We’ve all had a moment where we initially think something is a great idea, and then realize at some point (either immediately after or several years later) what a truly bad idea it actually was. For instance, when I thought I wanted to be a redhead three days before my college graduation, I immediately realized what a bad choice that had been the moment my hairdresser spun me around to face the mirror. Yet my weird clog phase that I went through in high school didn’t dawn on me as an embarrassing blip in time until very recently. Knowing we all do such things, we can’t pass too much judgment on celebrities when they too make a decision they might find highly embarrassing in the years to come, but we can still laugh. And hey, when you’re making a big paycheck from something a little embarrassing, you’re probably not going to mind a little laughter aimed in your direction anyway. Here are five celebs who may find themselves blushing over those endorsement deals.
Lisa Rinna was only 48 when she signed on to be the spokesperson for Depends adult diapers. Not only was she just 48, she had posed for Playboy three years earlier. In the ad, Rinna appears on a red carpet in a form-fitting gown gushing over how you can’t even tell she’s wearing Depends. For further emphasis, Rinna’s husband also appears in the commercial to run a finger down her backside and announce that you can’t feel it either. From nude to diaper clad, Rinna stated that was she proud to don the product in order to benefit one of her favorite charities, Dress for Success. In a recent blog post, Rinna addressed the ad and made light of the teasing she’s received, saying “…c’mon ladies, don’t tell me you can’t relate… We’ve all peed a little at some point in our lives after sneezing, am I right?” Kudos for handling everything with humor, Lisa!
In her big screen days, Jamie Lee Curtis was considered the “scream queen.” Now, thanks to the work she’s done for Activia yogurt, she is the “regularity queen.” No, there is nothing bad about regularity and we should all strive for it, but you know once Kristen Wiig is spoofing you on SNL, your love for it is a bit too strong. While there is something obviously enticing about signing on as a spokesperson (money, money, money!), celebrities definitely risk a rebranding of their image. While Jamie has a super impressive resume going for her — she’s a Golden Globe winning actress, a best selling children’s author, an active philanthropist and Jessica Day’s mom on New Girl — most people, especially those of a younger generation, probably see her and think of Activia. Yay for Activia for having such a recognizable face promoting your product, boo that Jamie has become the face of normal pooing. Don’t worry Jamie; you’ll always be the mom in Freaky Friday to me!
Again with the yogurt, celebs can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. Oikos may be as yummy John Stamos is, but there’s something about Uncle Jesse selling out to a yogurt brand that just seems so wrong. Yes, he’s a Greek dreamboat (or was that just Uncle Jesse?), but if I have to watch one more commercial where Stamos is somehow managing to drive a woman literally insane with lust or jealousy with Oikos yogurt, I might throw my container at the TV. Is it highly embarrassing? No. Corny? Yes. Somewhere, Michelle Tanner is rolling her eyes saying, “Oh, please.” Someone give the man a show for goodness sake, and leave the yogurt hawking to Jamie Lee Curtis.
Kirstie Alley is no stranger to the endorsement game, having been the spokesperson for brands such as Jenny Craig and Pier 1. While Alley has received some flack for her on-and-off relationship with Jenny Craig, it’s nothing worth cringing over. What is worthy is her turn as the Poise Fairy. In 2012, Alley donned a pair of wings and a purple-poodle sidekick to promote the product to women suffering from LBL (light bladder leakage). While the syndrome is nothing to laugh about, you can’t help but shake your head at the goofy fairy when she’s offering up lines like, “A little leakster on the laughing?” If I were the poor woman in the bathroom being bombarded by the Poise Fairy, nothing about this situation would make me feel better. It would make me feel like the little kid who gets caught peeing his pants on the playground. Not cool Kirstie, not cool.
McConaughey may seem like the black sheep in this list of embarrassing celebrity commercials, but what was once a really great car commercial featuring a sexy actor emulating his True Detective character and an odd, yet inspiring monologue has quickly become one of the most ridiculed ads of 2014. All the top dogs have come out to poke fun at the commercial, including Ellen Degeneres, South Park and most recently, Saturday Night Live. Prior to the spoofs, McConaughey was pretty great to watch in the ad. Now, it’s hard not to picture Jim Carrey portraying him and talking about rolling a tiny booger around between his fingers in between spouting lines such as, “Sometimes you gotta go back to actually move forward. I mean, take a big step back. Like go from winning an Oscar to doing a car commercial.” Don’t worry Matt, Carrey also managed to permanently tarnish Sia’s “Chandelier” video as well with comedy gold. What should McConaughey do next? Spoof his own commercial the next time he hosts SNL. Nothing prevents a case of embarrassment more than being able to poke fun at yourself.
Unlike these celebrity spokespeople, any pictures of that horrible red hair I had can be burned and wiped from my memory forever. Big time endorsements have the bad tendency to stick around pretty much forever thanks to YouTube. These celebs, along with dozens of others who have made unfortunate endorsement deals, can only hope that someone else will make another poor decision and wind up being the next most searched embarrassing celebrity commercial. But for now, let’s wrap this up by watching the Jim Carrey Lincoln ad for the umpteenth time!