The 25 Funniest Celebrity Endorsements Of All Time
Celebrities using their status to sell things is of course nothing new, but you may be surprised by what some have endorsed over the years!
Below are some of the most brilliant celebrity endorsements of all time – even if the celebs themselves might look back on their product-hawking and blush.
25. Steven Seagal (Lightning Bolt energy drink)
Steven Seagal has had a pretty busy life. In addition to being a lifelong martial arts enthusiast who has taught countless students, he also found the time to become a bona fide actor and action star.
Seagal also put himself in into the record books, by becoming one of the first Americans in history to have opened and operated an aikido dojo in Japan.
Given how much Seagal has managed to pack into his life, it makes sense that when it came time for him to choose a celebrity endorsement, he chose a product designed to help you have more energy and get more done.
What doesn’t make sense, however, is the commercial he created for Lightning Bolt energy drinks, as it’s one of the most bizarre commercials out there.
In the ad, Seagal is seen happily sipping energy drinks in a Hawaiian shirt by a pool (already a weird combo) when a stunning woman walks up and starts chatting to him about the product.
How does Seagal respond? He pushes her straight into the pool of course! Then he picks up the conversation again when the woman’s equally hot sister emerges from the house to also talk about her love for Seagal and his Lightning Bolt drink.
24. OJ Simpson (Hertz)
OJ Simpson’s career trajectory has been a lot. Starting out as a famous American football player, Simpson went from sports commentator to actor to convicted felon.
With such a varied and controversial resume, it’s no surprise that most people skip over the time Simpson worked as the face of Hertz rental cars.
In 1975, while Simpson was still playing for the Buffalo Bulls in the NFL, he also made time to star in a number of commercials for the rental car company.
The commercials often depicted how the stress of going on vacation affects even superstars, with Simpson running through an airport trying to make a flight, before collapsing into a rental car with relief.
According to Simpson himself, it was his decision to star in these adverts, which gave him the upper hand when he later tried to transition away from American football and into acting.
However, he still had to make a marked effort to disengage from what he called his “clean-cut athlete” persona, in order to play darker and grittier roles. One might say he ultimately achieved that goal.
23. The Flintstones (Winston cigarettes)
Nowadays, the idea of a cartoon character advertising a brand that exists in real life seems completely ludicrous – especially when the product in question is cigarettes.
Not only that, but the idea that someone would ever greenlight a cigarette promotion in the middle of a cartoon beloved by children seems even more unbelievable and irresponsible.
With that said, despite how outlandish the idea seems that’s exactly what happened in 1961, when a Flintstones episode aired in which Fred and Wilma had a smoke break together.
The Flintstones was not the only television show in which Winston cigarettes appeared either, as the brand also popped up on sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies.
The Winston-Flintstones collaboration was initially supposed to be long-term, but one plot decision changed the course of Flintstones history forever.
Specifically, when the decision was made to introduce baby Pebbles two years later in 1963, Winston Cigarettes pulled the partnership, feeling that it would reflect badly on them to show smoking around infants, even in cavemen times.
22. Mikhail Gorbachev (Pizza Hut)
If you were to make a list of all the famous figures most likely to do a public endorsement of a fast food chain, former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev would probably be near the bottom.
Nevertheless, the politician made history when he appeared in a Pizza Hut advert in 1998, which was filmed at the instantly recognisable Red Square in Moscow.
As if that weren’t unbelievable enough, the advert features various Russian patrons sitting in a Pizza Hut in Moscow, arguing over Gorbachev’s political legacy.
After they notice him walk in and order a pizza with his (real-life) granddaughter, they go back and forth on whether he doomed the economy or freed them from totalitarianism, before concluding that at least because of him they have Pizza Hut.
Gorbachev is in clear earshot the whole time, making the whole advert feel strangely pitiful, since the political figure clearly just wants to eat his pizza in peace.
With all that said, by far the weirdest thing is that the advert aired all over the world, but did not air in Russia, for fear that Gorbachev would face serious backlash.
21. Ozzy Osbourne (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter have had more than their fair share of hilarious celebrity endorsements over the years, from Eva Longoria to the always shirtless Fabio.
However, none of the margarine company’s collaborations have ever drawn so much attention as when they called upon Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne.
By the time I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter asked the Prince of Darkness to put his name to the margarine brand, Osbourne was already famous for being far more than just a singer.
Osbourne had by that point become a fully-fledged personality, with his own reality TV show and appearances on various other talk shows and documentaries.
So when Osbourne agreed to appear on a Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter advert wherein he cracked eggs off of skulls and was lit up by the heavenly light of the fridge, it only added to the loveable and eccentric persona he had already cultivated.
There’s no explanation for the multiple Ozzy Osbournes in the commercial, though. Maybe having a cloning machine is one of the perks that come along with being a rock star.
20. Muhammad Ali (roach traps)
D-Con must have sold a lot of Roach Traps to be able to afford to hire boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who stars in possibly the most bizarre celebrity endorsement on this list.
D-Con promise to kill roaches without using poison, and we trust that they don’t also lay waste to floating butterflies or stinging bees.
By 1979, Ali was already a recognisable name worldwide, not just as a result of his sporting achievements but also thanks to his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War and his battle all the way up to the Supreme Court as a result.
After being convicted as a draft dodger and being stripped of his titles, by 1979 Ali was boxing again, and had also begun speaking around American campuses on Civil Rights.
