Much like everyone else, the shaky economy has marketers looking for new ways to shrink budgets and get the most bang for their buck.Which is why it's no surprise that many companies are using celebrity endorsements as their main execution for advertising. It seems, "Two all-beef patties, special sauce..." has become simply handing Beyonc a Big Mac and telling her to bite and smile. In 2009, marketers estimated that President Barack Obama, who hadn't even signed an endorsement deal due to office, could have easily acquired $25-50 million for announcing his loyalty to Blackberry while transitioning into presidency.In our celebrity driven society we seem to eat up, both literally and figuratively, whatever a star serves, in hopes to live vicariously through the products they endorse.
Over the past last 10 years, turning to celebrities of color has increasingly trended, more so than decades before, and not necessarily the most conventional names.Brands recognize our swag and accomplishments and many of our favorite singers, rappers, actors, and athletes are landing endorsement deals consistently.Queen Latifah, Jay-Z, Rihanna, and LeBron James are all toting hefty wallets due to some lucrative endorsements, but so are some of the not-so-major players. Here are few celebrity and brand collabos raking in our money, whether the cosign is believable or not. Forget sex, nothing sells like celebrity.
Money Maker: Kim Kardashian
Cosigning: Carl's Jr.
The Deal: The Armenian beauty makes love to a salad in her 32-second ad for a fast food chain most of us never even heard of.
Sincere or Suspect: Sincere.If you saw her and Ray J's notorious sex tape, you know the way she ate that chicken, apple, walnut salad was not acting.
Money Maker: Charles Barkley
Cosigning: Taco Bell
The Deal: Rapping about a $5 box deal, Taco Bell's first Barkley-featured commercial premiered during the 2010 Super Bowl. Barkley rapping? Way past his prime. really, what does he have to lose?
Sincere or Suspect: Sincere. Judging the circumference of his belly he definitely eats more than his share of chicken chalupas for the almighty dollar.
Money Maker: Biz Markie
Cosigning: Radio Shack
The Deal: 15 seconds of Biz singing "Oh snap, guess what I saw" to the tune of "Just A Friend"
Sincere or Suspect: Sincere. It's quite believable that Biz Markie, a rapper and DJ, has more than a few Radio Shack receipts.
Money Maker: Ryan Leslie
The Deal: Leslie, Lexus, and Louboutin team up for the typical hyper power car commercial.
Sincere or Suspect: Sincere.Even if R-Les doesn't really drive a Lex, after this commercial, his first at that, he made it easy to believe he does.
Money Maker: Dr. Dre
Cosigning: Dr. Pepper
The Deal: The West Coast super-producer, (and sometimes rapper) leaks a snippet of his song "Detox" from his much anticipated upcoming album, stating "Slow is always better."
Sincere or Suspect: Suspect. Dre nervously delivers his lines, and the "Doctor" theme was overkill.
Money Maker:Zoe Saldana
The Deal: The "Avatar" star has become the face of Avon's latest fragrance, 'Eternal Magic," debuting in April.
Sincere or Suspect: Suspect. The People's Choice Award-nominated starlet knows good and well she probably isn't putting anything Avon on her face, let alone her body.
Money Maker: Dwyane Wade
The Deal: Dwyane jumped from Converse to Nike's Jordan brand without blinking an eye, just to represent the famous jump-man label.
Sincere or Suspect: Sincere.Professional basketball players and sneakers go hand in hand without question - unless they were Skechers Shape-ups. Then our brows would raise.
Money Maker: Shaquille O'Neal
Cosigning: Muscle Milk
The Deal: On each bottle of the high-energy drink there is a square with the number "33." When you show this to your computer's webcam, O'Neal will pop out of the bottle like in Kazaam-like fashion.
Sincere or Suspect: Suspect. Did they just randomly go down a list and say, "Shaq will work - he's big. Muscle Milk will make you big. Give him a call."
Money Maker: Drake
The Deal: Rapper/Singer Drake landed his first deal with a new Sprite campaign. His first commercial, titled "Unleashed," aired during the NBA All Star Games and depicts Drake struggling to find inspiration in the studio while recording his hit song "Forever".
Sincere or Suspect: Sincere.More than likely Drake does drink Sprite....and Pepsi, Coke, Red Bull, and Patron when he is trying to get inspired in the studio.