Celebrity endorsements of products are par for the course, indeed with more and more viewers becoming blind to more traditional advertising, they are only likely to become more common in the future.
While product placements in films have long been an important element in movie funding – and for companies to sell their products and enrich their brand – product placements in television may also be on the horizon.
ITV and Pact, the trade body for the £1bn UK independent production sector, recently issued a proposed code of practice for product placement. The code of conduct sets certain guidelines, but basically would allow brand owners to pay to have their products featured in dramas and comedies on British television.
Product placement on British TV is currently outlawed, but if the ban were lifted, it would pave the way for a new kind of celebrity endorsement: where television producers are able to put an iPhone in Eastenders’ Phil Mitchell’s hands. For the brand owners, there is the prospect of combining product placement with celebrity endorsement.
The technology industry, for its part, has been as keen on celebrity endorsements and product placement as any sector. It will no doubt be watching the debate with interest: Andy Burnham, culture secretary, said earlier this year that consultation on product placement is ongoing.
CBR looked back at some of the high profile celebrities that tech firms have deployed in the past to help sell their products. Would these celebs make you more likely to buy a particular brand? What does their association mean about the products they help to sell?
Political clout — Yahoo Answers has used Hilary Clinton in campaigns.
Nintendo used Nicole Kidman to push its Wii console.
David Beckham for Motorola.
Eva Longoria at the Microsoft Vista launch party.
Microsoft again, this time Jenny McCarthy for the Xbox360.
Rihanna, also for the Xbox360.
Beyonce for Samsung.
Rihanna again, this time for the LG Chocolate.
Maria Sharapova for Motorola.
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Rival endorsements – Sharapova again, this time for Sony Ericcson.
Paris Hilton for Motorola.
Gwen Stefani — the face of HP printers for a time.
Pharrell Williams has also been used by HP.
Shakira for Panasonic.
Angelina Jolie for Eidos Interactive, which makes the game Lara Croft.
Uma Thurman has been the face of Virgin Media.