Ad Sponsorships Shifting from Athletes to Actors

Matthew McConaughey is the new face for Lincoln’s MKC crossover. You’ve probably seen the commercial, or at least a spoof of it on your favorite sketch or talk show: SNL, The Ellen Show, or Conan.

McConaughey isn’t the only celeb promoting name brands. The list is pretty amazing: Rob Lowe for DirecTV, Will Ferrell for Dodge, James Franco for Verizon Droid, Mila Kunis for Jim Beam. Even voiceover work features known actors, because what’s better than recognizing Jim Halpert’s voice in an Esurance commercial or Ann Perkins for Southwest Airlines.

mila-kunis-jim-beam-hed-2014It used to be Athletes that we see everywhere on advertisements, so why the switch?

In the past decade, 75% of celebrity endorsements were with athletes, and 25% were with entertainers but today those numbers have flipped, according to Bob Williams with Burns Entertainment, Chicago.

This may have something to do with the recent allegations that the NFL have been dealing with, or the fact that sports have mostly male audiences. Actors are simply seen more, and by a wider and more diverse audience.

With the amount of coverage and spoof, the McConaughey/Lincoln spot has received, I think it’s safe to say Actors are taking the lead in brand endorsements. See for yourself, below.

The Original

SNL/Jim Carrey Spoof


McCarthy, M. (2014, November 19). Ad Competition From Big-Name Actors Pushes Athletes to the Sidelines. Retrieved November 19, 2014, from

5 thoughts on “Ad Sponsorships Shifting from Athletes to Actors

  1. I think it is a natural switch from athletes to celebrities. Look at what happened to the super models of the 80s and 90s. They were slowly replaced by more famous faces. Celebrities have a wider audience than athletes do. I am a NBA and NFL fan, but I am not going to by a car just because Aaron Rodgers drives one. Now if it was Jennifer Lawrence, I would consider it.


  2. I expected this. At the end of the day, their actors. They don’t really care about expressing their own believes or what they care about, they only care about making money, even if it means endorsing something they have never used/would never use. We see it all the time with youtube celebrities and i’m not surprised it’s happening with big time actors now.


  3. I think it was more surprising that athletes were used before actors were. Actors are a more logical choice for advertisements in my opinion.


  4. I agree! I think it is a logical choice to have actors as spokespeople. They are more easily recognizable and flow more naturally in the setting of an advertisement in comparison to athletes, who generally look uncomfortable when they are promoting anything.


  5. I definitely have seen more of this switch from athletes to celebrities. I also think you made a great point about how the allegations with the NFL have caused this switch. People will always be struck by celebrities and their influence in commercials or ads.


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