Advertising's 13 most overused celebrities of the decade
Brands rely on certain famous people to ensure their messages are seen
Brands rely on certain famous people to ensure their messages are seen.
No, you are not seeing things. There are certain celebrities that have popped up again—and again, and again, and again—in ads over the past decade.
Aside from appearing in marketing for movies, TV shows or other projects, plenty of actors and otherwise notable celebs shilled for a number of brands from 2010 to 2019. To make this list, celebrities had to hawk multiple products, preferably in numerous spots or campaigns, and not just in splashy Super Bowl spots. The list excludes actors such as Dennis Haysbert, known by many for Allstate ads, and spokescharacters such as Progressive’s Flo. Only one of KFC’s rotating cast of colonels made the cut, due more for his work with other brands.
In alphabetical order:
Crews and his amicable presence can help sell pretty much anything. Brands that have tried to bottle the former Old Spice man’s likeability include AT&T, State Farm and Toyota.
No one is going to complain about seeing too much of Idris Elba. Still, even before his new ads for the upcoming Mustang Mach-E, he had repped Squarespace, Stella Artois and Toyota Avalon.
Fey joining Dean Winters in Allstate’s long-running Mayhem ads this year was just the latest in a list of brands she's advertised, including American Express and Garnier Nutrisse.
The actor’s numerous appearances for Apartments.com alone could put him on the list. He’s also popped up in campaigns for brands including GE Lighting and Jeep.
Neil Patrick Harris
Old Navy, Heineken Light, Apple, Facebook Portal and Cigna are among the brands that recruited the actor for ads.
Can you smell what The Rock is promoting? Apple, Ford's service department, the milk industry and others have relied on the wrestler-turned-actor/agency co-founder.
The comedic Kaling can currently be seen hyping DSW and suggesting wording for Johnnie Walker labels. She has sold everything from the American Express card to Barefoot wine, Coke at McDonald’s, Protein One bars and Nationwide Insurance (in a Super Bowl spot in which she thought she was invisible until she was noticed and upstaged by a bigger star … Matt Damon).
The singer keeps busy. Apple Music (in a spot also starring Ray Liotta), Beats, DestinationXL, Silk, Turbotax and WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) are among the brands that have relied on his personality in campaigns.
Lowe could make this list multiple times based solely on the personas he has played in ads for DirecTV. He has also appeared in campaigns for Atkins, KFC, Henry’s Hard Soda, and Skechers, to name a few.
From Icy Hot to piping hot Papa John’s pizza, The General insurance to Ring, Buick to Gold Bond (we’ll stop here for brevity), Shaq sells pretty much anything.
Another (now former) Papa John’s restaurant owner, Manning appeared in its marketing multiple times earlier in the decade. Nationwide is on his side (“chicken parm you taste so good”), and his DirecTV campaign upon his retirement from the NFL, illuminated his new Sunday routine.
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
This power couple is hard to beat. Teigen has appeared in ads for the likes of Google, McDonald’s, Samsung, Smirnoff and Vita Coco, while Legend promoted brands such as Chevrolet, Procter & Gamble and Target. And they do plenty of shared marketing. A Hulu ad that aired this year shows Teigen saying she’ll invite Legend (and Kim Kardashian, and other celebrities) to a party as she flicks through shows on her TV.
Beginning with her popular Snickers Super Bowl spot in 2010, it was White’s decade. Later spots included a promo for Visit California that also starred Kim Kardashian, Rob Lowe and others, as well as a Tide ad. This year, there’s even a Chia Pet ad featuring White as her character from “The Golden Girls,” Rose Nylund.