Celebrities are one of the go-to approach for an effective advertising, especially in social media.
With thousands or even millions of computable followers, the image of a celebrity can reach further and speak louder than the typical product only.
But what happens when a celebrity’s image affects a company in the ad campaign? From minute to catastrophic, here are a few celebrity ads that backfired.
Michelle Kwan Coca-Cola
The decorated figure skater was criticized for its conflicting roles as a member of a federal health committee as the ambassador of Coca-Cola
When Michelle Kwan was chosen as Coca-Cola’s “Active Living Ambassador,” the fans were still confused. The Olympic figure skater athletic image does not match with a soda company.
Only three years before landing her ad campaign of Coca-Cola, Kwan was selected for the prestigious President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, that “engages, educates, and empowers all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and good nutrition, according to the Department of Health and Human website.
But that decision was questioned when Kwan was chosen by Coca-Cola. As the Center for Science in the Public Interest to convert, Kwan dual role “can not be reconciled” because of the Council and Coca-Cola is completely opposite messages — avoid sugary drinks and drink Coca-Cola (perhaps the world’s most famous sugary drink), respectively.
Others came to defend Kwan say that it is possible to lead a healthy lifestyle while enjoying a sugary drink every once in a while.
Scarlett Johansson for SodaStream
SodaStream is a device that is used to carbonate ordinary water into soda water with the option for adding flavor syrup as a substitute for commercial soft drinks.
Although the device is hailed for its potential to save plastic and money, gotten more press for the primary production company located in the West Bank region of the Middle East. As a result, fans called ScarJo after they endorsed the product in a 30-second spot for Super Bowl XLVIII.
International NGO Oxfam, for which she became an international ambassador for at the time, said that her support of an Israeli company that operates in the West Bank was incompatible with its coincident role with the humanitarian charity, because they contribute to the “denial of the rights of the Palestinian communities that we support.”
The story eventually ends when Johansson, who is Jewish, was her decision and turned her back on Oxfam, citing a ” fundamental difference of opinion.”
Dakota Fanning for Marc Jacobs
This ad from a 17-year-old Fanning was banned in the united kingdom because it “can be seen as sexualize a child.”
After receiving a Screen Actors Guild nomination only 8 years old for her role in 2001 “I Am Sam,” it was clear that Fanning was not too young to get started in acting. A decade later, she suddenly was too young… for modeling, that is.
The UK Ad Standards Authority banned 2011 Marc Jacobs Oh Lola! perfume ad with a 17-year-old Fanning in a challenging position.
If the ASA has described, “the length of her dress, her leg and position of the perfume bottle drew attention to her sexuality… we considered the ad could be seen to sexualize a child.” Fanning was also surprised that the ad was pulled.
“If you want to read something into a perfume bottle, then I think you can. But it is just as well, ‘Why are you making it about that, you creep?’ I love Marc and trust him, and we laughed about it,” Fanning said in a 2013 interview with Glamour.
Ashton Kutcher for Popchips
After finishing his high-profile marriage to Demi Moore in 2013, Kutcher the role of the different bachelors looking for love for a Popchips ad campaign was too good of an idea.
Kutcher showcased his versatility between a pot-smoking hippie, a Karl Lagerfeld-like fashion diva named Darl, and even a spiritual biker named Swordfish.
Everything fell apart, but in Kutcher the role of a Bollywood film producer called Raj, he had to make use of a stereotypical Indian accent and dark skin.
The ad even lived after viewers called out as racist, but Popchips pulled the scenes with Raj. A spokeswoman for Popchips said at the time that the dating parody was “created to provoke a laugh and was never intended to stereotype or offend anyone,” and hoped that “people can enjoy this in the spirit it was intended.”
Mr. T for Snickers
The retired professional wrestler was called homophobic after 2008 Snickers ad aired in which he shouted, “You’re a disgrace to the human race. It is time to walk like a real man” to a man speed walking in tight yellow shorts.
The man was then forced in the running as Mr. T fired a barrage of Snickers with a gun from the bed of a combat-style pick-up truck in a scene that seems straight out of the “A-Team”.
While the ad was never shown outside the uk, the Human Rights Campaign, a Us advocacy group, complained that the commercial promoted violence against LGBT people by the show of it ” is not only acceptable, but funny.”
In response to these claims, Mr. T told Fox News, “I’m not homophobic. I would never do a commercial if I thought it was offensive for everyone.”
Although the reception was mixed among the U. K. community, according to The Guardian, the ad was pulled from the air. Should we pity the fool?
Kendall Jenner for Pepsi
Twenty-two-year-old Kendall Jenner was slammed for her function in the infamous Pepsi ad, which many said was a farce of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The ad, called “Live for Now,” let a peace protest happening on the street in front of Jenner’s ongoing photo-shoot. After viewing the demonstration to stir up, Jenner joins in the joy of the protesters. Jenner then walks through the crowd, grabs a can of Pepsi and hands it to one of the riots the police.
Now for the part that threw everyone off: the officer burst open the can in the exciting silence, takes a sip, nods approvingly, and then, finally, the audience is going totally crazy of joy.
Pepsi initially defended themselves in the light of a comprehensive social media campaign against the ad. “This is a global ad that is a reflection of people from different walks of life come together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey,” the reading of the first declaration of Pepsi.
Pepsi true, the next day by the removal of the ad from their YouTube channel, admitting they “missed the mark,” and Kendall for making her the image of an advertisement gone horribly wrong. Luckily for Pepsi, the ad didn’t really hurt their image. As for Jenner, she was still the highest paid model of the year, according to Forbes.
Howard Stern for Snapple
Howard Stern always talked highly of Snapple on his nationally syndicated radio talk show… as she him. After the Quaker Oats company purchased Snapple in 1994, she made the mistake of breaking all ties with the radio personality in favor of a more healthy image.
In harmony with his typical boisterous style, Stern proudly holds a grudge for a number of months on the company by encouraging the listeners to avoid Snapple, or “Crapple,” as he would call.
John Deighton of The Harvard Business Review is considered to be the crop of Howard Stern is just one of the many disastrous decisions that led to Snapple’s rapid decline under Quaker’s ownership, before being sold in 1997 to Triarc, now The Wendy’s Company. After three years of getting Snapple back on the right track, Triarc turned the fire over to Cadbury for more than $1 billion profit.