The 12 Strangest Celebrity Endorsement Deals
We’re used to seeing celebrities endorse products, from cologne (Antonio Banderas) to grills (George Foreman). When the products fit the celebrities’ personal brand, like Florence Henderson for Polident or Jennifer Aniston for SmartWater, it makes sense and it works. But then there are the head-scratchers. All we can think is that these celebrities must’ve gotten paid to rep these products. A lot.
Hulk Hogan – Pastamania
This one may be an oldie, but it’s a goodie. In 1995, Hulk Hogan opened a restaurant in the Mall of America in Minnesota named, what else, Hulk Hogan’s Pastamania. The restaurant was only in operation for over a year and had dishes like “Hulk-U’s” and “Hulk-A-Roos.” Sounds delicious, right brother?
Ozzy Osbourne – I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
In 2011, everyone’s favorite old rocker turned reality TV star Ozzy Osbourne appeared in a commercial with celebrity impersonator Jon Culshaw. Get it? Ozzy couldn’t tell the difference between real butter and the artificial kind, and we weren’t supposed to be able to tell the difference between Ozzy and his impersonator. Oh, Ozzy. He’s definitely come a long way from biting off a bat’s head.
Nelly – Pimp Juice
We don’t know what Nelly was thinking when he endorsed this energy drink introduced in 2003 called Pimp Juice. Sure, it was inspired by his song of the same name and was marketed as “Hip-Hop’s #1 Energy Drink,” but it garnered a ton of (well-earned) controversy. Apparently, it’s still sold in Australia, and there’s even been two follow-up drinks: PJ Tight and PJ Purple Label. So maybe congrats are in order?
Penelope Cruz – Nintendo
We kinda love this commercial with Spanish hottie Penelope Cruz, but we’re confused at the same time. In 2012, she and her sister starred in a commercial for the New Super Mario Bros. 2. In it, Penelope plays Mario Bros, and after losing the game (and a bet), Penelope goes to a grocery store dressed up like the game’s iconic Mario. She still looks good no matter the outfit, though.
Sylvester Stallone – High-Protein Pudding
It’s not strange that Sylvester Stallone, the ageless Rocky/Rambo/Italian Stallion, would capitalize on his fame for being in-shape by promoting a high-protein product. What’s strange is that he chose pudding as the delivery device. Pudding! Would you want to chug pudding after a work-out? Probably not. Maybe that’s one of the reasons the product is now discontinued.
Bill Wyman – Metal Detectors
Bill Wyman is famous for playing bass for The Rolling Stones. Can you imagine the stories he could tell? So, how does he parlay his fame? With a line of vodka? Maybe condoms? No, Bill Wyman went all-in with a metal detector. We’re not joking. Turns out Bill is fascinated by history and archaeology and he combined his passion into one of the strangest celebrity endorsement products ever.
Carlos Santana – Women’s Shoes
Carlos Santana is known for a lot of things: his awesome guitar skills, winning a number of Grammy Awards, and his sold-out shows. But he’s become quite the entrepreneur. On his website he sells branded tequila and even Supernatural Salsa. Those items we understand; we’d love some of his tequila and salsa. What doesn’t makes sense, though, are his line of ladies’ shoes that he launched in 2005. They’re still available all these years later, so it must be a success.
Bret Michaels – Pets Rock Pet Toys
Bret Michaels of Poison-fame-turned-reality-dating-TV-star went a different route with his product endorsements. It’s yet another example where we thought his brand would be put to an edgier product, but he turned to pets instead. As the ad for his products state, “Bret Michaels’ love for pets is even louder than his amplifiers” and the tagline “Pets rock!” Wow. We love pets though, so we’ll throw Bret a bone: they’re available at PetSmart.
KISS – KISS Kasket
If you’re going to go over-the-top, then there’s no other band that does it better than KISS. From the make-up and Gene Simmons’ lizard tongue, to the spectacle of their live shows, KISS never backs down. So, in 2001 the band introduced the Kiss Kasket, a real casket decorated with Kiss pics. Gene Simmons said, “I love livin’, but this makes the alternative look pretty damn good.” It was (unsurprisingly) discontinued in 2008. However, as of 2011, a second-generation model was available on the Kiss website. Doesn’t look like it’s there now, though.
Tico Torres – Rock Star Baby
This is either a stroke of brilliance or the world’s gone crazy. Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres felt that there was one segment of the population missing out on the rock star lifestyle. You guessed it: babies. So he created his own baby fashion line. Now your rug-walker can make you feel like a douche (or a cool dad, depending on your point of view) with skull and gothic graphics. As Tico says, “Every baby is considered a Star.” Yep, available here.
Method Man – Sour Patch Kids
For one to grow on, we present Method Man for Sour Patch Kids. Appearing in 2011, the rapper starred in a video where he rapped about candy that exists only to make your life a nightmare. Hip-hop met gummy bears, and it’s a trip. Seriously. As for making the video, Method Man said, “I was apprehensive because you think candy, you think kids, but they reassured me they would give me total freedom.” Well, they sure did.
Brad Pitt – Chanel No. 5
What’s so strange about an actor pushing 50 becoming the spokesman for a famous women’s perfume? Everything. Even Pitt himself thought that mockery and parodies of his notoriously strange commercials for Chanel’s signature fragrance were “fair game,” and we couldn’t agree more. The goal was to use Pitt to offer “the perspective of a man on the most feminine fragrance of all time,” but all it did was weird everyone out.