Celebrity endorsement is when a famous person appears in an advertisement, or when a famous person recommends a product or a service.
This is often done to significantly increase the public's awareness of the brand, boosting its sentiment, and in return, this will usually make a rise in sales.
However, piggybacking one's star power doesn't come cheap.
Because of that particular reason, some brands have been sneaky, and sometimes clever, in which they bring up some famous names, and make it seem that they're endorsing it.
Harper Wilde is one of those brands, caught in the act.
The advertisement did took off and caught more attention than it though it would.
The thing is, the advertisement is considered so "creepy," that Harper Wilde had to apologize, before the damage spreads too far.
It all began on January 27, when the lingerie brand posted an advertisement on Instagram, comparing its bra sizes to Ryan Reynolds' hands.
In the promoted post, the brand likened wearing one of their bras to being fondled by the "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine in 2010.
"This bra is like if Ryan Reynolds was gently holding up your breasts and whispering in your ear that you are doing a good job…honestly," Harper Wilde's advertisement reads in a white font over pink background.
The brand made it seem that the product focuses on male validation, when in fact, it should be more geared towards women.
After circulating on Instagram, a lot of internet users shared their confused reaction to the marketing technique.
The post then went viral, and received mixed reactions from social media users, not only because nobody was ever told that Reynolds would endorse the particular brand, but also because people were wondering if Reynolds would even say such a thing, even when paid.
Reynolds is a renowned feminist, and that he owns a digital-marketing company.
But he isn't involved in this.
Days later, Harper Wilde finally responded to address some of the confusion surrounding the advertisement.
The brand explained that the advertisement was actually taken from a customer review about the product.
Hi! If it helps to have a little context, this is a real review by a customer originally meant to run with a series of other reviews. We thought it was cheeky enough to run as an ad, but the attribution was cut off at the bottom by the ad interface (original ad series attached!) pic.twitter.com/BPY0rA8ZCf
— Harper Wilde (@harperwilde) January 31, 2023
According to Harper Wilde:
"The core of our brand is ultimately about designing bras by boob-havers for boob-havers while divesting from the male gaze. While we clearly have customers who are straight women, this single review doesn’t represent our entire brand."
The post was accompanied by images of other customer reviews from the sponsored post, one of which claimed their bras were like if “butter and a cloud made a baby”.
Despite apologizing for the "creepy” advertisement, Harper Wilde still maintains the marketing campaign, which says that it's a female-led company dedicated to “empowering women”.