Celeb Endorsements Gone Wrong

Over the years, big brands have used celebs to rep their products to boost sales. Occasionally, there is a quality product behind a star, but too often it’s just a paycheck. Shamefully, some stars don’t mind fibbing for a buck. I mean, did Snooki really believe that her six-cookies-a-day diet was a quality solution to a weight problem? How could someone feel good about endorsing that? And shame on anyone who would rely on a Jersey Shore reality star for diet advice. Really people? How about Kim Kardashian endorsing Shape Ups, the shoe that claims to tone the glutes and legs? Kim was already known for her unusually large derriere before she even heard of Shape-Ups. Also, why wouldn’t Shape Ups actually choose an athlete or someone with a super fit body to represent their brand? It seems to me both parties sold out on this one. Even after a study by the American Counsel of Exercise found that wearing Shape-Ups won’t burn more calories or improve muscle tone any more than wearing regular running shoes will, sadly, people keep buying them and celebrities will keep endorsing them. Ut Oh Spaghettios! I guess Kirstie Alley‘s role as Jenny Craig spokesmodel was so lucrative  she decided to create her own diet plan and keep all the earnings to herself. However, that backfired in a big way when she was sued for making false claims, including deceptive before and after photos and the claim her product helped her lose 100lbs. Reportedly, what really worked for her was good old-fashioned exercise and a low-calorie meal plan, but you can’t sell that as easily I guess. Charles Barkley is another endorsement gone wrong. He didn’t realize the cameras were on when he said “I thought this was the greatest scam going — getting paid for watching sports,” Barkley said. “This Weight Watchers thing is a bigger scam.” I realize it was misinterpreted, and that he didn’t mean it the way it was taken, but both brands and celebs must be careful about what they say and do because people are watching. NutriSystem and Weight Watchers are two of my favorite diet brands, but how many times have we watched a celebrity lead people in the wrong direction – mistake or not? And in many cases, it’s not that the product is the scam, but a specific claim by an endorser that’s the scam. Then the entire character of the whole brand is questioned.

Sellouts Aren’t Selling 

I believe we are entering a whole new world of endorsements and marketing. Big brands are beginning to smarten up and use real people who really love their brand already to build a quality customer base. They’re trading celebrities for fitness leaders, and the girl next door (like me, sporting my LiveWell 360 Luxx workout bag), that people can trust – and I don’t know about you, but it’s refreshing! A huge leader in this concept is FitFluential, an insanely fast growing company that has many hats, but one is matching quality brands with quality fitness leaders. The thing I love most about being a FitFluential Ambassador is we are encouraged to only work with companies we TRULY believe in, so our followers can continue to rely on us for valuable HONEST direction. No sellouts! The end result is success on all levels. I’m not forced to write a raving review on a crummy product (thank goodness!). You will always be able to trust my content, as always, and every brand I endorse. And, all my affiliated brands will have more happy customers because their customers will have realistic expectations of their product and knowledgeable guidance on how to use their product correctly so they get the results they were hoping for. What a concept! What an honest, knowledgeable, genuine, trustworthy concept!

Some of My Favorite Brands:

  • Reebok – was the very first brand to fit me for shoes & build a relationship with me locally. That was just the beginning.
  • Chobani – sent me generous gift as a thank you for sharing my love for their yogurt with fans.
  • Designer Whey – goes above and beyond when it comes sharing their whey love and helping their customers get results.
  • Gymboss – sent me an interval timer to try, knowing I’d love it and it would come back 10 fold – and it did.
  • Sears – is dedicated to providing quality fitness content so their customers get the guidance they need after the sell.
  • Perky Jerky – has provided gifts for our members and interacts with their fans like all brands should.
  • DA Active – believes word of mouth is the most valuable advertisement.
  • GNC – invests in quality fitness leaders who use their products to deliver quality content & advice to their customers.
  • LoseIt – let me try their new beta version of their premium LoseIt app before it came out.
  • Spira – Thanked me with always providing me with new shoes after I helped boost sales locally after I got by first pair.

More Past or Current Brands…

READ PART 2: 8 Tips to Not Get Tricked.

Here’s a funny video by GiGi Eats Celebrities – had to add it!

NOTE: I DID NOT GET COMPENSATED FOR THIS BLOG IN ANY WAY.

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About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on October 7, 2012, in Brands, Fitness Products & Trends, Food & Supplements, PFIT PFINDS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. I never fell for celebrity endorsements. I know they have the money & contacts to look & be what they want…. Regular people – they inspire me!!! Great post!

