Endorsements are big sources of extra income for celebrities. Attaching their name to a product can earn celebs millions. 50 Cent reportedly earned upwards of $60 million or more for his Vitamin Water endorsements, and Justin Timberlake was paid $7 million to sing McDonald’s famous “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle. Lisa Rinna of the popular reality tv franchise Real Housewives of Beverly Hills may not have the name recognition of those two musicians, but she still gets endorsement deals.
Lisa Rinna was an accomplished actress before turning to reality TV
Even though she’s now most well known for RHOBH, Rinna has acting chops, and the award nominations to prove it. She had a decade long run on Days of Our Lives as Billie Reed.
Rinna was smart enough to leverage her soap opera experience into a career in talk show hosting. She had her own talk show, SOAPTalk, which got her four Daytime Emmy nominations.
From there, Rinna went on to host in a lot of different venues, including at awards shows, and across from Regis Philbin. But Rinna didn’t stop acting completely. She had roles on Veronica Mars, Entourage, and 8 Simple Rules, among others. Plus, she started a side gig in fashion, selling her products on the QVC network.
In 2014, she joined the cast of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and has been on the show ever since. Her notoriety from the show led to a pretty big endorsement deal from an adult diaper company.
Lisa Rinna endorsed adult diapers
Rinna was reportedly nervous about endorsing Depends. They’re an adult diaper, so there’s a certain amount of stigma attached to using them.
She used the endorsement opportunity as a chance to try to change the stigma surrounding adult diapers. She wore them on the red carpet, while wearing a red carpet gown, and bragged about her butt as a way of proving the undergarments were unnoticeable.
She said of the experience: “I am wearing an evening gown for God’s sake! And you can’t tell I have it on. Check out the booty!”
According to Rinna: “When I was first asked, I was surprised. I’m not the first person you think of when you think of Depends. That’s what I love about it. I believe women should feel good about themselves and if that means they need to talk about their problems, then absolutely. We need to help each other. I was not afraid to do this.”
The Depends endorsement didn’t harm Lisa Rinna’s career
Rinna herself has made it clear she doesn’t use Depends outside her endorsements. Still, some people did poke fun at her when she first took the deal. It’s been called an “embarrassing” endorsement, despite the fact that Rinna doesn’t see it that way.
Many women need to use incontinence products for a variety of reasons, and they need a champion. Being that champion doesn’t seem to have harmed Rinna’s career. She’s still big on RHOBH, and still getting spicy storylines on the show.
Rinna has defended her decision several times. One point she makes is the charitable donation the company to Dress for Success. “Dress For Success empowers disadvantaged women to reach their professional potential by providing them with both the attire and tools they need for success in the workplace and in life. I mean, how could I say no to the opportunity to provide some much needed funds to such an amazing and woman-centric charity?!” Rinna wrote on her RHOBH cast blog. She then went on to candidly break down just how relatable the product is, in true Rinna fashion. “And c’mon ladies, don’t tell me you can’t relate… We’ve all peed a little at some point in our lives after sneezing, am I right?”
In 2015, Rinna came clean about how helpful the opportunity was: “That Depends job saved our bacon. I got paid more money to do that than I got paid to do anything ever in my life. And I was just winking all the way to the bank.”
While this was a paid gig for Rinna, her affiliation empowered women who do need the product and helped normalize the product. In the end, Rinna helped start a real conversation about the product.
Depends paid her $2 million, according to RadarOnline, which isn’t the most a celeb has been paid for an endorsement, but it’s far from the least. For reference, Jessica Simpson got $2.5 million for her Proactiv endorsement, and Kylie Jenner was only paid $1 million to be a brand ambassador for Puma. Rinna may have been made fun of for the product she endorsed, but she also may have also made a lot of women feel better about needing to use incontinence products. That seems well worth $2 million.
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