Since the NFL playoffs are major events on television this time of year, it’s no surprise that sponsors tend to air a flow of commercials during these games, many of which you probably have never seen before. Now many of these tend to pertain to food, cars, alcoholic beverages, and boner pills. But some don’t. Nevertheless, it’s not unusual that you might see plenty of products endorsed by celebrities sort of like, “Buy this product because I use it and I think it’s great. And I’m famous enough that you’ll trust my judgement.” You might not know this but the practice of product promotion through celebrity endorsement has been around for a very long time. How long?, you may ask. Well, let’s just that Roman gladiators endorsed products like today’s professional athletes. But why would anyone listen to a celebrity on something like food or hair care products? I don’t know. But I do know that people listen to celebrities, perhaps more than they should. I mean if it wasn’t for Jenny McCarthy saying that vaccines cause autism (which isn’t true at all by the way as several studies have shown), some people wouldn’t be as skeptical of vaccines as they are (which isn’t a good thing, honestly). Nevertheless, I can show you some of the great vintage celebrity endorsement ads out there. But you’d probably be bored to tears. So instead, I’ll show some of the more questionable ones, some of which don’t have the same impact as they did upon release. Others make you shake your head for an explanation. So without further adieu, I present to you some crazy celebrity endorsements from yesteryear. There’s a chance you might not know a lot of these people.
- After a show, the legendary jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong likes to relax to Camel cigarettes.
Uh, Louis, as a jazz trumpet player, you work a lot with your lungs which is apparent in photos. So I don’t think relaxing to Camels may not be the best way to relax. Seriously, it’s not.
2. Rock Hudson sure likes to wrap around girls wearing Emba Mink.
Anyone who’s familiar with Rock Hudson’s sexual orientation would automatically see why this ad is hilarious. Seriously, I’m sure he’s totally faking it with that woman. I mean anyone who has any idea about who he was knows that he was more into the boys.
3. If Stevie Wonder could play video games, he’d play Atari.
Of course, Stevie Wonder doesn’t play video games because he’s as blind as a bat since birth. Seriously, how in the hell could anyone trust a blind guy’s judgement on video game consoles? Yes, he’s a Grammy award winning legend, but that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to video games. And I especially mean that if it pertains to an ad endorsed by a guy who can’t see a thing.
4. If Geoffrey Holder had hair, he’d use Vidal Sassoon for men.
I’m not sure who this guy is other than him being a bald black actor. However, when it comes to choosing a shampoo, who do you think I’d trust more a bald guy or Sasquatch? Answer is always going to be Sasquatch every time. Still, at least Troy Polamalu’s endorsements for Head and Shoulders actually make sense.
5. New York Yankees legend Babe Ruth likes to smoke Old Gold cigarettes after a big game.
Great job, Babe, that’s another way to be a bad influence among your young fans. Now I understand nobody thought anything about it at the time. But still, those Old Gold cigarettes can’t help your game.
6. When it comes to giving boxes of chocolates, Humphrey Bogart chooses Whitman’s.
Reading Bogart’s face in this ad, I don’t think he communicates an expression of thoughtfulness. Rather I think he’s trying to put on a straight face while wondering how the hell he got into this endorsement deal in the first place.
7. Sandra Dee always tans faster with Coppertone suntan lotion.
When it comes to suntan lotion, you don’t want something that gives you a faster and deeper tan. Because that’s followed by a faster and deeper burn. Also, is it just me, or does Sandra Dee look a bit like a Oompah Loompah?
8. Dolores Del Rio smokes Lucky Strikes and has her throat insured for $50,000.
Uh, I don’t know about you, Dolores, but I think quitting Lucky Strikes altogether is a better investment on your throat than a $50,000 insurance policy. After all, years of smoking killed Humphrey Bogart and George Harrison in their late 50s from throat cancer.
9. Fred MacMurray always enjoys the taste of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup.
Is it just me or does Fred MacMurray seem to have a psychokiller glint on his face? He just looks so terrifying as if he’s trying to hide his strong bloodlust behind his pearly white smile. Still, this guy wasn’t known for playing psychokillers. Having a romantic interest in psychokillers, yes. But that was just Double Indemnity.
