In North America we have an intense love affair with our celebrities. We stand in awe of them and place them on a pedestal far above regular folk. We see them as serious artists and we could not imagine them using their talent to sell obscure products. Sure there has been the iconic relationships like Bill Cosby with Jello and Coke, but for the most part we would not expect to see our superstars selling these common products in commercials. In fact when there has been this type of advertising involving a star, it has become the object of ridicule. Anyone who can recall the 1980s remembers Ricardo Montalban selling Chrysler cars complete with Corinthian leather seats, what followed was ridicule and parody for several years. This does not mean that we are depriving our celebrities of work. There are certain products that everyone considers respectable items for our stars to push. Cosmetic companies like Cover Girl, high-end watch companies like Tag Heuer and of course athletic wear companies like Nike or Adidas are deemed acceptable. Most of these ads are done with class and professionalism that is worthy of the respect that our celebrities are given in our society. The North American film, sports and music industry has a worldwide appeal and, because of this, our celebrities can use their popularity to sell items in distant lands. The exciting aspect of this is that they are no longer constrained by the fear of public opinion. Some of these campaigns are for items that would never be sold by a top celebrity on this side of the ocean. Some of the campaigns themselves are hilarious and place our stars in strange circumstances. You can find Britney Spears selling candy and Sean Connery pushing yogurt. The fact that these stars are willing to sell these products shows us that perhaps we do glamorize our celebrities a little too much. What is wrong about being the face of a coffee or a beer advertising campaign. These stars are people like everyone else who are looking to work and have fun while doing it. Perhaps if the North American audience was not so quick to label these people sell-outs or money hungry monsters we would be allowed to see campaigns similar to those seen overseas. Until that that time enjoy the list below of products and campaigns our top celebrities have been in abroad.
10 10 ) Drew Barrymore: Korean Ice Cream
9 Ben Stiller: Japanese Blue Steel
8 Jennifer Aniston: Beer Babe
7 Snoop Dogg: German Crooner
When we think of Snoop Dogg we do not think of a lounge singer. The rap star has in fact endorsed a fair number of products including Norton Anti-virus software and Hot Pockets. We are aware that he has the capacity to sell his name for profit, but what makes his German campaign so strange is not the product, mobile service, but the way in which it is presented. The rap star appears out of a fridge donning a wavy haired wig. He looks like a throwback to the 1940s big band era. For his out of character performance Snoop makes our list at number 7.
6 Kobe Bryant: Big Man Small Car
5 Leonardo Di Caprio: Million Dollar Cell phone deal
4 Sylvester Stallone: Russian Roots to sell Vodka
3 George Clooney: Hangover bonus
2 Tommy Lee Jones: Men In Black Reversal
1 Arnold Schwarzenegger: Everything in Japan
Arnold Schwarzenegger has accomplished incredible things in his lifetime. From his humble roots in Austria, he managed to turn a successful bodybuilding career into a run as Hollywood’s top action star and a stint as the governor of California. Throughout all of these events Arnold was also leading a secret life, as the ultimate pitch man in Japan. He has been a spokesman for Direct TV, anti-piracy advocate, cup of noodles and and energy drink, (which included ultra-weird commercials). Arnold has embraced his Asian popularity and has been a genie, has worn screw top hats, has appeared out of a woman's thoughts and has eaten a ton of noodles. Arnold is truly the king of overseas endorsement and deserves to top our list.