The Best Celebrity Car Endorsements
When a big star signs on to represent a luxury brand, it can be genius—like Matthew McConaughey in a Lincoln. Of course, it can also be straight-up cringeworthy, like Lana Del Ray in a Jaguar. Here are some of the best celebrity car endorsements in recent memory. Were they actually successful? You be the judge.
The Weeknd With Mercedes-Benz
In late 2019, Mercedes-Benz released its ad for the new, fully electric EQC crossover, a model intended to compete with Tesla’s Model X. The ad used The Weeknd’s single “Blinding Lights” in what resembled a music video—a pastiche of scenes from different eras with imagery of dogs, newlyweds, fire, water, crime, teen flirtation, and Italy. A teen skateboarder watches The Weeknd unplug a shiny EQC and asks, “Whoa, you drive electric?” The Weeknd responds, “What do you mean? I drive a Mercedes.”
The Target: The young and the digital.
Success? Well, The Weeknd bought the car after filming.
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen With Hyundai
Hyundai went all-out to introduce its new mid-size Genesis GV80 SUV to the luxury market. Its Super Bowl ad starred America’s sweethearts, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, as they heckle the stuffy, old-money types at a party. Chrissy gets to show off her unique brand of sexy/sassy/messy, and John gets a shout-out for his People magazine “Sexiest Man Alive” status.
The Target: The “new luxury” class, if they have a sense of humor.
Success? Critics agreed the ad had “won” the Super Bowl, and Genesis’s traffic on Edmunds.com spiked 182,343 percent during the game.
Regina King With Cadillac
Cadillac isn’t one of the top-tier luxury car brands, and its once-hot Escalade is 20 years old now and showing its age. As such, they’ve aligned themselves with Regina King, the Oscar-winning star of If Beale Street Could Talk, who drives herself to a red-carpet event and muses on her 30-year career. “In the end, you make your own way,” she says. Cadillac is calling attention to the impressive women directors behind the ad, too.
The Target: Anyone who has had to pay their dues on the way to success.
Success? The theme of overcoming adversity to achieve excellence is shockingly relevant and could give Cadillac’s image long-term street cred. The best celebrity car endorsements increase sales, but Regina King’s might also increase awareness.
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