We live in a society of consumerism and celebrity worship, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that celebrity product endorsements are thoroughly embedded into nearly every facet of media culture. Most of the time a celebrity is marketing something that’s perfectly in line with their lifestyle or profession, but every so often an endorsement comes along that just makes absolutely no sense. Here are five of the latter.
5. Bruce Lee – Johnnie Walker Scotch Whiskey
40 years after his death, Chinese-American martial arts legend Bruce Lee was digitally resurrected to market Johnnie Walker Blue Label—a blend made from some of Scotland’s finest and rarest whiskies. In the television ad, a very realistic computer generated version of Lee is seen standing on a rooftop overlooking the city of Hong Kong. He then says the following words in Mandarin: “Follow your instincts. It’s the most honest path.”
Now, this ad might seem completely normal for people who only know Bruce Lee as a guy from old kung fu movies, but for anyone who knows more about his history it’s completely ridiculous for two main reasons. First of all, Bruce Lee is speaking in Mandarin, which is a language he never learned or spoke in real life. And secondly, Bruce Lee was a health fanatic who famously abstained from alcohol after he had a bout of drinking that temporarily estranged him from his family. Johnnie Walker justified their using Lee in the ad by saying they consulted with his daughter Shannon who admitted that, while her father wasn’t a drinker, he didn’t think drinking was immoral. She also thought the video would be an innovative way to get her father’s ideas out. So, in other words, there was probably a lot of cash involved.