Justin Bieber has become the latest celebrity brand spokesman to find himself in brand endorsement trouble. Advertising Age wrings its hands at the damage his prank could do to his power as a celebrity endorser for brands such as Best Buy, Proactiv, and Google Chrome.
We’ve covered celebrity brand woes and the impact of personal scandals on national brands at length. Britney Spears shaved her head leading Pepsi to cut her off as a spokesman. Martha Stewart, Tiger Woods and Michael Vick also suffered lost endorsement deals when their immoral or criminal acts dominated the headlines.
Justin Bieber’s prank, trying to return a Wendy’s shake to a Burger King store, hardly rises to the level of scandal that hurts brands. Furthermore Justin Bieber’s brand is that of a cute teenage boy. The prank fits within his brand equity. Advertising Age does point out that being a jerk is part of being a teenage boy. And “teenage boy” is brand equity that sells pre-teen girls.
Note: This prank has gotten very little press mention, further blunting it’s impact on the selling power of Bieber as a pitch boy.
More on celebrities and brands:
When a Brand Is a Person
Nike Endorsement Deal Signals Michael Vick Brand Comeback
Michael Vick’s Potential as a Brand: Lessons from Martha Steward and Tiger Woods
Nancy Pelosi Enlists Steven Spielberg to Fix Her Personal Brand