10. When it comes to cigarette brands, legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson smokes Chesterfield.
Yeah, Jackie, way to go with encouraging kids to smoke. Just remember you’ll be an anti-drug crusader toward the end of your life and die of a heart attack at 53.
11. Dorothy Lamour always knows that Royal Crown Cola tastes better than all the others.
I don’t drink pop so I couldn’t care less about Dorothy Lamour’s soft drink preference. However, I am interested about where Dorothy Lamour gets her hair done. Is it somewhere in Whoville?
12. Liberate your eyes with Alice Cooper’s Whiplash unisex mascara.
Well, I think Alice Cooper having a unisex mascara line is actually appropriate. However, not sure what I think about him wearing shiny wrapping paper with electrical tape. That’s just weird.
13. Right Guard Sport Stick helps Hulk Hogan express his sensitive side.
Hulk Hogan achieved fame as a studio wrestler. I’m sure an ad showing him putting up a sweat in the ring would be more appropriate. So why they have him painting is beyond me.
14. Royal Crown Cola would like to congratulate on her Oscar win for Mildred Pierce.
I’m sure Joan Crawford will be a reliable spokeswoman for Royal Crown Cola’s product. That is, until a decade later when she marries the CEO of Pepsi. Also, didn’t have a great relationship with a couple of her kids.
15. Rock Hudson can always tell a Halo girl by the shine of her hair.
However, while Rock might admire a woman’s shiny Halo hair, he tends to go for the Halo guys. Seriously, Rock, we all know you did this ad while you were in the Hollywood celluloid closet.
16. Florida Orange Juice: the premiere citrus for 1970s homophobes.
This terrifying woman pouring orange juice is Anita Bryant, former Miss Oklahoma, pop singer, and the spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Commission. However, she’s better known as an outspoken opponent of gay rights and her 1977, “Save Our Children” campaign. Today the gay community continues to regard her name synonymous with bigotry and homophobia.
17. Ed Sullivan takes his pictures with his Kodak Brownie 20.
I don’t know about you. But looking at this ad, I find the idea of having my picture taken by Ed Sullivan as a very disturbing ordeal. Seriously, he looks as if he’s up to no good.
18. For Donald Trump, Trump steaks are the world’s greatest steaks.
Of course, Donald Trump would think anything’s the best in the world if it has his name on it. Even his awful orange hamster hair. Still, for the love of God, please don’t vote for this guy for president. This man is a repulsive human being who feeds off the worst of humanity. Seriously, I really hate this guy.
19. On his boat with Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart prefers to smoke cigarillos.
Yes, Humphrey Bogart smoked a lot in his life and movies, onscreen and off. Little did he know that all his years of smoking would lead to his death from throat cancer at 57. And it wasn’t a pleasant way to go either.
20. Ronald Reagan always prefers to smoke Chesterfields.
Guess he’s sure to regret doing that ad when he’s the US President during the 1980s. I mean didn’t his wife start a drug awareness campaign called, “Just Say No”? And here he is telling people to say, “yes” to smoking.
21. Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoys a V drink from Japan.
Man, Arnie seems to have had a horrendous taste in fashion during the 1980s. Wherever he got that outfit, I really don’t want to know.
22. Merle Oberon uses Tru-Color Lipstick for her lips.
You might not know that Merle Oberon was said to suffer damage to her complexion in the 1940s from a combination of cosmetic poisoning and an allergic reaction to sulfa drugs. It’s alleged that she went through some partially successful dermabrasion procedures. Let’s just say if she endorsed any cosmetics, I’d advise you to stay away from them.
23. These Major League Baseball players always want the very best. So they smoke Cheserfields.
Wonder how many of these guys died of smoker related illnesses like lung cancer and heart disease. Also, I really don’t think cigarettes could help their game.
24. It’s said that Vincent Price’s Chinese Chicken is inscrutably delicious.
Not sure if Vincent Price was a good cook. However, since he’s best known for playing horror movie villains, ask yourself, would you ever eat anything made by Vincent Price? Think about it.
