6 Dumb Celeb Ad Campaigns
It's hard to imagine what the inbox of a celebrity, or, more likely, their representation, looks like. I'd like to picture that if you're Chris Hemsworth and you slide open the mail app on your iPhone, you are instantly bombarded with thousands of emails to endorse some company's shitty product for a ton of money. To me, that seems impossible to resist. If I was so much as a D-list celebrity, you would only have to offer me a 25$ gift card to Fuddrucker's.
I'd be on set for the commercial that day talking about how my dick is broken and weird, and the only thing that fixed it was DickGenixTM -- the revolutionary new pill that turned my dick into less of a weird mess. All I had to do was text "No More Weird Dick, Please" to the number and my dick was fixed.
If you're to assume that these celebrities are being constantly offered endorsement deals, it's hard to fault them for taking whatever comes their way. With such a storied history of bad companies choosing people who pretend for a living to sell their bad products, there is no shortage of insane celebrity advertisements to pick from ...
Bob Dylan - Victoria's Secret
Stop for a second and let yourself slip away into what you find sexiest. We're talking about the absolute apex of raw sexual desire. Something that gets you going unlike anything else. You close your eyes, you think of this thing, and boom, you've got a boner. You're there. Thankfully, if your idea of pure sex is a 60-something Bob Dylan, then Victoria's Secret was already way ahead of you. In this spot, a lecherous Dylan lurks around a cathedral and ogles some Victoria's Secret angels for a good 30 seconds. Forget how haggard and checked-out Dylan is here; it's even more absurd to pair the "sexiness" of a Victoria's Secret commercial with that voice. I'd more easily get turned on by a Steve Urkel deepfake reading the instruction manual for an Instant Pot than hearing those vocals beneath attractive women romping around in their underwear.
This is a prime example of celebrities using these endorsement opportunities to cash a check. It's a good look at the kind of disconnected performance that most of them devote to these pieces. Bob doesn't give a shit here. And that's somehow still evident on the face of a guy who's perfected the constant look of someone who's being forced to watch videos of their niece's piano recital off of an iPhone at the Thanksgiving table. There is undoubtedly an unspoken agreement between the ad agency and the performer when they go into this. Show up having not read the script, give your absolute worst effort, don't do anything that will cause a lawsuit backstage, and get your ass home filthy rich. The American Dream.
Helen Mirren - Wii Fit
One of these celebrity endorsements' calling cards is getting an actor to promote something that would be seemingly so out of their wheelhouse. Though it's an idea that's beyond dated and tired, you know that somewhere, some creative at an ad agency thinks they're the first one to come up with it, so it's how you get shit like Helen Mirren doing video game commercials.
This one sticks out because it's just so far from the realm of believability that I simply can't go with it. There is absolutely no chance that Helen Mirren had a Wii in her house prior to taking this gig. There's a lot you could tell me, and I'd suspend disbelief. You want to tell me that Michael Douglas is actually one of the top Rocket League players in the world, and he's currently suspended for SWATing some 16-year-old kid that scored on him? Sure. Hell, I'll even believe that Meryl Streep spends ten hours a day teabagging strangers in Fortnite, but I just can't roll with this one.
Helen Mirren doesn't have time for Wii Fit. She's busy doing Helen Mirren shit. Besides she is already the most absurdly fit old actor of all time, and the idea that these people with access to the top trainers, doctors, and drugs in the world would turn to a shitty piece of plastic to get into shape is beyond laughable. Want to know a little-known secret about how all of those superhero actors go from schlubby side characters on some sitcom to ripped enough to have the bowling gutter ab muscles pointing down to their dicks? The answer might shock you! It's something we all have at home. The key to getting absolutely stupid ripped is to just fire up your video game console, and you, too, can be the next Avenger. Just kidding. It's money.
The reason those actors can get action figure bodies in four weeks is that they can work out for six hours a day with a trainer, take bucketloads of … uh, supplements, and don't have to worry about going to a crushing retail job, caving, then eating fast food at one in the morning because that awful job is keeping them up, or just generally living a life that's in any way connected to the human experience.
Ronaldo - Face Fitness
Japan has become pretty synonymous with the whole bullshit celebrity plugs the kind of product you could only think up by lucid dreaming through a DMT trip. It's kind of their thing. But even still, one of these pairings of a celebrity with the delightfully-odd world of Japanese advertising breaks through by being just too batshit not to include. Enter Cristiano Ronaldo's spot for a ... facial fitness... device. Now, if you're sitting there wondering what the hell facial fitness is, I promise you ... after watching this device in action, you will have even less of an idea. Judging by what we're seeing here, it appears that the key to facial fitness is to absolutely throttle your teeth and cheeks by essentially grabbing a panicking fish off the deck of a boat and clamping down on it until your laugh lines go away.
