Module Teaching Notes
Celebrity endorsements work. Or at least, they frequently work. A company-copyrighted cartoon pitchman
may work for lower wages, but putting a famous face next to a product often boosts sales more quickly than
An aside that has just occurred to me:
I have become a tremendous fan of Mad Men over the summer. I have bought the DVD sets for all previous
seasons. The writing, I think, is the best on television. Mad Men references at various points during the unit
might be a nice add.
End of aside.
And so, celebrities can increase profits. But they know this. The agents who represent them know this.
And so, the price is often substantial.
As I say in the textbook, at the time of this writing, Tiger Woods is just ending his reign as the world's
highest paid celebrity endorser. He has been making in the neighborhood of $100,000,000 per year.
I like to put numbers like that in perspective for my classes. It is easy to become numb to large dollar
amounts with headlines that often feature trillions of dollars in deficits, etc. How much is $100,000,000?
Yesterday, I was driving with my son. An Aston Martin pulled up to us at a red light. I had never seen one
up close before. I said to my son, “That car costs about $100,000”. My son was unimpressed by the dollar
amount. and by the car itself.
At $100,000,000 per year, one could buy a $100,000 car about every 8 hours, around the clock, all year
long. One would need a 1000 car garage at year's end to store them all.
So anyway, it’s a lot of money.
Celebrities come and go, and at the time you are teaching your course, there may be a new king or queen.
A quick search of “highest paid celebrity endorsers” before class might be useful. You might make a game
of it: “Who can guess the top five celebrity spokespeople?”, and see if the class can get them all.
A few people might argue that high paid endorsement deals are always unethical, because they raise