Bon Jovi: The Story Behind Jon Bon Jovi's First Endorsement In His 30-Year Career

Rocker Jon Bon Jovi–whose movie “New Year’s Eve” comes out tonight–is doing his first verbal endorsement of a product in an ad campaign in his 30-year career with TV spots for Pfizer’s Advil.

The TV ad, which broke today, was shot in Red Bank, N.J., at the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen, a non-profit community kitchen that opened in October as an initiative of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, of which Advil is a sponsor.

During a tour last year, Bon Jovi–No. 8 on this year’s Forbes Celebrity 100 list–injured his calf muscle while performing on stage in New Jersey. In a later interview, he explained that he uses Advil for aches and pains related to touring and performing. He tells his own story in the Advil TV ad, joining other Advil users who similarly share their testimonials in the latest campaign.

Brian Groves, VP-CMO of U.S. Consumer Healthcare at Pfizer, talked with me today about the new campaign and why Jon Bon Jovi was the right fit.

Why Jon Bon Jovi?

He’s a fantastic icon in American pop culture and we love incorporating him into our “Real Advil Stories” campaign because while he’s a celebrity, he’s also a real guy. He is a very recognizable real guy. This is the first time that Jon has verbally endorsed a brand that he uses in his life in a TV commercial.

How did you make it happen?

He hurt his calf on stage during a concert and he was telling a reporter about it and how he was taking Advil, so our team contacted his team to see if he liked this idea and he graciously accepted. Our team presented Jon with the “Real Advil Stories” campaign. Jon’s a unique individual for a lot of reasons, but he’s not unique in his pain suffering. We liked mixing a guy who was a very regular guy in his personal life in this “real stories” campaign, and we think he’s been a terrific fit.

[The campaign is] not just about celebrities by any stretch. Jon’s ad is the fifth in production and only two–one with Jon and one with Regis Philbin–incorporate the celebrity component. The celebrities are acting as recognizable, real people with real pain.

Why hadn’t he done any product endorsements in 30 years?

I think it gets back to his being an authentic entertainer and actor and philanthropist. I’m sure his time is very precious to him. I haven’t talked to him specifically about why he hasn’t endorsed other brands, but we’re delighted he endorsed Advil.

How does his brand align with yours?

Jon is an authentic American icon, as is Advil, and Jon’s brand, in his entertainment life and his business and philanthropy, appears very focused on solving problems and getting right to the point and that’s how we feel about Advil. It is an authentic American icon that gets right to the point of relieving the pain and giving people the freedom to get back to their very busy lives, and that’s what the campaign is focused on.

What’s your overall philosophy on celebrity in advertising?

We don’t have a stated philosophy on celebrities endorsing our products. Where we see opportunity for synergy and partnership, we take advantage of that marketplace opportunity. The Advil situation is specific to Jon’s use of the product in his busy life and his not wanting to slow down. The “Take Action, Take Advil” tagline lines up perfectly with Jon’s brand. He was already a heavy brand user and agreed for the first time to endorse a product on television like this.

Is any payment from this going to his charity?

Advil does support the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

I thought the Regis ad was less believable, since Regis is like 80+ years old.

In case you haven't seen the ad:
It's here

Bon Jovi: Richie at Biker's Bash 2011 Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, FL

Culled from various sources.

This is probably the best picture I've seen of Richie in Eons.  He looks great. 


Bon Jovi: Richie departs from LAX

Thank goodness he dressed warmly it got cold yesterday here in Florida.  I had to wear a jacket.  I like subtropical and humid, although my hair looked great today.

Bon Jovi: Jon's Advil story


Curer of headaches, backaches, hangovers and a plethora of other aches and pains.

Here's Jon's story


Here's Jon's Soul Kitchen Story:


Here's pictures of Jon:


I learned something tonight about Jon's family that I bet not many people know, his cousin is married to Bob Newhart's daughter.

Thanks Lisa. (Lisa didn't tell me the Bob Newhart thing, I found that out from someone else).

