Celebrity endorsements of 2013: the good, the bad and the awful

Each year companies spend billions of dollars to find the perfect celebrity to align with their brands and products.

Sometimes they work - George Clooney for Nespresso - and some fail miserably, like Brad Pitt for Chanel No.5. And others, such as the Kardashians, get more famous from it.

As we look back on the year, here's a recap of the best, worst, weirdest and funniest celebrity endorsements of 2013.

Marshal artist turned Walker, Texas Ranger actor Chuck Norris tops the weird list, for creating a video to endorse Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The ad, with Hebrew subtitles asks "What would Chuck do?" Norris sporting a leather vest and clenched fists compares his films to the Middle East and fighting bad guys. Huh?

Weird and Oscar-winning actor Christopher Walken kind of go together, in a series of silent ad spots for Danish clothing company Jack and Jones. Walken plays a mad tailor with Edward Scissor-hand-esque abilities that will leave you feeling freaked out.

While many endorsements have celebrities smiling all the way to the bank, some leave us questioning their judgment and that of those who bankrolled the deal.

When you think of sake, the fermented Japanese rice wine, The Voice America judge Cee Lo Green doesn't immediately come to mind, yet he was hired by Ty Ku to promote its sake range. Maybe it should have cut his fee to save some budget for wardrobe.

Kate Upton, Larry King and Snoop Dogg are an unlikely trio, add Hot Pockets to the mix (an American brand of frozen food) and you have audiences wondering who and what was in their "fantastical garden of herbs" and what they were doing with them!

In the follow-up to Pocket Like It's Hot it's no surprise that Snoop said " . . . this ad is dope!" Goes to show if a client's pockets are deep enough they can get celebs to do anything!

American Hustle hunk Bradley Cooper relies on his BYO tool to get lucky with supermodel Jana Perez in a House of Haagen-Dazs ad titled 'Pure Captivation' the ad should be renamed "Pure Perv", a crappy piece of advertising that leaves you shaking your head, not your spoon!

Heidi Klum showed us why she should stick to walking rather than talking, when she demonstrated how to tuck into a 10 centimetre high burger without her lipstick moving, starring in a Mrs Robinson-style spoof for American burger chain Carl's Jr.

But the worst ad of the year has to go to the one and only Hoff! Along with worst production, CGI and vocals all for the one ad. Shot for US company Cumberland Farms, it's impossible to believe this ad for iced coffee boosted sales by 147 per cent.

Despite the weird and the rubbish, there were some class acts that deserve honourable mentions.

Oscar legend Robert De Niro swapped big dollars with US bank Sovereign, which rebranded as Santander Bank. Playing himself as the world's most annoying movie-goer for the ad about checking accounts, it's Bobby at his best!

In an unlikely partnership, The Muscles from Brussels; Jean-Claude Van Damme teamed up with Volvo to produce one of the most spectacular ad campaigns of 2013. Defying the laws of gravity the Bloodsport star performs the most epic of splits, suspended between two reversing Volvo trucks.

For the quirky, Robert Downey jnr channelled his inner Tony Stark for HTC, in an oddly funny ad that features everything from Hipster Troll Carwashes to Hot Tea Catapults. While it has nothing to do with the brand it's certainly worth a watch.

But the funniest gong goes to car maker Dodge, which hired fictional celebrity Ron Burgundy aka Will Ferrell in a clever cross-promotion for Anchorman2. The eight ad spots are hysterical, politically incorrect and just plain wrong in typical Burgundy style.

Finally the sexiest ad of 2013 goes to these boys: H&M teamed up with David Beckham, getting Guy Ritchie to direct a short film-style ad for the release of Beckham's Bodywear range. The ad has Becks losing his robe, being locked out, running, swimming and playing soccer in his slippers and undies with plenty of gratuitous butt shots. Need we say more?

One can only wonder what the celebs will be flogging in 2014?

Sydney Morning Herald