Marketing Brand Strategy Creative Works

The best fake celebrity brand endorsements from Duolingo to HelloFresh


By Amy Houston | Senior Reporter

April 14, 2022 | 4 min read

The Drum’s Chip Shop Awards is renowned for celebrating pure, unadulterated creativity. It champions the uncommissioned work that has started important conversations, pushed boundaries or even caused a bit of controversy.


Emily Atack in Mid-Brow Studio’s HelloFresh mockumentary / Mid-Brow Studios

Ahead of the entry deadline, The Drum will be sharing some inspiration from awards of the past. Today we’re looking at celebrity-fronted campaigns, but we must stress that most of these big names didn’t endorse the advertisements.

Here are four of the best superstar spots from last year.

Duolingo: ‘Sing-A-Lingo’ by Miami Ad School

Ever caught yourself singing or humming along to a song in another language, but have absolutely no idea what the lyrics are about? It’s happened to us all, and Miami Ad School devised a marketing campaign for language learning app Duolingo with this amusing notion at its heart.

The premise of the project is that Duolingo would partner with some of the world’s most renowned musical artists and get them to teach their native language to fans.

To entice a younger audience, the marketing push also comprised of a gaming element that used rewards such as a Spotify premium account, merchandise or even a meet-and-greet with the musician to incentive users.

HelloFresh: ‘Allergic to Vegetables’ by Mid-Brow Studios

Many parents will be all too familiar with the battle that can ensue when trying to make kids eat their greens. In this final episode of a three-part mockumentary for HelloFresh, actress Emily Atack interviews one family who are at their wits’ end over their son’s hatred of veg.

The spoof-style spot actually ran, and it attracted 93% of new members to the HelloFresh landing page and garnered a PR reach of 166 million.

Wickes: ‘He’s a HIIT’ by The Drink Cabinet


When you think back to lockdown in the UK, what springs to mind? For many people fitness and DIY projects became beloved pastimes, with fitness guru Joe Wicks becoming a household name.

So it seems only fitting that Joe is brought on board to be the new face of Wickes the DIY specialists because... well, it’s got his name on it.

Echos: ‘Recycled donated influencers’ clothes’ by students at Middlesex University


It’s well known that social media has played its part in the rise of fast-fashion brands. More often than not, influencers play a huge role in promoting these companies, with many of the products sadly ending up in landfill after only one use.

To combat this, graphic design students at Middlesex University devised Echos – a recycled fashion brand prototype, made with old clothes donated by influencers, celebrities and famous athletes.

The premise is that 1% of their old clothes get recycled into new ones, with some of the profits being donated to environmental charities.

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