5 Celebrity Endorsements That Ruined the Product
Most celebrity commercial cameos are pretty bare bones: a famous person shows up, talks about how awesome a product is, and leaves. They look cool, the product looks cool, and everybody's bank account looks especially cool.
Then there are these ads, the ones where cool didn't even go to die, because cool wasn't allowed within 500 feet of the studio. Products and celebrities alike looked like goddamn fools, and if the directors have ever worked again outside of backup night clerk at the local 7-Eleven, then the system has officially failed and the Illuminati should just obliterate us all and start again. Hopefully Society Part Deux will feature fewer terrible ideas like ...
Sprite: Pro Wrestler Sting Beats a Little Boy Half to Death
From the world's #1 absolutely-nothing-else-is-available settlement soft drink comes one of the most extreme '90s things in extreme '90s history.
Little Timmy answers his door to find Sting, pro wrestling legend and The Crow cosplayer extraordinaire. Sting's part of the Dream Come True Fantasy Foundation, aka Make-a-Wish for spoiled brats who don't let minor details like not being sick get in the way of getting their way. Timmy wants to wrestle a pro and, since the Rock was too busy Hollywood A-listing, he gets Sting.
Turns out he also got a pure sadist. Timmy takes a quick swig of Sprite, and Sting reacts by sucker-punching the poor child. He then proceeds to beat the ever-loving shit out of him. He throws him into glass doors ...
"It's OK, we have property insurance."
... violently slams his head into a nearby bannister, easily concussing the wee tyke in the process ...
And he worked hard for that D average. Thanks a bunch, Stinger.
... and slides him across the fireplace mantel like a desperado in an old-timey saloon, breaking plates all over Timmy's busted little body and covering his face with enough splinters to guarantee a lucrative future as Li'l Pinhead.
Timmy refused to pick up his toys the easy way.
No headlocks or armbars need apply -- this is 100 percent assault, not that anybody notices. The whole time, Timmy's parents just stand there like imbeciles, thoroughly enjoying the show (with Mom even whispering to Dad, "It looks so real"). They're about to drown under a continent-size batch of medical bills at best, bury their own child at worst, and it's too bad Sprite never filmed a sequel where the parents finally figure this shit out.
All of this has fucking squat to do with Sprite. Timmy's initial theory that "flavorless goop = Popeye-esque power source" proved futile because -- narrator's words -- Sprite can't "do anything but help quench your thirst." I hope Timmy kept that in mind during his horrible ordeal: "My lungs are seeping out my penis and my brain's bleeding out my nose, but at least my throat is decidedly unparched."
T-Mobile Czech: Chuck Norris Faints
Fuck the Meme That Wouldn't Die -- Chuck Norris is a real-life, non-superpowered badass ... which makes the ad he did for the Czech Republic branch of T-Mobile all the more puzzling.
There's no setup -- just Chuck Norris in a house with a very pleasant-looking Czech woman about to cook dinner. Either Chuck is an incredibly old exchange student helping his host mom out in the kitchen, or he's simply studying up for some shitball tax write-off that'll help him pay the mortgage without dipping into his 75th Solid Gold Cadillac Fund.
Whichever it is, he's about to learn how to cook a fish old country-style. Step 1: Instead of waiting for Big Mouth Billy to gasp his final gasp, or simply beheading, scaling, and gutting the slimy little guy until chewable, this gal chooses to bonk it over the head with a giant mallet.
"Would you like to do the honors, or are you an incredible pussy?"
Surprisingly, Ultimate Alpha Male Norris objects to bashing the poor fishie's barely existent brains in, and yet his cruel mother/co-star/captor insists on carrying out the bludgeoning. So Chuck does what comes naturally: He faints. No joke here -- his eyes roll to the back of his head like he's a sarcastic teenager and he collapses in a heap, no more an ass-kicker than a swooning fairy tale princess encountering a giant fire-breathing serpent.
If she had done it with a spin kick, he probably would've been cool with it.
When he finally wakes up, he finds Mrs. Roly-Poly Squish Head and her husband/co-captor lording over him. Mr. RPSH jokes, via the power of YouTube Captioning, that nobody on TV's really badass, because it isn't like Chuck Norris is a legitimate 10th-degree black belt or anything.
The narrator then mentions T-Mobile's "badass" new satellite TV service, the first and only time we're afforded any clue as to what this commercial is about. It could have been an ad for Jaroslav's Oversized Cartoon Mallets, for all we knew. And "Chuck Norris isn't badass, unlike our satellite service" is such a forced stretch of premise, even the most dedicated false flag conspiracy nut would laugh it off and tell the writer to go outside for once.
"Look who's finally awake! Do you need your Pull-Ups changed, big guy?"
Ziploc: Dom DeLuise Is a Fat, Gluttonous Pig
Ziploc bags are so ubiquitous, it's amazing that people get paid to pitch them. Especially when doing so backfires horribly and exposes the product's one weakness: fat fucks who eat everything in sight at literally the first opportunity.