Bon Jovi: Jon at the NYE Premier


Bon Jovi: More New Years's Eve Stuff

I think from the B-Rolls you can piece together the movie.

Lots of Jon in this one.

Thanks again to Lisa. :)

Bon Jovi: Katherine Heigl on working with Jon in NYE

At around 1:35

Bon Jovi: Jon Bon Jovi, How We'd Like to See Him Dressed

I'm no fashion maven but I'm not really seeing the difference between what he's wearing and what they want him to wear.

Oh and you can't put Jon's muscly thighs into skinny jeans.  Maybe he got tired of wearing tight jeans after the 80's.

From Vogue Homme Italia.

There’s one thing we don’t understand about the world of rockstars. They rise to fame because they are able to embody – like nobody else – the spirit of an era. They have it in them (in their movements, in their voice, in the way they wink) and they even act on it: they write lyrics, music that comes to life precisely because they shape in front of our eyes what we feel in every moment, our frustrations just like our uncertainties. Their fame, in other words, comes from their inborn capability of representing the present. And this is precisely true especially about fashion, which they wear like nobody else, defining it as only they know how, a metaphor of the moment.

Then something happens and the cd skips. Like in Sorrentino’s latest movie, This must be the Place, the rockstar continues to drag on his usual part, detached from the world that evolves and imprisoned in a role that he has created all by him self. We’re bordering a Pirandello-esque humor.

Even without arriving to the extremes portrayed by Sean Penn, Jon Bon Jovi is quite near this group. He still remains a worldwide important star (he continues to go on in impressive tours and catching the attention of millions of people thanks to appearances at events and TV series). His humanitarian commitment is more than praiseworthy (we’re referring especially to his association, the Soul Foundation). Yet we can’t really call him any longer an icon of the present.

As proof of it, it’s enough to look at his clothing, which is still built around leather jackets, boots and “comfort” jeans, as trendy in the early Nineties. The look was fashionable twenty years ago, when we were actually exited about flared leather pants, to the point even Armani showed them on the catwalks. Unluckily, though, our passion has long burnt out and has no longer nothing new to say. Plus, on Bon Jovi it even has a comic effect. It seems as if he’s trying to convince himself he is after all a star. Or, perhaps, it’s a marketing strategy for the upcoming movie New Year’s Eve, where he plays the part of a rockstar in a love story with Katherine Heigl (who should also take a step forward and shape up or she will end up the rest of her life in the stereotype of the romantic frustrated woman of the beginning of the century).

A reason for which we feel obligated to offer some corrections. If you really want to continue wearing a leather jacket let it be in chamois or with zippers and intriguing openings. If you really want to combine black with blue, the latter should be a smoky midnight blue. If you are wearing an elegant jacket, let it be in velvet and tapered as a glove. Pay attention to the fit and forget about hair dye, which doesn’t suit you. Even Zac Efron has given up that self-confident fringe. So choose a short haircut.

If you want to stay a rockstar, you must embrace change, Mr. Jon Bon Jovi.
Look 1
Costume National Homme
Left: Los Angeles, 2010
© GettyImages
Look 2
Yves Saint Laurent
Left: New York, 2011
© GettyImages
Look 3
Jil Sander
Left: New York, 2011
© Splash News
Look 4
Emporio Armani
Left: Washington, 2009
© Splash News
Look 5
Emporio Armani
Left: New Jersey, 2011
© GettyImages
Look 6
Left: New York, 2009
© Splash News
Look 7
Burberry Prorsum
Left: SoHo, 2009
© Splash News
Look 8
Bottega Veneta
Left: New York, 2009
© Splash News
The choice of L'Uomo Vogue:

I hate when articles tell a person to dress differently, then they come back and say that that person is dressing like a teenager versus dressing their age.  Not that Jon should dress like his age. 

I think Jon looks good. He shouldn't go out an buy all this stuff because Vogue tells him to (especially that giant MURSE [man purse] in looks five and six).  I think he's earned the right to dress however he feels comfortable.

And quite honestly some of these looks (like number 8) are too Adam Levine.  Ugh.

Bon Jovi Widget