Notice how they really only get Ronaldo to look around at everyone else using this device and don't show him actually using it. There's no doubt that his manager back at his team during this time caught wind of the experimental plastic tooth destroyer that he was about to plug and forbade him from joining the demonstration. There is something pretty hilarious about one of the world's top athletes ruining his career for an extra buck on a scam product. The dream of one day logging on to ESPN and reading the headline, Cristiano Ronaldo's Head Blown Up By Plastic Japanese Mouth Badger is second only to one of reading Aubrey Huff's Dick Blown Up After Taking too Much Promotional DickGenixTM.
Simpsons Bootleg - Russian Lottery
The fun thing about weird celebrity endorsements is that, in some cases, they apparently don't even have to be endorsed by the entity itself. Back in the '90s, Simpsons' bootlegs were a thing. They were everywhere. You could find a bogus Bart giving you attitude on a completely unlicensed shirt every 10 feet on any East Coast boardwalk, so it's no surprise that the sensation took off internationally. In this spot for a scammy Russian lottery, they match that shadiness by outright ripping the Simpsons with a slight Russian twist. And the results are ... damn awesome. Unlike any of the others, this commercial makes me want to give all of my money to Russian lottery games that will both bankrupt me and somehow give me less than 0% odds of winning.
This just makes me want more bootleg versions of celebrity or famous fake TV character commercials. I don't even think we're that far off, thanks to the rising ubiquity of deepfakes. Somewhere out there, a Polish bitcoin mining scam is about to roll out a one-minute commercial where a computer-generated Brendan Frasier makes millions by simply giving over all of his login credentials to this very trustworthy Polish web portal, sitting back, doing classic Brendan Frasier shit like pitching Encino Man 2 to anybody that will listen, and watching the cash flow in. It's even easier in a case like the Simpsons spot, where you just make slight tweaks to the character design and call it your own before having them shill something criminal. I'm sure Walt would be fine if you threw a mesh tank top and a pair of shades on Mickey and let him be the face of a Nigerian robocalling center.
Lil Romeo - Online College
It doesn't always have to be big-budget or big celebrity when it comes to the world of nutty celebrity advertising. Nothing better illustrates this than Lil Romeo's appearance in a commercial for a local online college. When you're a smaller company, you can't quite aim for the stars. Literally. You know who you are, and you have to know who best aligns with that reality. A Lil Romeo that's at least a decade removed from any minor stardom is absolutely perfect for the opportunity. You just have to wonder how far down the wedding invite list he was before it landed on him. I'd bet my life that Juvenile turned down this role and that Mystikal already had commitments on a commercial for a local pet shop.
Nothing will get you off of the couch and into a digital classroom faster than someone whose entire career was based on the fact that they were super young and doing the exact opposite of what kids that age traditionally do ... go to school. Lil Romeo's entire career was made by being outside of the classroom, not wasting away in Pre-Algebra, but instead running around at 13 on rap video shoots, proving that classical education is total bullshit. I'd happily currently trade my worthless knowledge of a few state capitals for the lone memory of drinking a 40 with Silkk the Shocker before I grew pubes.
John Goodman - Bullshit Mobile Games
The great thing about outrageous celebrity advertisements is that they don't appear to be going anywhere. Where there is a desperate celebrity, there is a bad product waiting to be endorsed. It's almost scientific how accurate that theory is. About as 100% guaranteed as another scientific hypothesis, where there is a Burger King, there is a divorced man crying into a half-eaten Whopper in the parking lot.
The commercial end of this is proven by a recent spot John Goodman did for Slotomania, one of those mobile time and money suck games that your aunt is always pecking away at. It isn't even that bad. They are at least very aware of the nature of these kinds of commercials and are swinging for the purely absurd with this one. They were even able to get a pretty kickass actor like John Goodman on board and had a stupid budget because your aunt will just not stop feeding this company money. If anything, this proves two things quite clearly, that your aunt has a crippling gambling addiction and has awful taste in ways to waste her time, and that as our technology is getting better in regards to CGI and effects, they will just be finding more nightmarish ways to feature celebrities in these commercials.
Sure, we could see if Ray Liotta would like to be in our commercial for hemorrhoid cream. Talking at the camera with those cold, dead, inhuman eyes that have been lifted and tucked through so much plastic surgery that you can't help but wonder if his doctor is Rick Baker. Or, because it's the 2020's now and our greatest fears can come to life right before us, we can turn Ray Liotta into a literal hemorrhoid, bouncing around inside of your asshole, screaming at your butt and banging on your ass cheeks, trying to break through like an orc at the gates of Isengard. Walking, talking hemorrhoid Ray Liotta is coming. There is nothing we can do but prepare for our future where every last one of our shameful bodily malfunctions is personified by an aging, desperate actor.
Top image: Playtika, Victoria's Secret