Every day, there’s another celebrity hawking wares, from skincare lines to diet pills to home decor. Celebrities can make millions of dollars from endorsements, especially if the celebrity is well known and popular. Just last week, Julia Roberts made $1.5 million from appearing in a 30 second commercial for the Italian coffee brand Lavazza. In the ad, Roberts sips the coffee and doesn’t utter a word.
But has celebrity product endorsement reached an oversaturation point? We’ve bemoaned the trend of actresses appearing on the covers of magazines instead of models before, and it’s becoming harder and harder to tell the difference between paid ads and editorial features, especially when the same celebrity is featured in a fashion shoot/interview and then a lipstick ad ten pages later.
Our colleagues over at sister site Blisstree.com also raise another interesting point – do celebrities set bad, or even dangerous, examples? Their analysis of talk show host Kelly Ripa’s exercise regimen certainly makes it sound like Ripa is setting a bad example for her fans – she was recently injured when attempting to walk on crutches while wearing high heels.
I’ve said before that it’s incredibly difficult for me to take celebrity beauty, fashion, and fitness advice very seriously when I know that these women have more time and money than I do. Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP newsletter attempts to rebrand Gwynnie as a lifestyle guru but fails miserably because Paltrow recommends expensive products that are out of the price range of the ‘average’ wife and mom she claims to identify with. It’s a lot easier to stick to weight loss and fitness programs when one has a personal trainer, in-home chef, and access to plenty of expensive organic foods. Likewise, it’s easy to maintain a regimen of rare and expensive beauty products when they’re sent to you for free courtesy of the company you have an endorsement contract with. And yet, there’s a small part of me, deep down inside, that really wants to know how Gwyneth Paltrow keeps her skin looking like that.
How should we read, and absorb, celebrities’ advice? I tend to take an extreme position, assuming that anything a celebrity says about a specific product, food, or program is being paid for. (Perhaps it can be called the Kim Kardashian’s Twitter Effect.) It might be reactionary, but I’d rather be skeptical of celebrity endorsements than blindly accepting of them. A healthy degree of cynicism usually keeps me from rushing out to do something because a person I’ve never met tells me to.
What about you? Do you accept celebrity endorsements and try products they recommend? Or do you immediately reject anything with a celebrity’s face on it?