Let’s talk about Leonardo DiCaprio’s commercial for Jim Beam, Asian styles. 

By North American standards, this is pure cheese, right? That’s why it’s only for Japan. So far, at least.

Leo snaps his fingers and the ice earth explodes. And a sexy look to camera. Followed by a sexy squint:

“Cool bourbon.”


“Jim Beam.”

Is this...Leo parodying Leo?

Ten, fifteen years ago, before the internet was so pervasive, celebrities could get away with overseas endorsements much easier. Now though, with everything going viral so quickly, in theory, they’re trying to be more careful with self-branding, especially the top stars. You would think. Leo in particular, as we’ve seen from his career management, has demonstrated himself to be quite particular about his image. He didn’t want to be a Tiger Teen Beat pretty boy.

But a playboy...?

A playboy maybe he doesn’t mind so much.

Leo’s playboy is a Man.

A bourbon drinking man who smokes cigars with his friends, cool under pressure.

Would he have assessed the consequences of this commercial then, and decided that it would be ok if it were to be viewed in America, because, even though it’s super corny, it still supports the brand message? The brand being I am Leo, playboy. AND he pockets, what?, a couple of million dollars for maybe half a day’s work?

If you were his advisor, regardless of commission, given these circumstances, would you have approved this job?

Similarly, with George Clooney’s ad for his tequila company, a joint venture with his best friend Rande Gerber -- click here for a refresher -- he played on an assumption we’ve all had at one time or another: that these guys share... EVERYTHING. So... it’s consistent branding. And ...therefore easier for the consumer to accept?

How would it go over though if the headlining celebrity playing “swingers” in a commercial was a woman? I’d love to know your thoughts. Send!