  2. I can’t believe people still fall for some of the celebrity endorsements out there. They obviously don’t use the products. I agree, Fitfluential is awesome and it means so much more when you have someone representing a product they actually care about.

  3. A 6 cookie a day diet, really?! I’d never even heard of that one until reading this post. But then again, I’m not a Snookie follower. I think there is a mindset shift happening here as bloggers gain more recognition for their opinions. And the truth is we are real people, we write our own stuff and interact with our followers. Does Jillian Michaels even write her own tweets? Thanks for posting. FitFluential is a great organization and I’m happy to be a part of it. 🙂

    • isn’t THAT the truth (about people like Jillian). People want REAL or reality TV wouldn’t be so huge right now. But even reality TV isn’t always real (trust me – I’m married to a reality TV man who’s had 1st-hand experience).

  4. CLEARLY you have been watching my web series over on YouTube about ridiculous celebrity diets! LOL and if you haven’t you must! I don’t wanna post a link and look like a spammer but you can go to YouTube and type in GiGi Eats Celebrities! 😀

    PS: Totally LOVE La Croix water too – I think we should be their spokesmodels!

  5. Love this. So true! I would much rather buy a product that a real person I admire uses than some celebrity.

  6. I dont actually believe ANYONE when it comes to product endorsement, sorry. Unless they are paying for it themselves… The amount of behind the scenes work that goes into looking like a fitness cover girl (for e.g.) is insane, I have heard of ppl bathing in Epsom salts for hours, then wrapping themselves in clingflim and sleeping like that. So when they endorse ‘xyz’ fatburner, do they also tell you about the piping hot bath and clingfilm sleep? And these are just local fitness peeps, imagine what the ‘big stars’ do for a show or photoshoot?
    Basically, try a product, if it works for you, on all levels (price, convenience, taste, effectiveness etc.), use it again. 🙂
    When ever I see an endorsement, I dont like it. It feels way too bought out, sorry.

    • I absolutely understand. I wrote a blog “Fitness Models, Unrealistic Heroes?” http://pfitblog.com/2012/01/31/fitness-models-unrealistic-heroes/ – and it was on the TRUTH about what you see in magazines, etc.

      You are right on the ridiculous things people do to look fit for ads – it’s extreme and misleading. And, I understand your feelings. 🙂 Although I have done pre-contest prep for photo shoots, I’m proud to say I have not soaked in Epsom salts and wrapped myself up in clingfilm. hahahaha

      I, personally, will endorse stuff I love – whether I get paid or not. I feel there are too many people who ask me what I use, like, wear, etc. and want to share my findings. I hope it helps! 🙂

  7. I am much more interested in hearing from real people than celebrities, and much more influenced by the opinions of fellow bloggers who are juggling careers and families without personal chefs, personal trainers, house keepers, etc. I spend much more time reading blogs than reading magazines ….

  8. gailgedanspencer

    I regularly get PR emails breathlessly touting celebrities using their diet/fitness products, when obviously they’re just set-up photos of the celeb walking out of the gym holding the diet beverage du jour or wearing their fitness clothes in a studio shot.

    I also think that leaving the endorsing up to us “regular janes” is far more useful for the brand.

  9. Some of the problem you aren’t addressing is the product itself isn’t a quality product. The folks you’ve listed are pseudo-celebs who companies are trying to jump on while they are “hot” to get play for bad products. Shape Ups? I mean come on I’m no doctor but those shoes are not going to help you. Diet plans and celebs are almost always due to fail since most don’t diet they edit with plastic surgery.

    I agree that real people using products is a better approach! But it can be handled poorly as well. We are all human things happen. Don’t preach about your undying love of paleo as a blogger when your site clearly shows in the “about me” section you are a strict vegan and would never eat meat, it’s doesn’t look real or authentic and makes you look suspect on all products you endorse.

    At the end of the day people need to be real and honest. Brands will find people they believe best embrace their products whether they are celebs or us regular people. I wish more companies would look outside of traditional celebs for marketing. Chobani is a great examples of a mix of both regular and celeb that is paying off in DROVES.

    Good Post!

    • I agree with ya. I’ve actually written a blog on bad products – you are SO right! That’s a whole new set of issues! ha! Thanks so much for your feedback. you are right on the money! 🙂

  10. GREAT post! I love this. Totally agree-being a FF ambassador IS so refreshing–and hearing from others about brands they LOVE & believe in. Love this!

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