The 11 most iconic celeb spon con posts of all time
If you’re on Instagram, then you know all about spon con, otherwise known as sponsored content, otherwise known as #ads.
Famous people do it. Sort of famous people do it. And if you know somebody with more than a couple thousand followers, your friends do it too.
When done wrong, the filters in your brain immediately label spon con as spam, but when done right, spon con is basically art.
Maybe not the kind of art that deserves to be mounted in a gilded frame and hung on the walls of a museum — although TBH I’d buy a ticket in a heartbeat — but art nonetheless.
The kind of art that makes you think. The kind of art that makes you actually LOL. The kind of art that makes you rabidly reach for your phone so you can tell all your friends about it.
And it doesn’t get any more iconic than these 11 ads I’ve rounded up for you.
Although if you think there are any I missed, send me an e-mail. The only thing I love more than biting into a nice, juicy spon con post is being proven wrong!
Now without further ado, here they are, in no particular order.
Tavi Gevinson’s ads for her own apartment
Tavi Gevinson, editor-in-chief at Rookie, fashion world darling and up-and-coming actress, is living proof that you can do anything you set your mind to so long as your name is Tavi Gevinson.
She could probably even run for president next election cycle and the powers that be would be like, “who cares you’re supposed to be at least 35, this girl has moxie.”
And this year Tavi reached a level of spon con infamy that most celebs can only dream of. Doing ads for her own apartment. Not Airbnb. Apartment.
In March, using the hashtag #300AshlandPartner and the location tag 300 Ashland, out of nowhere Tavi began extolling the virtues of her new apartment.
A PR rep for the management company behind 300 Ashland told the The Cut that yes, Tavi was getting compensated for her spon con, but that she was also paying rent, so it wasn’t really a big deal.
The rep also continued to say that, “our influencers,” like Tavi, “will continue to create the same great content while enjoying their new homes and neighborhoods, and will be hosting special experiences open to our residents. We think it’s an exciting addition to our marketing efforts and a terrific amenity for tenants.”
And not weird at all!
Naomi Campbell and Scott Disick’s copy and paste ads
If you think that celebrities don’t always put a lot of effort into their spon con captions, congratulations, you’re right.
In 2016 Naomi Campbell was caught copy and pasting an Instagram caption sent to her by somebody at Adidas which read:
“Naomi, so nice to see you in good spirits. Could you put something like: Thanks to my friend @gary.aspden and all at adidas – loving these adidas 350 SPZL from adidas Spezial range. @adidasoriginals.”
But instead of putting something like that as her caption, Naomi put exactly that as her caption.
And Scott Disick was caught doing something similar while advertising a giant container of Bootea protein shake.
While you can hardly blame an icon like Naomi for not being bothered to read the caption before copy and pasting it, it’s kind of impossible to think of Scott Disick having anything better to do than to.
Posting spon con and making appearances is his whole job. Sure sometimes he’s on TV, sometimes he looks after his kids, and sometimes he makes out with models, but this is how he makes his money. Which is part of what makes his copy and paste job so memorable. Much like most of Scott Disick’s very public foibles, this didn’t need to happen. And it’s very easy to make fun of.
Kim Kardashian’s original morning sickness ad
Just like the coven of sisters Kim Kardashian shares a franchise with, Kim could post a spon con in her sleep. No really. Even if her assistant didn’t have her Instagram password, Kim could probably make it work.
Bruce Springsteen may have been born to run, Lana Del Rey may have been born to die, but Kim Kardashian was born to spon.
Take this 2015 post for some random morning sickness medication named Diclegis. People got so mad Kim didn’t include any of the potential side effects that the FDA got involved.
First, she tried to add a link to the important information in the caption, but the FDA was like, nah girl, nobody clicks on links if they’re not in bio. You know this. We know this. Stop playing.
So she had to issue a Corrective Ad with one of the longest Instagram captions you’ve ever seen. And she started it with a nonchalant, “I guess you saw the attention my last #morningsickness post received.”
