George Clooney turned down $35m for a day’s filming of an airline ad

While the Oscar winner walked away from the offer, other stars have made good money through their partnerships

George Clooney also quashed rumours he might one day get involved in US politics and run for office. AFP
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Busy promoting his latest directorial project, The Tender Bar, George Clooney has been sharing his thoughts on a range of subjects, from fatherhood to finances.

The actor, director and producer, 60, revealed that he turned down $35 million for a day’s work to film an airline ad campaign.

Declining to name the airline, Clooney also recently quashed rumours he might one day get involved in US politics and run for office.

“I was offered $35m for one day’s work for an airline commercial, but I talked to Amal about it and we decided it's not worth it,” he told The Guardian.

"Because I actually would like to have a nice life," Clooney told the BBC of ruling out politics. "I turned 60 this year, and I had a conversation with my wife and we were working a lot, as we both do, and I said, 'We have to think of these as the halcyon years.' If we have our health, which we do ... and I'm 60 and I can still play basketball and still do the things I love, but in 20 years I will be 80, and that's a real number."

Another real number in Clooney's world is the $40m the Oscar winner was paid to be the brand ambassador of Nespresso. He also famously sold his Casamigos beverage brand to drinks behemoth Diageo in a deal worth up to $1bn.

While signing up for advertising and marketing campaigns has always been a way for celebrities to make some quick cash, when the pandemic closed production of movies and television shows, more stars than ever switched to promotion over producing.

Here are five more stars who enjoyed big advertising pay cheques …

1. Justin Timberlake, McDonald’s, $6m

The singer and actor was paid $6m to sing the jingle for the McDonald’s "I’m Lovin’ It" campaign. The jingle was based on an existing German campaign – "Ich Liebe Es” – for the fast food brand. Music producing duo The Neptunes produced a song based on the jingle and released it. Timberlake would later tell GQ men's magazine: “I regret the McDonald’s deal.”

2. Brad Pitt, Chanel, $7m

Pitt has long been a proponent of topping up his Hollywood cheques with advertising money. In 2012, he became the face of the Chanel No 5 fragrance for $7m, and also went on to bank $3m to be the face of Cadillac print ads and TV commercials in China in 2015. As the current ambassador of coffee machine maker De’Longhi, Pitt stars in a commercial helmed by La La Land director Damien Chazelle.

3. Taylor Swift, Diet Coke, $26m

In 2014, the multi-Grammy award winner signed with the Coca-Cola Company a deal rumoured to be worth $26m to star in print and commercial adverts. For the soft drink brand’s “Stay Extraordinary” campaign, Swift was filmed writing a new song while sipping on a Diet Coke, in what the company called “a peek behind the curtain at an extraordinary day in the life of a true American superstar”.

4. Serena Williams, Nike, $55m

As the most successful female tennis player of all time, Williams knows her worth to advertisers. As the face of sports brand Nike, she was paid $55m over five years to wear their clothes, appear in their advertising and act as global ambassador. She has also featured in commercials for Beats headphones by Dr Dre, Berlei lingerie and AccorHotels.

5. David Beckham, Adidas, $160m

He might have retired, but Beckham remains one of the most recognisable football stars in the world. Having built a lifestyle brand by himself and also alongside wife, Victoria Beckham, the former England player was paid $106m by Adidas to be the face of the sports brand. He has also appeared in adverts for H&M, Calvin Klein and Samsung.

Updated: December 05, 2021, 2:11 PM