Character Celebrity Endorsement
Companies want to ensure big sales. They won't take any unnecessary risks, so they won't release their products in the crowded, dangerous marketplace without something that will make them stand out. Even the littlest of the gimmicks can work.
Character Celebrity Endorsement occurs when the companies use fictional
characters, but celebrities nonetheless (largely cartoon ones) to promote their products, even if the character or franchise featured has nothing
to do whatsoever with the product at hand.
Compare Celebrity Endorsement
, when real celebrities lend their approval of the product. See also The Dead Rise to Advertise
when commercials feature, darkly enough, dead celebrities.
Anime and Manga
- Bizarrely used in this ad◊, with Andre and Lady Oscar from Rose of Versailles endorsing the Daihatsu cars' new adjustable seats.
- Son Goku of Dragon Ball fame appeared alongside his son Gohan and his old pal Oolong in an old eye drops commercial, amongst other old endorsements done around the 80s.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Apparently Schick Razors managed to survive Second Impact.
- After becoming a runaway hit, the cast of Attack on Titan started shilling for Japanese fast food chain Lotteria and convenience store Lawson's. More pictures of some of the Lotteria tie-ins here, including Memetic Badass Levi in a skimpy waitresses' uniform. Also in Japan, there's also the live-action Subaru Forrester ad, which also served as a trial run for the way the Titans would be portrayed in the live-action film. Over in the U.S., breakfast restaurant chain Denny's unofficially dubbed Sasha "Potato Girl" Braus their mascot, Photoshopping her drooling over some hash browns.
- Granola bar brand Nature Valley decided to make friends with some anime fans on Twitter, encouraging fans to discuss anime with them and Photoshop Nature Valley granola bars into anime characters' hands. Like the aforementioned Denny's/Sasha Braus story, this wasn't an official endorsement, but it did garner them both a lot of positive publicity and goodwill from anime fans.
- Bob and Doug McKenzie of SCTV and Strange Brew have appeared in several ads over the years, including this Pizza Hut commercial.
- Kenny Powers from Eastbound & Down supports K-Swiss shoes. This culminated in a series of ESPN the Magazine ads depicting him as the CEO of the company!
- "Dr." Spaceman from 30 Rock for Dr Pepper as part of the "Doctor's orders" campaign.
- The Beer Store, a chain of beer stores in Ontario ran a series of commercials starring George Wendt and John Ratzenberger. Norm and Cliff were shilling beer in Canada.
- The Lone Ranger and Tonto for Jeno's Pizza Rolls.
- The Lone Ranger also appeared in a "Who's behind those Foster Grants?" [designer sunglasses] when the owners of the Lone Ranger franchise refused to let Clayton Moore go in public with a mask on - he just switched to sunglasses.
- A recent G.E. ad campaign featuring various robots including Data, the Lost in Space Robot, and K.I.T.T.
- Chairman Kaga supports Nissan in Japan-only advertising.
- Smash did this in-universe when Ivy Lynn is shown filming a commercial for Ford, who not coincidentally was a sponsor of the series.
- Will Ferrell's character from Semi-Pro endorsed Old Spice, among others.
- Speaking of, Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell's Anchorman character, has given his approval toward the 2014 Dodge Durango in commercials that also make mention of the Anchorman sequel.
- Austin Powers apparently likes Heineken.
- The Lorax's film adaptation has about 70 marketing tie-ins all told, one being - of all things - for Mazda SUVs. Something about them being green. note One gets the idea that the Powers that be missed the point of the Lorax. A bit.
- The G.E. ad campaign featured above included commercials starring Agent Smith.
- Agent Smith also endorsed Powerade during the theatrical run of the sequels.
- Hatsune Miku appeared in Toyota USA's latest Corolla commercial due to the car company sponsoring her upcoming concert in Los Angeles, as well as starring in a few mini slice-of-life-esque commercials by the same company.
- The Peanuts characters have endorsed MetLife insurance since the 1980s.
- Not to mention the MetLife Superbowl ad that featured the Peanuts cast walking into a field, followed by every old school cartoon character you can think of: Voltron, Yosemite Sam, He-Man and Battle Cat, Snagglepuss, and on and on. There even did a couple of additional commercials purporting to be "behind the scenes" footage of the characters during the filming of the main commercial.
- Flintstones vitamin pills.
- Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble hawking Winston cigarettes (1961).
- And after Pebbles was born, Welch's Grape Juice. In fact, Pebbles is seen drinking grape juice in some episodes.
- The Flintstones appear to be really into the commercials, because they also hawk Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles. These commercials have been the only animated media featuring the Flintstones to be produced for years.
- Donald Duck Orange Juice
- Popeye Spinach (also a form of Defictionalization, since it is his Trademark Favorite Food).
- Popeye was also used (oddly) to advertise Quaker Oatmeal. "I'm Popeye the Quaker man, I eats all the oats I can!"
- And let's not forget the Minute Maid ad with extra Foe Yay.
- In the mid-eighties, he also co-starred with Sonny the Cuckoo Bird in a couple of Cocoa Puffs commercials, and they offered Popeye bubble gum in the cereal package as a promotion.
- Pink Panther (Owens Corning) insulation
- As well as Safeco Insurance in the late 70's / early 80's.
- Currently showing in the United States is a GEICO commercial with Elmer Fudd. Here 'tis.
- Bugs Bunny has also gotten in on the action, with ads for Ziploc storage bags (1982), Tang, Kool-Aid and sugar-free vitamins.
- Jonny Quest was the representative of P.F. Flyers tennis shoes, "The Action Shoes". One can hear Tim Matheson's voice beginning to change in the commercial.
- The Linus the Lionhearted show was devised completely to flog Post cereals. It featured characters who served as mascots for the various Post cereals, including Linus himself (for Crispy Critters); Lovable Truly, the Postman (for Alpha Bits); So Hi, a little Chinese boy (for Rice Krinkles); Rory Raccoon (for Post Toasties), and Sugar Bear, the only character to survive the show's cancellation (for Sugar Crisp).
- The Simpsons: Bart and Homer Simpson for Butterfinger; this went on for nearly a decade. Homer would later show up in an Intel ad as well. Multiple tie-ins with The Movie may or may not also qualify.
- Family Guy:
- Peter Griffin for Subway.
- And Brian and Stewie for Wheat Thins.
- Stewie and Lois for Google Chrome.
- Davey and Goliath for Mountain Dew.
- Axe Cop and his friends all love Xbox One.
- Finn and Princess Bubblegum appear in the Honda Civic's "#Love Today" campaign Long-form version emphasizing how great the technology of the present day is. A meaningful gesture from denizens of a post-apocalyptic Earth.