The Biggest Celebrity Shill Failures in History

By Chris Mills on at

Today, Alicia Keys's highly successful year as BlackBerry's 'Creative Director' will fizzle to a disappointing end, only 12 months since she was announced alongside the equally-successful Z10 handset, and about 11 months since she was busted using an iPhone. In tribute to this momentous occasion, we lovingly submit this list of the worst-bombed celebrity schills in history.


Alicia Keys/BlackBerry

Just after Alicia Keys landed her deal as Creative Director of BlackBerry in January last year, she stuck her foot in it rather by sending a tweet from her iPhone, seemingly unaware of the 'Twitter for iPhone' sticker that Twitter handily slaps on any tweets sent from an Apple handset. Not exactly the best performance from someone whose sole role was to show the world how amazing the Z10 was.



Lance Armstrong/Nike/What Am I On?

Back in 2001, when Lance Armstrong was still winning the Tour de France, he did a 30-second ad for Nike, to prove how much of a badass he was, and how hard he worked, and refute any claims he was on drugs. Unfortunately, he entitled it "what am I on?", which made it all to easy to turn into the top-notch parody above, which doesn't exactly look great for Nike, or Lance.


Michael Bay/Samsung

The most recent entry on our list, Michael Bay's performance schilling a Samsung curved TV at CES 2014 was less than stellar. Halfway through an incredibly stilted-sounding prepared speech, the autoprompter screwed up, leaving Bay helpless and eventually storming off the stage after a couple of minutes. Have to wonder whether he got a pay cheque from Samsung after all.


Oprah/Microsoft Surface

Once again falling into the trap of 'I don't know what device I'm bloody well tweeting from', Oprah managed to tell the world how great the new Microsoft Surface is...using her iPad. It's not clear whether or not Microsoft paid Oprah to rep their Surface or not, but what is clear is that the poor darling needs some help with the minutae of selling one's soul.


Dizzee Rascal/Microsoft Surface

Speaking of schilling for the Microsoft Surface, even such talents as Dizzee Rascal, he of London 2012 Opening ceremony fame, is not immune to Microsoft's wallet. Just a few months ago, Microsoft built a giant 27-foot Surface tablet in Trafalgar Square, then paid Mr Rascal some (presumably pretty serious) moolah to stand in front of it and feet quotes to the press about how much he loves his Surface. Of course, given the overwhelming lack of popularity of the entire Surface range, that's really just good money following bad.


Ranveer Singh/Samsung Style

Although it's hard to pick just one cringeworthy celebrity schill from Samsung's long, erstwhile tradition of throwing money at celebs, this Bollywood actor's rendition of Gangnam Samsung Style really has something special. Something special that'll give you the overwhelming urge to breathe deeply into a paper bag.