Last year, Zeta-Jones signed her second two-year contract with T-Mobile. The actress signed her first deal with the wireless company in 2002, a $10 million-a-year, two-year contract to appear in T-Mobile's TV and print advertising that is still considered one of the most lucrative endorsement deals ever made.
Zeta-Jones also has apparently devoted more time in front of the camera than most other celebrities: Since it launched, according to a spokesperson for T-Mobile, 31 different T-Mobile TV ads featuring Zeta-Jones have aired. In the spots, created by Publicis, Seattle, Zeta-Jones acts more like a spokesperson than a featured actor. The actress usually bookends each spot, and invokes some rendition of the T-Mobile tag line, "Get More."
Angelina Jolie/St. John
Jolie's print-only deal gives her a minimum of $4 million a year for three years, earning a total of at least $12 million. The incentive-based agreement also gives her an undisclosed percentage of the Irvine, Calif.-based company's sales. Sources estimate she could double her earnings even in a fair year for St. John.
The actress is said to have full creative control over the campaign as well as the design of the clothing she endorses. The ads, which broke in spring magazines in the U.S. and overseas, were shot by Mario Testino with creative direction from the David Lipman agency, New York, which is spearheading St. John's repositioning.
Sources say that St. John pursued Jolie for years and that the U.N. goodwill ambassador was attracted by the company's charity work. When it announced its deal with Jolie last September, St. John said the partnership would position Jolie as both the face of St. John the brand and the voice behind its newly formed charity created in support of children's causes.
Nicole Kidman/Chanel No. 5
Kidman is believed to be earning about $4 million a year for a three-year global TV and print campaign for Chanel No. 5, with an option to renew through the end of 2007. Ads starring Kidman broke in October 2004 with a two-minute film written, directed and produced by Baz Luhrmann, who directed her in Moulin Rouge! The company gave Luhrmann, whose creative relationship with Kidman began 10 years ago, a blank slate to play with, sources say.
In the ad, entitled "No. 5: The Film," Kidman plays the role of the most famous woman in the world who escapes the paparazzi, screaming fans and the pressure of public scrutiny to an unknown paradise, where she is free to be herself and shares a brief romance with a young artist played by Brazilian star Rodrigo Santoro.
All ads have been taken from the original film. When the campaign launched, the full two-minute ad was shown before feature film presentations in the top 25 markets for five weeks, as well as during a November 2004 episode of ER in New York and Los Angeles. Thirty and 60-second spots were aired on cable and network TV.
Kidman's contract is believed to stipulate how frequently Chanel can run the ads. This year, as they were in 2005, the TV spots are limited to airing the week before Mother's Day and in the seven weeks prior to Christmas.
Direct-response TV company Guthy-Renker reportedly pays more than any other infomercial company for celebrity endorsements. Ad industry experts say Guthy-Renker has to pay such high fees to convince top stars to talk about their acne—which they must do to help sell acne treatment Proactiv—and to air less-than-flattering images depicting their former skin problems. The actors do not get a percentage of the sales.
Last year, Jessica Simpson signed up with the company to endorse its acne treatment line with a three-year deal at $2.5 million per year. While Simpson earned slightly less per year than other Proactive spokespeople like Sean (P. Diddy) Combs and Alicia Keys, who both earned $3 million pitching Proactiv, Simpson's multi-year deal totals $7.5 million. Combs earned his money for a three-hour shoot for a segment which began airing last April. His contract allows Proactiv to air his segments for a year. Keys' ad launched last February and ran for a year in the U.S. The infomercial is still airing in 55 other countries through mid-2006.
The celebs' segments—which run anywhere from one to four minutes within an approximately 30-minute infomercial—are shot by Lieberman Productions. In them, the personalities talk about their skin problems, how they discovered Proactiv and how their skin improved from using the product.
Gwyneth Paltrow/Estée Lauder
Paltrow's multi-year agreement to appear in a global campaign for Estée Lauder fragrances and makeup collections is worth more than $3 million a year for the Oscar-winning actress, according to industry sources. The first part of the campaign, for the Pleasures fragrance, debuted during the 2005 holiday season with a TV spot directed by Lance Acord, whose director of photography credits include Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette, and print ads shot by Testino. Print and TV were developed in-house in collaboration with Lloyd + Co., creative consultants to Estée Lauder.
The TV spot features Paltrow walking through a field of pink wildflowers, with a voiceover by the actress citing some of life's simple pleasures like "clear blue skies and the breeze on my skin." The commercial ends with the tagline, "Take pleasure in the little things; Estée Lauder Pleasures." In the print ad, Paltrow sits casually in the green grass and flowers of a garden, holding pink peonies.
Theron earns about $2 million a year under a three-year contract with Dior's J'Adore fragrance. The TV and print ads were created in-house with John Galliano as creative director. The first campaign, shot by Nick Knight, ran from October 2004 to February 2006; the second campaign, shot by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, broke last month. The TV spot, which depicts Theron ripping off jewelry and her Dior dress with statements like "gold is cold" and "diamonds are dead," ends with the tagline, "That's it; J'Adore," suggesting that the only possession that matters is her Dior fragrance. The company reportedly plans to renew the contract, which is due to expire at the end of 2006.
The Oscar winner is also earning about $2.5 million to appear in global print, Internet and point-of-sale ads in Raymond Weil window and in-store displays. Her endorsement deal with the Swiss watch manufacturer runs from October 2005 through December 2006. The ads, which depict Theron seated while displaying a Raymond Weil watch on her wrist, were shot by photographer Sheryl Nields, and were created by Montage and Latitude, a Swiss-based graphic agency.
Julia Roberts/Gianfranco Ferré
While Roberts' deal, like the deals of old, excludes the U.S. and Canada, her $5 million price tag is still quite high, especially as it's for a campaign that's print-only (limited to fashion magazines and storefront ads).
The one-year deal consists of ads created in-house with Gianfranco Ferré serving as creative director. It touts the Italian designer's spring/summer 2006 and fall/winter 2006/ 2007 collections. So far, Roberts has posed for eight ads: two daywear, two eveningwear and four accessories, for the spring/summer campaign. They involved only one day of shooting with Testino in Los Angeles. The fall/winter initiative, also being shot by Testino, is likely to involve the same amount of work on Roberts' part, say sources.
Pitt's $4 million to $4.5 million contract was for one spot and one spot only—not to mention a one-time airing in the U.S. (during the 2005 Super Bowl). The commercial, which depicts the superstar escaping throngs of paparazzi and fans to the tune of the Styx classic "Renegade" just to buy a six-pack of Heineken, is airing, however, for two years outside the U.S.
Pitt shot the ad during the course of one week. It was directed by Hollywood helmer David Fincher, who directed the Pitt vehicles Seven and Fight Club. The actor reportedly agreed to do the spot in part due to Fincher's involvement. The spot was managed through Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam, but Fincher had "a lot more control and input than a traditional production house would have," says a source.
Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz/L'Oreal
Both actresses are earning about $2 million a year to represent L'Oreal. Last January, they both signed what are believed to be two-year U.S. and global deals involving TV, print, Internet and point-of-sale materials. So far, Cruz has appeared in ads for L'Oreal's new Natural Match haircolor, while Johansson has been featured in ads for both the High Intensity Pigments (HIP) cosmetics collection and Sublime Bronze tanning moisturizer. Johansson's HIP TV and print ads, showing a very made-up Johansson touting makeup "for women who love color," were created by L'Oreal's in-house creative boutique, the Image Lab, while her Sublime Glow ads were created by McCann Erickson, New York. Cruz's Natural Match print ads were done by La Micela, New York, and her TV ads were created by McCann Erickson.