Obviously, Kim’s ad made headlines for multiple days, which all things considered, had to have been a better outcome than Diclegis could have ever even thought possible.
#CorrectiveAd I guess you saw the attention my last #morningsickness post received. The FDA has told Duchesnay, Inc., that my last post about Diclegis (doxylamine succinate and pyridoxine HCl) was incomplete because it did not include any risk information or important limitations of use for Diclegis. A link to this information accompanied the post, but this didn’t meet FDA requirements. So, I’m re-posting and sharing this important information about Diclegis. For US Residents Only. Diclegis is a prescription medicine used to treat nausea and vomiting of pregnancy in women who have not improved with change in diet or other non-medicine treatments. Limitation of Use: Diclegis has not been studied in women with hyperemesis gravidarum. Important Safety Information Do not take Diclegis if you are allergic to doxylamine succinate, other ethanolamine derivative antihistamines, pyridoxine hydrochloride or any of the ingredients in Diclegis. You should also not take Diclegis in combination with medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), as these medicines can intensify and prolong the adverse CNS effects of Diclegis. The most common side effect of Diclegis is drowsiness. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or other activities that need your full attention unless your healthcare provider says that you may do so. Do not drink alcohol, or take other central nervous system depressants such as cough and cold medicines, certain pain medicines, and medicines that help you sleep while you take Diclegis. Severe drowsiness can happen or become worse causing falls or accidents. Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Diclegis can pass into your breast milk and may harm your baby. You should not breastfeed while using Diclegis. Additional safety information can be found at www.DiclegisImportantSafetyinfo.com or www.Diclegis.com. Duchesnay USA encourages you to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Kim Kardashian’s updated morning sickness ad
It’s hard to imagine Kim ever finding a way to top her first morning sickness ad for Diclegis, but like we said, Kim Kardashian was born for this game.
Updating the ad to fit her current “it looks shitty, but it’s actually arty,” Instagram aesthetic, Kim set up the photo to look like she was doing a deep dive on her own Instagram feed — very plausible — when she stumbled across her old iconic ad, and then turned out to face the camera as if to say, “is this funny or what? no really, is it funny? Because I only like to laugh when things are really funny and I can’t afford to give myself premature laugh lines for nothing.”
READ ALSO: Kim re-posted her iconic morning sickness ad
#Ad Remember this? Just want to remind all of you that if you’re miserable with #morningsickness like I was, try changing your diet & lifestyle first. If you still feel sick, don’t wait-ask your doctor about #Diclegis (doxylamine succinate & pyridoxine HCl), the only FDA-approved medication for morning sickness. It’s the most studied drug in pregnancy & it worked for me! I want to empower all moms-to-be and encourage them to speak up. #DontSufferInSilence! The most common side effect is drowsiness. Visit diclegis.com Additional safety information can be found below & at DiclegisImportantSafetyinfo.com. Duchesnay USA encourages you to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. For U.S. Residents Only. Diclegis is a prescription medicine used to treat nausea & vomiting of pregnancy in women who haven’t improved with change in diet or other non-medicine treatments. Limitation of Use: Diclegis hasn’t been studied in women with hyperemesis gravidarum. Important Safety Information Do not take Diclegis if you’re allergic to any of the ingredients in Diclegis. You should also not take Diclegis in combination with medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors, as these medicines can intensify & prolong the adverse CNS effects of Diclegis. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery or other activities that need your full attention unless your healthcare provider says that you may do so. Do not drink alcohol or take other central nervous system depressants such as cough & cold medicines, certain pain medicines & medicines that help you sleep while you take Diclegis. Severe drowsiness can happen or become worse causing falls or accidents. It is not known if Diclegis is safe & effective in children under 18 years of age. Keep Diclegis & all medicines out of the reach of children. Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you’re breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Diclegis can pass into your breast milk & may harm your baby. You shouldn’t breastfeed while using Diclegis.
