Celebrity endorsements have been publicised since the 1920s to advertise a large range of fashionable products. The celebrities themselves are the advertisements and humanize the products evoking emotional appeal to the consumer. In addition celebrities often represent luxurious lifestyles making them symbols for consumption but also can be considered a consumer or customer of the product. Product endorsing using celebrities however in the 1920s and 30s involved particular products such as makeup and cigarettes, and the promotion of fashion was only seen on screen. (Berry 2015)

The 1960’s came an era of the emergence of the celebrity off screen persona and wanting to know what event occurred in the celebrity’s personal life. It was argued by Alice Cashmore that this curiosity of the celebrity personal life was due to the development of the telephoto lens, which allowed paparazzi photographers to capture moment discreetly of the celebrity from a further distance. (Berry 2015)

By the 1990’s celebrities that were famous for being fashionable emerged. (Berry 2015)

Today celebrity endorsements of fashionable products can be circulated with a range of different mediums throughout the media (most commonly photographic stills and short films). Celebrities as brand ambassadors are considered a powerful and positive communication platform for marketers to increase consumer engagement with the specific product or brand. (Schwab 2015)

A brand that is selecting a celebrity spokesperson must choose one that identifies with the brand itself. Selecting a suitable spokesperson will erase public doubt and therefore the consumer loyalty is built. (Schwab 2015)

Other aspects that go into choosing the correct celebrity for the brand include the consideration of choosing a star over a rising star (cost vs. value), does the talent have an interest and image fit with the brand, strong social media followers of the spokesperson and future appeal and marketability. (Schwab 2015)

However not every single celebrity endorsement has been successful and can even occur using well-known A-list celebrities as spokesperson for the brand. In fact, A-list celebrities are much risker to use as a brand ambassador due to their high profile lives and the possible risk of negative publicity of themselves and then reflecting upon the brand. Sometimes it is not negative publicity but as simple as the celebrity becoming more famous and starts to overshadow the brand. (Messina 2013)

An example of a celebrity overshadowing the brand is Angelina Jolie as brand ambassador for St. John. Angelina Jolie had been the face for the traditional and conservative brand St John since 2005 and ended in 2008 as she became overexposed within the media from on screen and off screen. (Messina 2013; Davis 2010) Not only this but the brand had decided to ‘make a clean break from actresses and steer away from blondes and cleanse the palette’. (Davis 2010) As a celebrity endorsement figure in fact she has never been highly successful as her image is not a blank enough canvas and focus groups have found her intimidating. (Berry 2015)

Angelina Jolie for St. John (2010), The Huffington Post, viewed 20th September 2015,

Angelina Jolie for St. John (2010), The Huffington Post, viewed 20th September 2015, < http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/08/angelina-jolie-dropped-fr_n_416162.html?ir=Australia&gt;

On the other hand some high profile A-list celebrities do suit very particular fashion brands. An example of this is Madonna’s reoccurring appearance of being the face of Versace, returning for the fourth time for the Spring/Summer 2015 campaign. The bold fashion brand is known for using high profile celebrities and which Donatella Versace commented that it was Madonna’s iconic status and powerful directional artist that got her the job. (Mitzeliotis 2014) Within the photographs her pose/expression and toned physique within the body conscious style of clothes reflects her signature personality of confidence and power reflecting exactly what Donatella Versace wanted to portray in this campaign. (Fernandez 2014)

Madonna Stars In Versace’s Spring/Summer 2015 Campaign (2014), Fashionista, viewed 20th September 2015,

Madonna Stars In Versace’s Spring/Summer 2015 Campaign (2014), Fashionista, viewed 20th September 2015, < http://fashionista.com/2014/12/madonna-versace&gt;

It must be recognised that these two fashion brands are vastly different from their design and style and their targeted market. From St John’s decision to drop Jolie and use a model instead, indicated the brand found celebrity endorsement unsuccessful, admittedly Jolie was not a great fit for their brand. Versace, on the other hand, with their history of celebrity endorsers, have chosen to use very powerful celebrities who enhance their brand and sales figures.


Fernandez, C 2014, Madonna Stars In Versace’s Spring/Summer 2015 Campaign, Fashionista, 5th December, viewed 20th September 2015, < http://fashionista.com/2014/12/madonna-versace&gt;

Mitzeliotis, K 2014, Madonna Lands Versace Campaign For The Fourth Time: Replaces Lady Gaga, Hollywood Life, 4th December, viewed 20th September 2015, < http://hollywoodlife.com/2014/12/04/madonna-versace-campaign-pictures-spring-2015-replaces-lady-gaga/&gt;

Davis, K 2010, Upscale women’s clothing designer St. John drops ecoceleb Angelina Jolie as campaign model, examiner.com, January 8th, viewed 20th September 2015, < http://www.examiner.com/article/upscale-womens-clothing-designer-st-john-drops-ecoceleb-angelina-jolie-as-campaign-model&gt;

Messina, B 2013, Celebrity Endorsement Going Wrong, Fashionbi, 19th March, viewed 20th September 2015, < http://fashionbi.com/newspaper/celebrity-endorsement-going-wrong&gt;

Schwab, D 2015, Keeping Up With The Evolving World Of Celebrity Endorsement, Forbes, 27th June, viewed 20th September 2015, < http://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2015/06/27/keeping-up-with-the-evolving-world-of-celebrity-endorsement/&gt;

Berry, J 2015, ‘Contemporary Fashion: Fashion and Celebrity Culture’, retrieved from Griffith University, Queensland College of Art, Learning@Griffith website, viewed 15th September 2015, < https://bblearn.griffith.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-1510369-dt-content-rid-5019001_1/courses/2432QCA_3155_SB/Course%20Content/Week%208%20Fashion%20and%20Celebrity%20Culture/Fashion%20%26%20Celebrity.pdf&gt;