Earlier this year, Capital One announced that megastar Taylor Swift had signed a multilayer partnership with the company. This isn’t the first time the Virginia-based credit card giant has pursued a celebrity endorsement in order to make a splash.
The Swift deal coincided with Capital One's new Savor credit card, offering cardholders exclusive access to the pop star's content and events. This included a pre-order bundle for her seventh studio album, Lover, released in August, which also offered an exclusive t-shirt.
“Capital One is always looking for ways to give our customers the best, most exclusive access and this partnership with Taylor Swift will allow us to do that,” said the company’s chief brand officer Marc Mentry.
As a major sponsor of sports teams, including the Capital One Bowl, the bank holding company has a long history of endorsement deals with celebrity athletes, from Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie to women’s soccer star Brandi Chastain and the former WNBA player, Lisa Leslie, who are also all on the Capital One advisory board.
However, beginning in 2010, the banking juggernaut secured a deal with actor Alec Baldwin. Baldwin's contract was written to fund his own charity foundation, paying $15 million over a period of five years. As their spokesperson between 2010 and 2013, Baldwin became embroiled in a number of incidents, including a homophobic Twitter rant, but the final nail in the coffin was a confrontation with a TMZ videographer. The disgraced actor's contracted was not renewed.
Succeeded by Hollywood sweetheart, Jennifer Garner, Baldwin was ultimately replaced by the actress who promoted the bank’s Venture Air Miles credit card.
Rounding up their star-studded spokesperson lineup is Samuel L. Jackson. Promoting their Quicksilver card, offering a $100 cash bonus when new applicants spend $500 on their card within three months of account opening as well as a 1.5% cashback on all purchases with no limit, and no annual fee. Both Garner and Jackson appeared across a range of commercials.
The use of celebrity spokespeople is likely one of the most tried and tested forms of advertising, especially for financial services which generally garner varying levels of suspicion from the general public. As for how Capital One’s deal with Taylor Swift will turn out— we’ll just have to wait and see.