Kris Jenner’s Detox tea ad
As the most popular member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan — really, look it up — it’s surprising that it took Kris until 2017 to try her hand at spon con.
But it was worth EVERY DARN SECOND of the wait.
When I first saw this ad on my Instagram feed, I immediately assumed it was fake because that’s how good it was. But I was wrong. So very wrong.
Standing in what appears to be a home gym wearing a sports bra and leggings, with her arm on her hip like the sorority president she was in a past life, Kris says, “People always ask me how I stay in shape and looking so good. I detox regularly, especially pre-summer. @flattummytea is my this year’s summer must-have, and uhhh, I feel amazing (go get some today there’s a 20% off sale on!)
Uhhh, I’m at a loss for words.
Uhhh, she looks great.
Busy Philipps and Lil Jon’s four and a half minute Michaels ad
You might not be following Busy Phillips on Twitter, I know I’m not, but her incredibly long #ad for that crafting supplies black hole otherwise known as Michael’s deserves to go down in history.
“Springtime, ahhh,” Busy exhales at the beginning of the video. “It’s one of my favorite times of year. A time for renewal and for reconnecting with friends, and what better way to reconnect than to engage in a spirited crafting competition?”
And after that wonderful segue, Lil Jon steps out of a tree and breaks the fourth wall to ask us, the invisible audience, “How the hell y’all doing?” while he holds out his arms and moves his chest exactly one time.
Even if you only watch that much, you won’t be disappointed, but if you have the time, you should really watch the whole thing. It doesn’t get better than the cold open, but it never stops being funny.
— Busy Philipps (@Busyphilipps25) April 27, 2017
Bella Hadid’s Postmates ads
In a now-deleted ad, that thanks to the wonders of the world wide web can never truly be forgotten, Bella Hadid proved she was just a girl, standing in front of you with a plate of deviled eggs, asking you to order Postmates.
Here’s the picture she used, which was made about a month earlier by @siduations just to be funny.
And here’s the caption, which you can see in this screenshot I took from Mashable. And if you’re asking me, why would you need to take a screenshot, why can’t you just embed the deleted post, let me remind you, the post got deleted. The caption doesn’t exist anymore because the photo doesn’t exist anymore.
But for a few seconds, because the Internet never forgets anything, you can see the caption pop up in the Instagram post Mashable embedded. But don’t take my word for it, take a look and see what I saw. And then come right back so you can actually read the caption.
“@Postmates is the best! I love ordering food on my way home from work or just for a little snack 😉 thanks @sideuations () Everyone should download the app and use my code: BELLA50 for $50 in FREE delivery credits! (Nobody loves delivery more than me..( u think I can use my own code!?!)✨ YES ITS PHOTOSHOPPED GUYS…promise I don’t walk on the street with a plate of deviled eggs”
But did you know that wasn’t even Bella Hadid’s first spon con for Postmates?
Bella has been doing ads for Postmates ads since at least 2015, back when captioning them #ad wasn’t a thing. Nor apparently was doing them on Instagram. Which must explain why Bella posted a variety of Twitter spon con that was trying its best to look like authentic content.
— Bella Hadid (@bellahadid) February 20, 2015
@bellahadid it will start tracking as soon as the postmate picks it up!
— Postmates (@Postmates) February 24, 2015
Anwar gets so cranky when he doesn’t have his deviled eggs.
Kylie Jenner’s Bumble ad
Okay in the spirit of honesty, I have to admit this ad isn’t really iconic, but it is a personal favorite. Mostly for reasons I suspect that Kylie did not intend. While most of the time Kylie wears unremarkable outfits to spon in, unless the outfit she’s wearing is the thing she’s promoting. Except this time.
In this spon con ad, Kylie wore one of my favorite outfits she’s worn all year. But that’s not what the ad is for. Instead, it’s for a Bumble party Kylie hosted with her sister Kendall at Coachella this year, which was apparently so “cool” that it snowed “in the desert!”