25. For a square deal to your lungs, smoke Teddy cigarettes.
This one came from Norway so it’s unlikely Teddy Roosevelt ever smoked these (but he did smoke in real life like most men at the time). But the Norwegians seem to have an affinity for the man as you see here. Then again, he was an incredible badass.
26. Tyrone Power opts for milder Chesterfields.
Tyrone Power might’ve smoked Chesterfields but he also died suddenly of a massive heart attack at 44. Genetics might’ve been involved (his dad died at 62 and in his arms). But his smoking might’ve had something to do with it.
27. Spock doesn’t always drink beer. But when he does, he drinks Heineken.
Uh, Heineken, Vulcan ears don’t work that way. Also, I don’t think Vulcans drink alcohol. Then again, booze might come in handy whenever he’s going through Pon Farr.
28. Bill Cosby always enjoys Jello pudding pops.
For all we know, those pops could be filled with booze and roofies and aimed toward women he wants to knock out and rape. Just say no, when he offers you one. Seriously, just say no.
29. Howdy Doody’s favorite treat is marshmallow “crispy squares.”
For one, those are “Rice Krispie Treats,” to call them anything else is plain heresy for me. Second, Howdy Doody was a popular character from a children’s show, not some cowboy doll known to kill people in their sleep. Though I can see why people might make that mistake.
3o. Bill Cosby calculates with a TI-59 Programmable.
I wonder if Texas Instruments regrets this endorsement during the 1980s. You can say that about any company that’s used Bill Cosby as a spokesman.
31. Merle Oberon uses Pan Cake make up to look younger and lovelier.
Once again, Merle Oberon isn’t the best authority on make up products. Remember how I said she had cosmetic poisoning that ruined her skin complexion.
32. Sonny and Cher read the book that everyone’s talking about: The Bible.
Don’t really see Cher as religious. But I heard that while Sonny publicly identified as Roman Catholic, he had an interest in Scientology and took Scientology courses. He was also said to be kind of a jerk to Cher if you ask me.
33. Vincent Price always prefers Creamettes whenever he makes pasta.
Whenever Vincent Price makes pasta, you wonder whether anyone drops dead from poison. Or ends up in his special room of horrors. Seriously, I wouldn’t eat anything made by Vincent Price no matter how good of a cook he is.
34. When it comes to killing roaches, Muhammad Ali goes with d-Con Roach Traps since they kill without poison.
Apparently, the notion that Muhammad Ali will beat ’em up and not kill them doesn’t apply to roaches. To him, roaches are as good as dead.
35. Doris Day endorses the International Deluxe Series 56 Roller Compactor.
Doris Day was an actress and here she is on a steamroller. Which begs the question: how in the hell she’d know about steamrollers? The only people I’ve seen using them are PennDOT workers for God’s sake. Seriously, why?
36. Phillies Cigars present the Mickey Mantle Baseball Special.
Is it just me or does Mickey Mantle seem like he’s hiding something sinister in that glove? It’s almost like he wants kids to get these cigars for the cards and that they perish by smoking themselves to death.
37. For rich flavor, Dick Nolan smokes Camels.
I’m sure smoking Camels is going to help Nolan with his play on the field. All it will do is harden his arteries and clog his lungs with tar. Also doesn’t help that he plays for the Detroit Lions.
38. For Christmas, Sean Connery always enjoys the gift of Jim Beam bourbon.
I thought Sean Connery more or less enjoys martinis, shaken, not stirred. Then again, he’d probably go, “That’s not what your mother said” and act like his crass self on Celebrity Jeopardy.
39. Eddie Cantor likes to make whoopie and smoke Old Gold.
Uh, Eddie, I think you need to wash your face. Seriously, you really need to wash your face. Your blackface makeup is really causing riots among your black audiences. It’s virulently racist expression. For the love of God, Eddie, wash your freaking face! Jesus Christ!
40. Even Groucho Marx thinks that Frosted Flakes are g-r-r-reat.
For some reason, I don’t think Groucho is giving a ringing endorsement. Rather his face reads, “How in the hell did this creep get in here? Get me security.”
