Did you see Natalie Portman in that one advertisement for Lux shampoo? The one where she wielded a sword and her hair flew in the wind so fast it could slice an opponent as well? Or the one with Brad Pitt in a mobile phone commercial? Yeah, I bet not.
The biggest A-list movie stars, particularly the Americans, often appear in foreign advertisements — and they’ll go to all lengths to ensure their domestic fans aren’t clued in. However, with YouTube, that’s all but impossible now. The availability of high-speed, high-quality streaming video anywhere could potentially be a reason behind why many Hollywood stars aren’t afraid of endorsing products here in the States. L’Oreal has even become a launching pad for rising faces (Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba and Eva Longoria had all been spokesmodels for the hair care line before reaching the pinnacle of fame). The same can be said of younger stars and Neutrogena, whose previous faces included Mandy Moore and Hayden Panettiere. (Is current Neutrogena spokesmodel Vanessa Hudgens the next it-girl?)
Celebrities are retaining long-term endorsement deals, considering that anything will help when it comes to boosting star power. Sarah Jessica Parker has long been the spokesmodel for Garnier’s Nutrisse hair-dye line. But it’s not just beauty products that stars are endorsing. Grey’s Anatomy stars Patrick Dempsey and Kate Walsh can be seen and heard in Mazda and Cadillac ads, respectively. Gap ads feature a rolling roster of celebrities, often the most popular at the moment. The Holiday 2007 campaign featured John Krasinski, James Marsden and Amy Adams, just to name a few.
But the popularity of domestic endorsements isn’t holding stars back from appearing in ads abroad. On Wednesday, Kristin Davis made her first voyage to Jerusalem, Israel as the fresh face of the skincare line, Ahava. The Sex and the City star (whom quite a few bloggers suspect that life is imitating art in the case of her Jewish-convert character, Charlotte) toured the Holy Land and posed for a photo-shoot as part of her new endorsement deal.
Nowadays, it might not be a question of whether or not a celebrity wants an endorsement in the United States, but whether they can get one at all.