Jennifer Aniston Signs $5 Million Deal With Emirates

The “big” Middle Eastern carriers spend a lot of money on marketing. Given that they’re largely built with the intention of transporting passengers who aren’t actually traveling to/from the Middle East, it’s important for them to build brand awareness and also seem relatable.

That’s why it’s not unusual to see them spend millions on sporting sponsorships, big-name celebrity endorsements, etc.

Earlier this year Etihad announced that Nicole Kidman would be their new brand ambassador, and she seemed like a good fit. Her first big commercial for them was Etihad’s “Flying Reimagined” campaign, which is pretty whimsical and spectacular.

Not surprisingly, she came under quite a bit of fire for her work with Etihad. Unions and human rights groups love to go after the Middle Eastern carriers. And while there’s certainly a lot of progress left to be made in the UAE, I think it’s unfair when Emirates and Etihad are put in the same category as Qatar Airways, which actually has some pretty egregious policies for their employees.

My point is, while the countries have policies I strongly disagree with, the companies as such are pretty progressive when it comes to their policies.

Anyway, it seems that Emirates is taking notes from Etihad. Emirates has hired Jennifer Aniston for their latest ad campaign, a deal which apparently landed her about $5 million (hey, that’s only 1% the cost of their wine program).

Emirates-A380

Via The New York Post:

Jennifer Aniston scored a very lucrative gift to herself ahead of her secret wedding to Justin Theroux. The actress has just landed a deal with airline Emirates worth around $5 million, sources exclusively tell Page Six.

We’re told that Aniston, 46, has shot a campaign for Emirates, which is based in Dubai and is the world’s biggest international carrier.

The move to sign the former “Friends” star comes on the heels of Nicole Kidman’s ad campaign for Etihad Airways, the second-largest UAE airline after Emirates.

A source told us: “Jennifer Aniston has shot a high-profile campaign for Emirates as part of this deal, for which she is being paid around $5 million. She will appear across TV and print ads worldwide.” Reps for the airline and Aniston declined to comment.

Jennifer Aniston is an interesting choice. On one hand she’s easily recognizable, so I guess she’s a good option in terms of generating awareness around the brand. On the other hand, she’s very “girl next door,” and I would have assumed they’re going for a more “glamorous” look.

I’m curious to see what the finished ads look like — perhaps they’re going for a different angle than I’m expecting here.

What do you make of Jennifer Aniston being the new star of Emirates’ ad campaigns?

Comments

  1. I find celebrity endorsements odd. Everyone knows they’re being paid for it, so it seems unlikely anyone would really choose a company based solely on the fact that they paid a particular celebrity to endorse them.

  2. @ jon: it’s odd but is quite effective! 🙂

    I agree with Lucky, Anniston is a very interesting choice and because of Friends (and all those comedy films), I bet more recognizable as Kidman in some markets.

  3. @yuri, Lucky

    Given the recent hoopla from the US3 I think this may actually be a very wise choice. The fact that the ME3 are gaining more and more of a foothold in the United States, and with the US3 crying foul, having a girl-next-door spokesperson may be the kind of image Emirates wants to convey so as to win over the US public. Emirates clearly has one of the highest-rated soft and hard products on the market, and the choice of Jennifer Aniston isn’t going to change that; people who fly Emirates F and J products aren’t likely to switch because they think Aniston is too low-brow. However, people who might not otherwise consider flying them, especially on some 5th Freedom routes, may now do so.

  4. In my opinion ,Jennifer Aniston is a perfect choice for the emirates airline campaign add. The whole world adored her and recognized her from her part from the sitcom series, friends. She is the girl next door and that males her repayment l relatable.

  5. Celebrity endorsement marketing is less about persuasion these days then it is about competing for attention. You want a very familiar face and voice to cause heads to pop up from tablets, etc. It’s not so much that you expect your star to sell your product as much as grab ears and eyeballs (therefore it’s general interest in the star that counts) in this attention deficit landscape.

    I think it is a smart move by Emirates, because Jennifer Aniston has excellent visual and speech recognition from the punters (more so than Nicole Kidman, particularly for speech). Jennifer is just there to get you to pay attention, Emirates will give you the hard sell on the rest.

  6. She lost me after I saw Office Space. Profiting off a movie that stereotypes and denigrates office support staff, honest people trying to make a living combating all sorts of job pressures like low pay collusion and outsourcing, is not something to look up to.

  7. I think more people will identify with her than Kidman. Smart move in my view. And frankly, I’m grateful it wasn’t an athlete endorsement.

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