41. As Bob Hope said, drilling for oil is about as tough as sipping pop from a sponge.
Apparently, I’m not sure if the sipping through a sponge metaphor makes any sense to me. Could it be that getting oil out is relatively easy at first but as you get more out, it becomes harder to find? That might make some sense.
42. When it comes to underwear, J. R. Ewing prefers $3.oo hard cash and soft comfort in BVD.
While J. R. Ewing might prefer soft comfort in his underpants, he tends to pursue hard cash by making it harder for everyone else. He’s just that kind of Texas oilman asshole you love to hate.
43. Like Joan Blondell, Auto-Lite Spark Plugs have rhythm and perfect performance.
Not sure what Joan Blondell knows about spark plugs. But at least this makes better sense than endorsing a steamroller. I mean she probably drives a car. Still, spark plugs aren’t glamorous products.
44. When he’s in the ring, Jerry Lewis grabs the bull by the tail.
Uh, Jerry, you really don’t want to do that. For one, it’s considered an act of cowardice for matadors in the ring. Second, it pisses off the bull.
45. Orson Welles always enjoys drinking Paul Mason wine.
Yes, he enjoys wine that suits his large appetite. High caloric food and booze were his major weaknesses as he tried to slim down with crash diets, drugs, and corsets for his early film roles. But after 1960, he was permanently obese.
46. Boris Karloff is distressed that he can’t find his carload full of arsenic.
This was when Boris Karloff was playing Jonathan Brewster in the original Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace. This is for Northern Pacific Railway. Nevertheless, I think his arsenic would’ve been confiscated by security by this point. At least today.
47. Michael Jordan is really into his Ball Park franks.
I don’t know about you. But it seems like MJ is a little too suggestive while eating his hotdog. Makes me want to question whether which team he really bats for. Then again, he might really enjoy Ball Park franks.
48. Opera singer Patrice Munsel says that Camel cigarettes agree with your throat.
I guess this woman didn’t have a long career in opera due to her lungs being filled up with tar. Still, Camel cigarettes don’t agree with your throat. Nor does any tobacco products. And that’s not me talking. That’s science.
49. Who knew that Reggie Jackson drove a Volkswagen Rabbit?
And I guess Reggie Jackson is the guy on his team that everyone makes fun of for driving an ugly car. Then again, the 1970s weren’t a great time for car design. But still, neither Volkswagen or baseball have a great reputation these days.
50. O. J. Simpson gets his kicks with Dingo boots.
I don’t know what’s crazier about this ad. The fact that Dingo has O. J. Simpson as its spokesman even though the guy would later kill his ex-wife and her boyfriend. Or that O. J. has 3 legs.
51. Before Stevie Wonder would get in a car with a drunk driver, he’d drive himself.
I saw this poster at my school when I was a grade schooler during the 1990s. It made sense at the time mostly because when you’re that age, you tend to have no idea that Stevie Wonder has been blind from birth. Yes, riding with a drunk driver is a big mistake. So is getting in a car driven by a guy who’s blind like Stevie Wonder.
52. Smirnoff helps Woody Allen get out of his shell.
That seems like freaky photoshop here by the looks of it. Not sure if Smirnoff should’ve gone with a literal interpretation, especially if it makes Woody Allen a bit of a creep. Then again, he kind of is.
53. Even His Holiness Pope Leo XIII enjoys Mariani Wine.
Mariani wine was a popular 19th century drink that consisted of Bordeaux wine with cocaine. Pope Leo XIII was a big fan of the drink and had the Vatican award a gold medal for the guy who created it. Yes, you can’t make that stuff up.
54. Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds use Western Union to send a telegram to their mothers on Mother’s Day.
These two are the parents of Carrie Fisher who’d later play Princess Leia. However, they do seem like such a sweet couple. Too bad that Eddie Fisher would later dump the wholesome Debbie for Elizabeth Taylor. Surprisingly, Debbie and Liz seemed to remain good friends like George Harrison and Eric Clapton.
55. Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy would like you to drink some Coca Cola.
No, these guys didn’t consist of a mad toymaker and his killer gentlemen doll. Bergen was a ventriloquist and Charlie McCarthy was his dummy (though he does look quite creepy). Their show was very popular on the radio at the time. He’s also the father of Candice Bergen.
56. The Dionne quintuplets march on with Karo.
Yes, they may appear like little rays of sunshine. But beneath their faces lies a maliciousness that breaks out when you least expect. Avoid these killer cherubs if you can.
57. Groucho Marx enjoys Blatz beer.
Yes, I know Groucho Marx was a funny guy. But looking at this, he seems like he’s offering you a drink that probably contains poison. And he seems to hope that you’re too dumb to notice.
58. Edmund Lowe protects his voice with Lucky Strikes.
He’s another opera singer, by the way. However, you what would do a better job protecting his voice than Luckies? Quitting them. Seriously, there are plenty of smokers who’ve lost their voices that some of them had to have special boxes put in.
59. Buster Keaton enjoys Smirnoff Vodka.
Not sure if you’d want to Buster Keaton to endorse your vodka, Smirnoff. Yes, he’s a silent legend, but he suffered from crippling alcoholism during the 1930s which nearly ruined his life. How bad was it? Well, at one point he married his nurse during an alcoholic binge.
60. Bing Crosby advises parents how to handle teenagers.
So his advice is with Fleers gum. Wasn’t expecting that. Rather, I thought he’d employ some measure of physical or emotional abuse on his kids, according to a few of his sons. Not sure if I’d trust his judgement.
61. The loveliest women in the world take Ayds like Hedy Lamarr.
Ayds were weight loss candies they had back in the day. Unfortunately, they fell out of popularity in the 1980s with the AIDS outbreak. Guess Hedy might’ve regretted this endorsement by that time.
62. Elvira just loves a man with a hairy chest.
I guess she’s a bit into men who tend to be walking carpets. Also, Coors Light had a Beer Wolf mascot? Wonder what happened to him.
63. It’s elementary to know why Basil Rathbone enjoys Chesterfield cigarettes.
I don’t know about you but does Basil Rathbone seem a bit creepy in this like he’s some serial killer in the dark. Must be the lighting if you ask me.
64. Peter Lawford wishes he went to more parties that serve Heublein’s Cocktails.
Of course, Peter Lawford was known to have several failed marriages and chronic alcoholism. Died of a heart attack at 61 along with complications associated with kidney and liver failure.
65. Dennis Hopper is practically helpless in his bath tub.
This is a Japanese shampoo ad from the 1980s. Not sure why Hopper’s like this and why the water in his tube is a bright blue.
66. Phil Silvers always enjoys Smirnoff around the holiday season.
I don’t know about you, but something doesn’t seem right about Phil Silvers in this. Either he’s violently insane or just drunk.
67. Vincent Price wants you to wrap yourself in Emba Mink.
Yes, I know that Vincent Price is known to play creeps in his movies. And he’s certainly creepy in this one. But he’s more like the dirty old man trying to grope this young blonde than anything you’d see from a horror movie.
68. When they say, “Bloody Mary,” Julie Newmar reaches for Smirnoff.
Not sure who Julie Newmar is nor do I care. But whipping out a bottle of vodka like a gun, really? That’s just crazy.
69. Dragnet’s Jack Webb says it’s wise to smoke Fatima cigarettes.
Jack Webb was a radio personality. No, I’m not sure if he’s ever been in horror movies. Nevertheless, he certainly has a face to play a some slasher film psychokiller. Yes, I can totally see him murdering teenagers and he wouldn’t have to wear a mask.
70. Robert Goulet and Carol Lawrence always enjoy a Heublein cocktail.
For some reason Robert Goulet seems more focused on Carol Lawrence more than anything. Not sure if he’s staring at her boobs or her legs. Probably her legs. Yes, Robert Goulet is a perv.
Pretty cool to see these old ads. I remember some of them! They wouldn’t work these days- very politically incorrect- and unhealthy too!