Celebrities ‘sell out’ with advertisements, students understand

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Madeline Holobinko

From Amy Schumer’s Budweiser commercials to Drake’s T-Mobile ads, celebrities partner with big name companies all the time. Whether those collaborations are considered “selling out” is something that people disagree on.

“Selling out” is when celebrities exchange “their credibility for large paychecks,” according to Wired magazine. Using their popularity, artists promote well-known brands through advertisements, even if they don’t actually believe in the product they sell.

It may seem like all promotions are money-grabs, but there is a fine line between celebrities giving up their morals and simply trying to make enough money to live.

Back in 2012, artists earned $178 million from “ancillary brand revenues,” Business Insider reported. This means celebrities received part of their total revenue from taking part in endorsements and sponsorships.

Music sales have gone down by 17 percent since 2016, according to Billboard, and movie ticket sales have decreased by 16 percent in the past few years, according to The Los Angeles Times. “Selling out” helps some stars to make up for the revenue they lose to streaming services and digital piracy.

And while the starving artist may seem noble, studies show that new generations do not mind artists “selling out.”

“Experts say that millennials, the 83 million Americans between 15 and 34 who are increasingly driving consumer and popular culture, are quite comfortable with big actors plugging products,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Millennials accept “selling out” because they may have their own side jobs in order to pay off student debt. This generation appreciates the “transparency” of endorsements, meaning how celebrities try not to hide their reason for participating.

Sophomore of Abby Tellechea of Monmouth Beach is one of the millions who understands why some artists use advertisements for income.

“I support these celebrities doing advertisements since it’s essential for them in providing for the better of themselves and their families. It also benefits both the celebrity and the company, so logically it seems smart for everyone involved,” Tellechea said.

Still, there are exceptions. For example, George Clooney’s Nespresso commercials have people branding him a “sell out.” Clooney has made millions from a deal with the coffee company, but is not using the money for everyday necessities like other stars.

“Most of the money I make on the commercials I spend keeping a satellite over the border of North and South Sudan to keep an eye on Omar al-Bashir,” Clooney told the Huffington Post.

Senior Felicia Aschettino of West Long Branch finds the need for this income strange.

“I understand that he’s using the satellite to better human rights in Sudan, but why not use the millions he already has to fund it? The commercials just seem excessive and unnecessary,” Aschettino said.

At the end of the day, everyone has their own opinion on what constitutes a celebrity as a “sell out.” Whether artists are marketing geniuses or lacking morals is all in the eye of the beholder.