80s, 90s, Candy, Celebrities, Commercials, Food, Quick Lists, TV — June 18, 2013 3:42 pm

7 Unexpected Celebrity Endorsements

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One day, a brilliant advertising executive struck gold with an idea.  He or she thought, “I have this crappy product that can’t possibly sell.  If only I knew a random celebrity to help talk it up for me… hey, wait… that’s not a bad idea!”  So, this executive went on to make many friends in high places just for the purpose of selling terrible products.

So, here are seven unexpected celebrity endorsements…

7 – Diet Rite

Only a boxing champ drinks Diet Rite!

It doesn’t matter how much success you’ve had in a television acting career.  It’s the products you endorse that make people relate to you on a personal level.  Before I discovered Tony Danza believed strongly in the fine product that Diet Rite is, I didn’t think we had much in common.  Now, I just want to have a deep conversation with Mr. Danza about the only diet soda that isn’t just “rite” for me… it’s “rite” for Tony, too.

6 – Buck-a-Call

Would you believe… I use these same catch phrases in another commercial?

I’m not really sure if this is Don Adams or Agent 86 selling me some great long distance rates.  For all I know, it was actually grocery store manager Howard Bannister working some new promotional scheme for Cobb’s grocery store.

5 – Sound Bites

I’d expect a sell-out like this from Big Pete, but Little Pete?  Come on!

What do a former child star and an award winning Olympic swimmer have in common?  They were both on a Nickelodeon game show!  What else do they have in common?  They were trying to sell kids some candy.

4 – Pizza Hut

This is revolutionary news presented by the world’s most famous drummer.

I find this to be sort of a cruel endorsement.  The ad came around the time when former Beatles members were rumored to be reuniting.  Ringo spends most of the ad leading fans to believe the time has finally come, until it’s revealed to be an ad for Pizza Hut.  Talk about unexpected!  It kind of side swipes you if you were hoping it was some announcement of a Beatles reunion.  But, hey, at least The Monkees show up at the end of the ad!

3 – CD-i

“I’m Troy McClure.  You may remember from such endorsements as the Philips CD-i…”

Phil Hartman starring in commercials for Philips CD-i was sort of a no-brainer.  Phil… Philips… Eh?  Eh??  Even Phil Hartman’s hilarious antics couldn’t convince me (or, apparently, any one else) to buy a Philips CD-i.  If you ever need to know why the CD-i was a total failure, type the words “Hotel Mario Toast” on a YouTube search.

2 – McDonald’s

Big Macs and reruns… why not?

This is a surreal combination of celebrity endorsements.  It’s not actually the celebrities who are endorsing crappy hamburgers, but the characters these celebrities played on television.  So, to paraphrase, “I’m not a celebrity endorser, I just play one on TV”.  Any way you slice it, if your wildest dreams included Maxwell Smart, Grandpa Munster, Jed Clampett, Gilligan, and others, McDonald’s made your dreams come true.

1 – Memorex

Is it live or is it a forty year old commercial on YouTube?

Before he was hocking batteries for Mega Lo Mart, Chuck Mangione was peddling cassettes for Memorex… with Ella Fitzgerald!  This commercial takes top prize for a duo of random celebrity endorsements, with the Don Adams and Grandpa Munster ad being a close second.


Did we miss some of your favorite celebrity endorsements?  Tell us about it in the comments below!


1 Comment

  • The Don Adams campaign for Saskatchewan tourism in the early 1990s was a classic and a bit of a political scandal.

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