It’s confirmed: Jennifer Aniston is the new face of Emirates. Shortly before marrying her long-term partner Justin Theroux, Aniston, 46, reportedly signed a $5 million (Dh18.3 million) deal with the airline.
The news of the collaboration comes months after fellow Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman, 48, signed a deal with the second-largest airline in the United Arab Emirates, Etihad, based out of the capital city.
The two are known for staying in the limelight but out of trouble, a key asset when choosing celebrity ambassadors, explained Vishal Anand, CEO of Dubai-based communication agency, Blue Apple.
“One of the drawbacks of having a celebrity associated with a brand is when the celebrities get involved in controversies. Once an endorsement is made, people connect your brand with that celebrity, and if the star does or says or behaves in a way that’s not associated with the brand, it can backfire,” he said.
“Emirates and Etihad would have done their due diligence. Looked at personality matches, influence of the star, their target markets and the message they want to send before approaching these celebrities. If done properly, celebrity endorsements can do wonders to a brand.”
So what makes Aniston and Kidman the right choices as brand ambassadors, and what sets them apart from each other? tabloid! takes a look at their likeability factor, previous brand engagements and history in Hollywood.
Most famous for: Playing the spoiled-girl-turned-independent New Yorker Rachel Green for ten seasons on Friends, as well as making up one half of a Hollywood power couple (hello, Brad Pitt), and starring in a several romantic comedies to varying degrees of success.
Likeability factor: High. Aniston’s biggest asset might be her smile and her girl-next-door vibe. The fact that she’s always cracking jokes on the red carpet makes her seem like someone you would exchange pleasantries with in the hallway when you get home from work.
Despite her initial stuck-up rich-girl shtick on Friends, she won over fans quickly. The role earned her an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as a spot as one of the 100 best female characters in American television.
Ever since the show wrapped up in 2004, she’s honed her ability to come off as accessible and down-to-earth, and out of the show’s main six cast members, she’s had one of the most thriving careers.
Aniston has also boasted a very natural look over the years — minimal make-up and shiny hair — and it’s done her a lot of favours. Just over ten years ago, she was named People magazine’s most beautiful woman, and in 2011, Men’s Health dubbed her the sexiest woman of all time.
Brand engagements: Aniston’s a brand ambassador for skin and hair care line Aveeno, the hair-care line Living Proof, of which she is also a co-owner, and Coca-Cola’s smartwater, a vapour distilled water with electrolytes.
For most of these companies, Aniston’s appeal was an obvious one: the fact that she’s a woman on the go who still makes healthy, happy choices. Living Proof describes her as “a unique combination of beauty and brains”, smartwater calls her inspired and focused and Aveeno dubs her positive and radiant.
Why she makes a good Emirates ambassador: One word: lifestyle. Aniston sells a whole package that’s somehow both glamorous and totally attainable — which is exactly what Emirates sells, too.
“Although a brand like Emirates does not need a celebrity endorsement, because it is already globally recognised and well known for its service, it’s a competitive world and having a Hollywood celebrity will help them make a bigger impact in the Western market,” Anand told tabloid!.
In contrast to Hollywood’s typical, picture-perfect fleet of stars, Aniston markets herself as a low-maintenance celebrity, rocking a good pair of jeans and a T-shirt on any given day. But she’s also ambitious, accomplished and worth a whopping Dh550 million.
Emirates, an award-winning airline that flies to nearly eighty countries over six continents, is a brand of comfort and luxury, polished but within reach. All you have to do is look back at the airline’s first major slogan to understand what it’s built on: So be good to yourself, Fly Emirates.
Aniston’s all about finding the right balance between indulging and taking good care of yourself, finding a way to be both grounded and wildly in demand, making her the perfect fit.
Most famous for: Days of Thunder, her American film debut in 1990 in which she starred with then-future-now-ex husband Tom Cruise. Kidman has since been able to slip into a variety of roles, many of them acclaimed, from a terminally-ill courtesan in Moulin Rouge! (2001) to an author struggling with depression and mental illness in The Hours (2002), which won her an Oscar for best actress.
She’s delved into cult films, like Lars von Trier’s Dogville (2003) and also done comedy (Bewitched, 2005), romance (Australia, 2008), horror (The Others, 2001) and even animation (Happy Feet, 2006). After playing Grace Kelly in Grace of Monaco last year, she will soon be seen as iconic explorer Gertrude Bell in Queen of the Desert, out later this year.
Likeability factor: Kidman’s versatility is her strength, and she’s seen as someone who’s always pushing herself and her craft. She’s also quite the style icon — her red-carpet dresses are as talked about as the awards she’s won, from the Oscar to Golden Globes and Baftas.
As a goodwill ambassador for Unicef since 1994, Kidman takes her social causes seriously, the closest to her heart being the fight against breast cancer, inspired by her mother’s struggle with the disease. And, in a career spanning 40 years, she’s managed to survive her 2001 divorce from Tom Cruise and come out largely unscathed from the Hollywood machine. She’s currently married to country music star, Keith Urban, and has four children, two she adopted with Tom Cruise and two daughters with Urban. The couple married in 2006.
Brand endorsements: Nicole Kidman’s name is usually associated with luxury. One of her most well-known brand endorsements was Chanel’s iconic fragrance, No 5. She’s also the brand ambassador for Omega watches, is the face of Jimmy Choo shoes and appeared in Nintendo DS advertisements during their heyday.
Why she makes a good Etihad ambassador: For its launch of the headline-worthy in-flight suites and its glamorous redesign of crew uniforms, who better to front the global campaign that the stylish Nicole Kidman. She’s associated with a refined taste and her controversy-free personal life definitely adds to the appeal. After announcing the association earlier this year, Etihad said the accompanying campaign featuring Kidman was the biggest it had ever done in its history.
Anand, of Blue Apple, says Hollywood celebrities cut across all markets because of their global appeal.
“Sometimes they are needed to break through the clutter and stand out and connect with people across the world,” he says.