The celebrity endorsement has a long and storied history, and now a former pope is getting in on the action.
The modern celebrity endorsement took shape with the advent of television. TV stars such as Lucille Ball even hawked for Philip Morris
. The practice has evolved into some pretty elaborate endorsement opportunities. Wheaties, for example, has featured hundreds
of professional teams, athletes and Olympians on its boxes. Michael Jordan’s name is literally synonymous with Nike.
So Pope Benedict XVI, who stepped down earlier this year
, joins good company in essentially endorsing (by way of regularly wearing) handmade shoes made in Mexico’s shoe capital of León. A lengthy New York Times feature
details how the pope’s endorsement has grown Armando Martín Dueñas’ Ackerman shoes.
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notes how the shoes became a worldwide sensation:
They were an extra gift from Mr. Martín (in addition to a pair of León’s own version of the red shoes the pope made so famous), and when they became a public hit with Benedict, demand soared. Mr. Martín said he received calls and e-mails from all over the world asking to buy the shoes.
Pope Benedict XVI isn’t the first pope to put his name behind a product. Vin Mariani wine got a papal nod in the late 1800s from Pope Pius X and Pope Leo XIII. The latter even appeared in posters promoting the cocaine-infused elixir.
Your move, Pope Francis. Perhaps you could give your blessing to your favorite rain gear
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