Lucky for you, there are a ton of products on the market now that can help. BUT, if you’re a legendary West Coast, Dogg Pound-affiliated rapper named Warren G, you might want to pass this opportunity by. Indeed, Warren did lend himself for the Affirm XL penile enhancement pill ads picked up by TMZ that left him with a lot of explaining to do in 2011.
So, can Warren G get it up on his own? We’re not sure. But he sure spent a lot of time digging himself out of that hole. No pun intended!
There are a bunch more bad endorsement examples out there - share your own below!
BONUS: This ain’t Hip-Hop, but it’s just plain crazy, so we’re throwing it in. In 1961, some execs from the hugely popular “Flintstones” cartoon series thought it would be a swell idea to partner up with the Winston CIGARETTE commercial and let Fred sell cigs to kiddies. Ummm. Hmmm. No.