Celebrities engrave a thumbprint on the hearts of their fans. Especially when the celebrity is a football star! From drooling over their haircuts to crushing over their dressing sense, fans love everything about them and leave no stone unturned to imitate them. If you remember how boys flaunt their new haircuts after following Neymar or Ronaldo's hairstyle, you know what these stars mean to them.
Hence, a slight opposition or negative gesture from a star can impose massive loss in brands and decrease their stock in the blink of our eyes.
Coca-Cola lost US$4 billion as Cristiano Ronaldo put aside two bottles of Coca-Cola from his proximity during a press conference and took the water bottle, suggesting everyone should drink more water. The simple gesture of Ronaldo was enough to cause heavy loss for Coca-Cola.
While celebrity endorsement can bring a surge for cash for a brand, the scandalous act of the celebrity brand ambassador can abruptly halt the flow of cash.
So, let's take a look at how brands were crushed by stars.
Beckham and Brylcreem:
David Beckham was paid US$6 million in 1997 to be the face of men hairstyling brand Brylcreem for the next 4 years. Halfway through the contract, Beckham shaved off his hair. Brylcreem decided to continue their contract with Beckham, saying the contract doesn't say "how long his hair should be; we have no plans to drop him as a result of his haircut." But, promoting hair styling product without having hair was a miserable idea. Sales of Brylecreem dropped by 25% as Beckham shaved off his hair.
When Pepsi played a bad Joke on Ronaldo:
In 2013, on the day of Portugal's play-off with Sweden, Pepsi circulated an advertisement in Sweden where Ronaldo was depicted as a voodoo doll tied on a rail track, with the caption, "We are going to pass over Portugal." Before the face-off match, Pepsi also circulated more controversial ads depicting Ronaldo as a Voodoo doll. However, Ronaldo made a hat trick and ensured Portugal's win.
Fans from Ronaldo's home country were outraged by seeing those advertisements; they opened a group titled "I will never drink Pepsi", which was quickly liked by 115,000 people. Pepsi sincerely apologised for the bad joke and quickly removed all the photos of the adverts to protect their image.
Impact of the Jenner sisters:
As Kylie Jenner said, she is not using Snapchat for a while: In 2018, when Kylie Jenner posted a tweet saying she is not using Snapchat for a while, the company faced a US$1.3 billion loss, and Snapchat's parent company share sank by 6.1%.
Kendell Jenner's controversial Pepsi ad: During the Black Lives Matter movement, one of the Pepsi ads featuring Kendell Jenner sparked massive outrage. Pepsi immediately pulled out the ad, and surprisingly, Pepsi stock swelled during the Scandal. However, as Kendell posted an apology for the outrage sparked by the ad, Pepsi stock plummeted drastically.
Lebron James and Samsung:
In 2014, Samsung's spokesperson Lebron James posted a tweet in a fit of rage that everything on his phone was deleted. 'One of the sickest feeling I've ever had in my life!!!' Lebron was paid US$100 million to endorse Samsung Galaxy Note II, yet his tweet hampered Samsung's image. Lebron quickly realised that he was supposed to endorse the brand and deleted the tweet. Later on, he made several attempts to cover up his previous tweet. In one of the tweets, he said, 'Whew, close call got all my info back, gamer! Lol.'
Sharon Stone and Christian Dior:
In 2008, Christian Dior partnered with Sharon Stone for several advertisements. However, as China was hit by an earthquake, in which 68,000 people died, Stone said that China faced 'Bad Karma' due to illicitly occupying Tibet. Stone's remark sparked outrage in Chine, and they banned her films in their country. Christian Dior quickly compelled Stone to apologise, yet there was a bit decline in Christian Dior sales, reported Insider.
Stars and food chains:
When the star of the short-lived music drama Smash Jeremy Jordan posted in an Instagram story that he nearly died of food poisoning after eating from on the chains of Chipotle, the company's stock immediately fell 5.9%, reported Bloomberg.
Jared Fogle upsets Subway sales: In 2015, when the spokesperson of Subway Jared Fogle was accused of trading in child pornography and paying for consummation with underaged girls, the sales of Subway declined. Even though Subway cut all ties with the accused, who was its spokesperson for 15 years, it could not prevent the plummeting of sales.
Returning to the recent issue of Ronaldo and Coca-Cola, the fitness concerned football star did not say anything specifically against Coca-Cola but expressed his disapproval of any sugary drinks. Football stars have such an intense impact on consumer all around the globe that they are often offered multimillion dollars to endorse any service or product.
For example, Saudi Arabia offered Euro€6m per year to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to be the face of the 'Visit Saudi' tourism advertising campaign. However, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner rejected to promote tourism of Saudi Arabia. There are speculations that Ronaldo rejected the offer as Saudi Arabia is accused of violating human rights by the international community. Subsequently, the million-dollar offer was also turned down by Leonel Messi. It is estimated that Leonel Messi might have turned down the offer for the same reason.
Ronaldo has such an impact on Brands that Nike announced a life-long endorsement deal with the global star by offering him $1 billion in 2016.
As we have looked into how stars crush brands, why not glance at how celebrities boom the stock of brands?
The Style Icon Michelle Obama: The former first lady has a stronghold on the fashion industry. Between November 2009-2018, the fortunate US companies whose clothes were worn by Michelle earned 2.7 billion dollars, reported the Economic Times. Even European labels worn by her receive a 16.3% surge in the market. Indian brands also get recognition as she wore a signature necklace by Ranjana Khan during dinner at Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's place.
The spell of Oprah Winfrey on Weight Watchers: When Dj Khaled was assigned as the social media ambassador of Weight watchers, its stock increased 7%. When Oprah became the ambassador of Weight watchers in 2015, the stock doubled in a single day and has been increasing since then, reports the Insider.
Gangnam Style: You can hardly find anyone who has not enjoyed the energetic song Gangnam style. In 2012, when Korean pop artist PSY's song Gangnam Style was released and became a global hit, his father's software company witnessed a stock boom.