Celebrities around the world are making millions of dollars endorsing various gadgets, from cellphones to printer cartridges. Whether or not these expensive ad campaigns actually work is hard to know, but what is certain is that these corporations will continue to empty their wallets in order to get these hot celebrities to promote their products.

Check out these photos/videos of some of the most famous celebrity gadget endorsements in recent years, and you’ll see how these celebrities are able to afford 5 houses on the beach, 10 cars in their garage, and all of the gadgets that they could ever want. Here are some of the funniest and most expensive endorsement deals in the gadget world to date.

1. Maria Sharapova [Canon]

The tennis star has recently signed an extension through 2010 with the popular digital camera manufacturer Canon to promote their PowerShot line of compacts. She also just inked a deal with Sony Ericsson to promote their mobile phones and line of accessories. It’s multi-million deals such as this that has helped to land this multi-talented celebrity on the Forbes 100 list with an estimated income of $23 million per year.

2. Kate Moss [Nikon]

Nikon teamed up with controversial supermodel Kate Moss back in 2006 to promote the release of the new Coolpix S6. Their aim was to emphasise the sleek curves of the S6, and by choosing Kate Moss as the celebrity endorser, they certainly got the sleek and sexy point across!

3. Shakira [Panasonic]

Electronics giant Panasonic signed Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Shakira to a multi-million dollar endorsement deal in 2006 to promote Panasonic’s new line of Lumix digital cameras. The Latin singer ‘shook her hips’ all the way to the bank in 2007 with an estimated stash of about $38 million from endorsements and album sales.

4. Catherine Zeta-Jones [T-Mobile]

As the face of T-Mobile, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones has made some serious dough promoting the mobile phone giant’s products. According to AdRants.com, she inked a deal with T-Mobile for about $20 million. That is one of the highest paying celebrity endorsement deals anywhere. I guess it really does pay to look good! Well, at least it did for Zeta-Jones until T-Mobile dropped her.

5. Ashton Kutcher [Nikon]

Nikon recently signed Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher to promote their Coolpix Style line of digital cameras. The first TV commercial in this campaign aired on March 25, 2008. Kutcher was quoted as saying, ‘”I am thrilled to work with Nikon on this campaign”. “I think technology today represents so much more than just function – it represents personal style and sophistication. I’m enjoying the opportunity to work with such a well respected brand and a group of highly creative individuals on a campaign that showcases the style, design and simplicity of the new COOLPIX cameras.” Right. That’s believable. And oh yeah, he’s also thrilled to get the ridiculous paychecks for promoting the cameras!

6. Dwayne Wade and Charles Barkley [T-Mobile]

These two NBA stars, of the past and the present, signed on with T-Mobile to help promote their ‘Fave 5′s’ ad campaign. Their humourous banter back-and-forth makes for a somewhat watchable commercial, and it’s costing T-Mobile a pretty penny to make it happen. Wade’s endorsement deals alone total close to $20 million (including other endorsement deals as well), with a big chunk of that money being put-up by T-Mobile.

7. Various [Hewlett Packard]

What do you do when consumers think your products are boring? Pay a celebrity to endorse them! A few years ago, HP decided they needed to invest in their branding so people would suddenly think HP print cartridges were the coolest thing on the planet. It was a lofty ambition, and it was going to cost them a pretty penny. Their new ad campaign would cost the company about $300 million, and would feature a slew of celebrity endorsers including Gwen Stefani, Jay-Z, Vera Wang, Serena Williams, Abigail Breslin, Pharrell, and the Orange County Choppers. It was a costly affair that probably boosted the profile of the celebrities more than the company bankrolling them!

8. David Beckham [Motorola Razr]

Motorola launched a campaign in 2006 to promote its new Razr2 in the Hollywood area, which is where the soccer star currently resides. The billboard campaign for the new super sleek mobile phone needed a celebrity who matched those same credentials, and David Beckham was a perfect fit for Motorola. Beckham’s multi-million dollar deal with Motorola expires in 2009. That’s quite fortunate given the rate at which the iPhone is taking marketshare.

9. Justin Long [Apple]

If you live in the US, Canada, UK, Spain, Australia, Japan, or New Zealand, then you’ve probably seen the ‘Mac vs. PC’ commercials on television. The ‘Get a Mac’ ad campaign for Apple has been running since 2006 and has featured actor Justin Long since the popular commercials first aired. So far, approximately 50 different commercials have been created for the North American audience alone, including a cool Christmas commercial featuring Mac, PC, and Santa Claus as animated characters, much like the classic Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer animated movie.

10. Lebron James [Microsoft]

NBA superstar Lebron James did a multi-million ad campaign for the big release of the Microsoft Vista operating system back in January of 2007. This was the first time that any athlete has endorsed an operating system of any kind. Did the ad campaign work? Maybe, but it didn’t help the Vista operating system from being an utter disaster.

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About me...
Hi! I am a self-confessed geek with an insatiable appetite for gadgets and travel. Currently I own a MacBook Pro, 30GB iPod video and a big credit card balance.