These “Friends” are the original influencers – and they continue to capitalize and cash in on their likeability.
The stars of “Friends” have raked in lucrative endorsement deals with brands like Coca-Cola, L’Oreal and Emirates Airline, among others over the years, decades after the mega-hit sitcom ended in 2004. And the upcoming reunion on being streamed on HBO Max on May 27 to celebrate the iconic sitcom’s 25th anniversary will likely lead to even more buzzy business ventures for the cast members – outside of their syndication revenue paychecks.
The 90’s Manhattan-based comedy that followed six relatable twenty-somethings navigating everyday life in the city — through jobs, relationships, love, loss and drama — resonated with all Americans in some way. And media experts say the likability factor of their characters on the show continues to have major staying power with fans – motivating brands and advertisers to secure the stars to sell products because of their cult-like following and mass appeal to viewers of all ages.
“It’s one of those shows that keeps getting new generations of viewers, some of whom might not have even been alive when the show was on air,” Editor-in-Chief of Programming Insider, Marc Berman, tells FOX Business.
“When you take six people that viewers relate to – they get the stories; they’ve been in those situations — they root for these characters, that’s why it works. It’s why people like Jennifer Aniston are so valuable because they’re still reaching a young audience,” Berman added.
Indeed, Aniston, 52, known for playing the fashion-obsessed Rachel Greene, has nabbed millions a year for working with brands like Smartwater, L’Oreal, and Emirates Airline. The star of Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show” earned a reported $28 million in 2019, landing her the No. 5 spot on Forbes’ “Highest Paid Actresses” list.
It all began hot off her “Friends” run with L’Oreal in 1997 – a no-brainer considering her haircut “The Rachel” was the quintessential 90’s cut.
Aniston, known for her ageless physique, went on to become the face of bottled water brand Smartwater in 2007 working with the brand for 12 years as a global ambassador appearing in print and digital ads.
The A-lister has aligned herself with natural beauty and wellness brands over the years, being offered a reported eight-figure deal with Johnson & Johnson’s skin-care and hair line Aveeno in 2012, according to Page Six.
|JNJ||JOHNSON & JOHNSON||171.10||+0.05||+0.03%|
And, 2015 she nabbed a reported $5 million after signing a partnership deal with Dubai-based Emirates Airline, the New York Post reported at the time. More recently, collagen company Vital Proteins tapped her to be its chief creative officer last year where the star appears all over its website promoting its Collagen Peptides and immunity boosters. A Forbes editor told Elle Aniston is estimated to make $10 million alone from her endorsement deals annually.
Fountain-of-youth-promoting brands seem to flock to “Friends” cast members. Co-star Cortney Cox, 56, who played “Monica” on the sitcom was the muse for Procter and Gamble’s haircare brand Pantene when she signed a deal in 2013 appearing in its “Age Defy” commercial.
|PG||PROCTER & GAMBLE CO.||138.06||-0.02||-0.01%|
|KO||THE COCA-COLA CO.||54.63||-0.02||-0.04%|
Earlier in her career, she appeared alongside ex-husband David Arquette in a 2003 commercial for Coca-Cola.
And Lisa Kudrow, who portrayed the lovably quirky Phoebe on the sitcom, teamed up with Toyota’s Lexus’ L Studio for its series “Web Therapy.”