Legendary actor Dom DeLuise, by now comfortably settled into his late-life role as a bearded Violet Beauregarde, wakes up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, since there's food in the fridge that he has not yet chewed. He then poetically sings the praises of leftovers wrapped in plastic bags, because this is the loneliest man on Earth. He's also staring at them lustingly the entire time, because he's also the loneliest being in the entire supercluster.
At this point, they're more condoms than food bags.
Not that Ziploc's freshness-sealing wizardry matters a single whit -- Dom wants nothing more than to clean out his fridge and use his stomach as the garbage can "tomorrow." Conveniently, the clock immediately strikes midnight, meaning it's technically tomorrow and thus breakfast time.
DeLuise is clearly addicted to food, so no way those leftovers of his were in the fridge any longer than a couple hours. Nothing could possibly mold up in that time, so fuck you, Product We Were Paid to Promote -- you weren't necessary at all!
"And if anything spills, I shall simply eat the napkin."
I don't know what implication is worse: that Dom DeLuise was the inspiration for the glutton from Se7en, or that whoever wrote this ad is convinced we're a society so full of gluttons from Se7en that a fat guy scarfing down second dinner before it had a chance to cool down from Round 1 is the true voice of a generation.
Pizza Hut: Ringo Teases Beatles, Gets Stuck With Monkees
Ringo Starr isn't just the Stephen Baldwin of the Beatles -- he's a connoisseur of terrible pseudo-Italian cuisine! He's also so, so alone.
Like all good ads, we have no idea what's on sale until halfway through. Before then, we're treated to the Little Drummer Boy spewing cockteaser lines that made a young Guy Who Founded Upworthy stand up and take notes:
"I'd do it in a second." Obviously. You've got nothing else going on, aside from your hourly nose-picking sessions.
"The fans will dig it." He's got a point. We embraced Wings; clearly, we'll embrace anything a Beatle touches.
"I just gotta get the other lads to agree."
"Normally, they just abandon me in the studio and get drunk several countries away."
Obviously, anybody with even a single working brain cell would conclude he meant "Beatles reunion," even though the coolest guy in the group was extremely dead by that point. Maybe he figured they could replace John with Julian and nobody would notice. No matter, though, because in an Earth-shattering twist, he didn't mean a Beatles reunion at all! Nope, he simply wanted to teach "the lads" how to eat their pizza stuffed-crust first.
Because if you eat the crust last, the filling changes to insulation foam.
Oh, that wacky scamp! Sadly, this was not a nefarious plot to trick Paul into burning the shit out of his mouth with boiling lava-cheese. In fact, Paul doesn't show up, nor does George. The "lads" that do eat pizza with poor Ringo? The goddamn Monkees.
So after obvious clues that scream "Beatles," they double-knock us in the junk with "bad pizza" and "Beatles for people too timid for 'A Day in the Life.'" Awesome; that's like your kids asking Santa for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and you stuffing New Style Ninja Tortoises in their stockings instead.
Worse still, it isn't like Ringo got us good -- he's as much of a rube as any of us. The poor guy looks incredibly dumbfounded at the big reveal, sheepishly bleating out "wrong lads" while the goddamn Monkees happily munch their pizza like it's the only meal they're guaranteed all week.
Spoiler: It was.
Country Life: Johnny Rotten Wants to Be Buttery
As some jackass pointed out a ways back, Johnny Rotten was more manufactured than One Direction. In addition, lying about the time of day might be the lamest definition of "anarchy" I've ever heard. But despite all that, he legitimately helped define anti-authoritarian punk for millions of people. The idea of him endorsing ANYTHING is bad enough, but when it's something as mundane as Country Life Butter, you quickly realize that God doesn't need to save the queen after all. She won.
Clad in stuffy, stereotypically British attire, Rotten lists all possible Brit-centric reasons to like Country Life, snottily dismissing them all because he's a rebel, doncha know. You probably just forgot after years of crappy new wave, crappier reality shows, and a fiancee-cidal bassist hogging the spotlight from beyond the grave.
Sir Johnny does not enjoy royal parades ...
And if his childish tiny flag-waving doesn't convince you of that, nothing will.
... nor does he care for whatever this, as it's clearly part of the fascist regime ...
Maybe cross-country child beating?
... and even the U.K. cows can eat a spotted dick.
So why does he even bother with Country Life? Because he likes the taste. That's simple and noble enough, though seeing Johnny goddamn Rotten wearing Ward Cleaver's pajamas while crashing in his kitchen and chomping on toast is enough to make any old punk trade in their safety pins for straight razors.
Bet Green Day don't eat fuckin' butter. They're real punks, man.
The only thing sadder than a Sex Pistol spreading his legs for Big Spread is that it worked. Country Life sales shot up 85 percent after this ad aired, proving there's literally no amount of dough we can blow without claiming we did so ironically. "It's anarchy butter!" Yes, and the proceeds went straight into the pockets of dirty capitalists, one of whom once commanded you to destroy everything.
Feel free to get pissed now.
Jason is a columnist, freelance editor, layout guy, and personal experience interviewer. Facebook or tweet at him if there's anything you'd like him to shamelessly and hypocritically endorse.
For more from Jason, check out The 6 Most Humiliating Public Failures by Celebrity Psychics and 5 Moments in Fake Professional Wrestling That Got Too Real.