With product endorsements there is something about a recognizable face that instills trust. Smart Money reports that stock prices tend to spike a bit following the announcement that a particular celebrity will be endorsing a product.

Product Endorsements & Celebs: A Match Made In Heaven

Maybe it’s the “cool” factor, or perhaps it’s the fact that consumers like a particular person enough to want to emulate them.

Whatever the psychology behind celebrity endorsements, there have been a few that, at first, seemed like surprising match-ups:

Danica Patrick

She’s gorgeous, has nerves of steel and is easily the best-known female racecar driver in the world.

Danica-Patrick for GoDaddy
Product Endorsements & Celebs: A Match Made In Heaven

Patrick’s endorsements are available to an elite group of brands with tons of money to spend on endorsements.

It seems that an investment in Patrick is money well spent as her endorsement helped GoDaddy break all previously set sales records.

Alicia Keys

The award-winning popstar and songwriter is the face of new cell phones by BlackBerry.

alicia keys for BlackBerry
Product Endorsements & Celebs: A Match Made In Heaven

In addition to being the BlackBerry spokesperson, Keys has been named a Blackberry creative director.

Variety posits the question as to whether Keys wanted to be named creative director in order to feel better about endorsing a product simply for financial gain.

As for what BlackBerry is getting from the deal, Key’s involvement may set their phone apart from the pack and add that “cool” factor to a product normally associated with middle-aged businessmen.

James Earl Jones

It is possible to find a voice more distinctive or powerful than that of Darth Vader from the “Star Wars” films?

James Eral Jones in product endorsements
Product Endorsements & Celebs: A Match Made In Heaven

Evidently, Verizon did not think so. Actor James Earl Jones became the voice for the telecommunication company in 1995.

The distinctive nature of Jones’ voice and carriage makes him a hard man to forget — thereby making the product he endorses more difficult to forget.

William Shatner

Playing a role which differs from the roles an actor is famous for, often called against type, is an effective comedic tool.

Product Endorsements & Celebs: A Match Made In Heaven

In hiring William Shatner, best known for his role as Captain James T. Kirk in the wildly popular “Star Trek” franchise, priceline.com hoped to garner attention.

Shatner’s humorous turn as “The Negotiator” for priceline.com is difficult to ignore, particularly because the actor so unabashedly plays against the character he is best known for.

Joe Namath

Although an advertisement with Joe Namath donning a pair of Hanes Beautymist Pantyhose ran for a relatively short time in 1974, it has become a classic example of shock advertising.

joe namath in product endorsements
Product Endorsements & Celebs: A Match Made In Heaven

Namath, quarterback for the New York Jets from 1965-1972 was known as a tough guy, a he-man other men wanted to know and women wanted to date.

The celebrity endorsement received mixed reviews, but managed to achieve its goal. Decades later, people still remember seeing that ad for the first time.

Bill Cosby

Asking Bill Cosby to become the spokesperson for JELL-O pudding in 1974 seemed like a natural choice.

Bill Cosby for Jell-o
Product Endorsements & Celebs: A Match Made In Heaven

Cosby was wildly popular due to “The Bill Cosby Show” and was a well-known family man, based upon his stand-up comedy routines.

The fact that so many other comedians can do an impression of Cosby as the JELL-O spokesman is an indication of how well the celebrity endorsement was received and how deeply it became ingrained in public consciousness.