It used to be that when celebrities wanted to make some extra mega-dollars, they went to Japan to make a TV commercial. There they could shill a product and not face cries of “Sellout!” back home.
Harrison Ford, for example, was featured in a ton of commercials for Kirin beer–and almost none of his English speaking fans knew.
That, however, was in the age before YouTube. Now no one can hide.
But then again, the whole concept of “selling out” doesn’t carry the stigma it once was. In this age of declining music sales (or at least revenue from declining music sales), everyone is getting into the licensing/endorsement game–even artists with a catalogue of platinum albums.
Lenny Kravitz is among that number. He’s now involved in a campaign for a chain of European restaurants called Sushi Shop. USA Today has the story of how it all came together.