Rapper Snoop Dogg gave props on Twitter to an ad for the Toyota Sienna minivan. Actress Tori Spelling linked to a website for rental cars. And reality TV star Khloe Kardashian soliloquized about the brand of jeans that accentuates the famous Kardashian derrière.
“Want to know how Old Navy makes your butt look scary good? Ask a Kardashian,” the reality TV star wrote, or tweeted, on the social media website. Of course, she capped off the reflection with a smiley face.
These celebs aren’t just writing about family cars and fashion choices for the heck of it. Stars can get paid big bucks — sometimes $10,000 or more per post — to pontificate about clothes, cars and movies in the 140 characters or less allowed per tweet. That adds up to about $71 per character.
Twitter is changing the business of celebrity endorsements. The list of celebs and the things they hawk is long and getting longer all the time. The endorsements range from subtle to blatant; the celeb pairings from sensible to downright odd.
Singer Ray J urged his 600,000-plus Twitter followers to see the horror movie “Saw 3D.” Football star Terrell Owens gave a shout-out in front of his more than 1 million followers to a hotel chain giving away sports tickets: “Comfort Inn is hooking up 3 days of it!”
Twitter generally allows the paid tweets, as long as they’re posted manually and not by a computer program. The Federal Trade Commission suggests endorsers end their tweets with the # symbol, called a hash tag, and the letters “ad” or ‘spon,” short for ‘sponsored by,” to clarify that they’re ads.