Did Henry Winkler’s stock drop at all in your eyes when you learned he was hawking reverse mortgages? Granted, this was the guy who is probably best known for playing the character Fonzie in Happy Days and not some master thespian…but still it left me with a bad impression. I imagine the company selected him as a spokesperson based on nothing more than his status as a C list celebrity and target demographics.
Are there any celebrities that you feel fared poorly or have in some fashion been diminished by choosing to do a commercial endorsement?
I’ve seen Tom Selleck hawking reverse mortgages, too. He’s not exactly an A list celeb anymore, but he does star in a hit prime time series, Blue Bloods, so I don’t think those commercials have diminished him too much.
Only if they are still an “active” celebrity. Otherwise I understand that the bills have to get paid somehow, and endorsements are a way to make money that doesn’t directly involved robbing people (usually.) However I do sometimes look askance at people who use their fame to hawk anything at all, just for the money grab, while they are still working performers. Jimmy Buffett gets hit with this, mainly on the quality of anything with the “Margaritaville” brand on it except the restaurants. The booze and beer are utter crap.
eta: As for Tom Selleck, it helps to know that he is an absolute dick IRL, so nothing disgusting he did would surprise me.
Rick Harrison for LifeLock. Yeah, having your identity stolen sucks but promoting a company that can’t even protect their own CEO from identity theft, over a dozen times that they made public, is dumb.
I recall Sally Struthers being mocked for doing some sort of humanitarian aid infomercial.
When Bill Cosby was selling Jello pudding pops back in the day I don’t recall thinking anything was wrong with it, but I saw one of those old commercials not long ago and thanks to recent events found my perceptions have changed considerably.
Of course they selected him because of target demographics; that’s at the heart of all advertising. I do know what you mean though. I kind of cringed when Jamie Lee Curtis was promoting the yogurt that makes you poop.
What always stands out to me is when a celebrity who has a very distinct voice does a voice over and uses “we” and “our” as if they’re part of the company. No, Susan Sarandon, you did not take care of my cold symptoms.
Cosby did a lot of commercials for a lot of products. In fact, until scandal hit, his job as a pitchman ran neck-and-neck with “The Cosby Show” as the thing he was best known for.
As for recent dubious celebrity endorsements, there’s baseball HOFer Frank Thomas’ hyping of a questionable energy supplement. There’s a thread about this somewhere on the SDMB.
Also, this thread is about sketchy products whose endorsement by a celebrity end up diminishing the celebrity’s worth. What about the other way around? Are there any products you thought less of because of the celebrity who endorsed them? (“Really? They got that guy to plug this?”)
I understand Ted Nugent did a commercial for Vernor’s Ginger Ale back in the 1980’s (I’ve never actually seen it). In fairness, though, this was years before the general public learned about Terrible Ted’s psychotic tendencies, so the good folks at Vernor’s should get a pass for that one.
Because of my age, I only knew Sally Struthers from those commercials. It wasn’t until years later that I started watching All In The Family.
Regarding Henry Winkler, he is probably best known for Happy Days, but many people under, say, 25-30 are only going to know him from Arrested Development and Parks and Rec. I can’t recall seeing the commercials, but those shows ran much more recently. He’s not A-list, but he’s not exactly washed up either.