She points to the partnerships between Matthew McConaughey and Lincoln Motor Co., Dwayne Johnson and Under Armour, and Reese Witherspoon and Crate & Barrel as successful campaigns that resonated with consumers, according to Spotted’s analysis.
More debatable — and largely unmeasurable — is the damage done to a brand like Proactiv when, in announcing Kendall Jenner as its latest spokesperson, became the target of backlash from eagle-eyed observers who noted that Jenner in the past had credited her dermatologist, Christie Kidd, for #blessing her with clear skin.
Proactiv did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
“I think we’ve actually seen that the Kardashians clan in general does not score super high in terms of consumer approval,” Comenos said. “Trust is one of the core tenants of our consumer approval metric and that can lead to lesser results with their campaigns because people think that they’re just kind of slapping their name on any brand.”
Comenos said that of the roughly 23,000 celebrities Spotted tracks globally, the majority of endorsement deals go to only about one percent of the world’s talent.
So far this year, Super Bowl ads have trended away from the top-tier A-list stars in favor of emerging names and those one wrung below the A-list bracket. This trend, Comenos said, is the result of brands trying to maximize their budgets.
What really hasn’t changed is some brands’ willingness to partner with a celebrity who has a “dodgy past,” Comenos said.
Spotted provides companies with so-called risk profiles for celebrities with whom they are considering working. These data reports track a person’s history in about 60 different risk areas, everything from criminal incidents to social media feuds. While it would be assumed that brands would want to steer clear of controversial figures, that’s not always true.
Sometimes, the buzz generated by a tabloid-favorite figure or the opportunity to nod to their past is worth the risk.
In one Super Bowl spot this year, Charlie Sheen teams up with Planters for a commercial in which a speeding vehicle shaped like a peanut commits a daredevil act of stunt driving in order to stop Alex Rodriguez from eating kale chips.
Sheen’s kicker as he watches the nut zoom by? “And people think I’m nuts.”
And it may turn out that Planters isn’t either.