His somewhat serious and political persona made it a little weird to see him advertising roach traps, but that didn’t stop him from doing a number of D-Con print ads, as well as filmed commercials for the company.
Then again, just around the corner was the 80s, a decade that would become famous for athletes taking on promotional work like never before.
19. Katy Perry (The Sims 3)
Nowadays, gaming is considered a pretty common and cool hobby, so collaborations between famous influencers and the latest console, game or accessory are everywhere.
Back in 2009, though, nerd culture still hadn’t hit the mainstream, so it was a pretty big moment when one of the modern queens of pop started collaborating with games studio EA.
Perry’s music was at the time at its most over-the-top and surreal, with her music video for California Gurls sticking like glue to the top of the charts and quickly making her sugar-coated aesthetic the latest trend.
There were numerous tie-in products for her latest album, from pencil cases to costumes, but maybe the weirdest of all was her Sims 3 package.
Sims players could buy an expansion pack that featured costumes, hairstyles and homeware all based around the candy world from Katy Perry’s California Gurls music video.
As if that wasn’t weird enough, she also agreed to re-record one of her songs into Simlish, the surreal and hilarious language spoken by the Sims themselves.
18. Kim Kardashian (Charmin toilet paper)
From reality show to marriage to (and divorce from) Kanye West, Kim Kardashian has been one of the most famous women on the planet for years now.
Kim is paid more per sponsored Instagram post than almost any other celebrity, and she and her sisters have created a media empire that has made their approval something all brands strive for.
However, while Kim Kardashian may be the epitome of effortless glamour and sophistication now, there was a time when not every brand on Earth was tripping over itself to work with her.
Back in 2010, Kardashian already enjoyed celebrity status, but she was much more willing to accept collaborations with products that didn’t perfectly align with her personal brand.
That’s how we ended up with the hilarity of Kim opening a public bathroom in New York, with an engraved glass key provided by Charmin, the toilet paper company.
Kardashian still looks beautiful and put together, but it is funny to see her get hundreds of pictures taken in front of a cute cartoon bear snuggling toilet paper.
17. Kathy Griffin (Squatty Potty)
When brands pick a celebrity to endorse their product, they tend to pick one with brand-friendly values and an easily digestible persona.
That means that comedians, particularly those who famously use edgy material and publicly flirt with controversy, are not often chosen to represent popular products.
That’s why it might at first seem surprising that anyone would choose outspoken comedian and actor Kathy Griffin to represent their brand, but if any product would be a good fit for Griffin to promote, it would be Squatty Potty.
No one was surprised when one Squatty Potty commercial saw Griffin marching down a busy city street telling people to stop being “so full of s**t”.
Despite Squatty Potty chasing an edgy tone in these commercials, they still eventually realised that Kathy Griffin was too much for them.
Griffin was unceremoniously dropped from the brand shortly after starting her partnership with them, thanks to a controversial stunt involving a certain former president…
16. Brad Pitt (Pringles)
By the early 90s, Brad Pitt was already an emerging heartthrob and well on his way to being an undisputed megastar, with hits like Thelma & Louise and True Romance under his belt.
With that said, every actor has to start somewhere, and Brad Pitt started by being the face of a 1988 Pringles commercial.
The deliciously 80s Pringles advert came out the same year that Pitt had his first-ever credited film role, as Rick in the Yugoslavian drama The Dark Side of the Sun.
The year before, Pitt began his acting career with four back-to-back uncredited roles, with appearances in No Way Out, No Man’s Land, Less Than Zero and Hunk.
So what do you do when you’ve worked your way up past playing unnamed characters in the backgrounds of scenes but aren’t yet ready for your first professional acting credit?
You get shirtless in a Pringles advert, and pretend to have a crisp-fuelled party on the beach with hundreds of other attractive teenagers, of course!
15. Mr. T (Flavorwave oven)
What’s amazing is that he’s managed to keep his brand recognition super-strong through multiple decades in the entertainment industry, even after diluting it with various product endorsements.
Maybe the weirdest of all T’s professional choices came when he decided to wholeheartedly endorse the Flavorwave oven, a product that hardly anyone uses today.
Mr. T gladly appeared in a shopping channel style infomercial for the portable halogen cooker, which promised “double the flavour in half the time”.
Sadly, this collaboration did not see the same success as the similar George Foreman grill, and it’s unclear how many people bought a Flavorwave after seeing the commercial.
However, everyone presumably got a kick out of seeing Mr. T in his A-Team get-up, while standing in front of a backdrop that showed various delicious-looking meals fading in and out of view.
14. Hulk Hogan (Pastamania)
When you think about the diets of professional bodybuilders and wrestlers, you probably think of grilled chicken, plenty of greens, and pounds and pounds of rice.
That’s why it’s so surprising that out of all the brands that legendary professional wrestler Hulk Hogan could have chosen to create at the height of his fame, he chose Pastamania.
Hogan opened his first Pastamania restaurant in a Mall of America in Minnesota, on Labor Day in 1995. The opening was hugely promoted by WWE on their live show Monday Nitro.
Unfortunately, the restaurant didn’t become the flagship for a highly successful chain that Hogan imagined, and it closed less than a year later in 1996.
Pastamania might have been Hulk Hogan’s own conception and passion project, but it was neither his first nor his last tangle with product endorsement.
Hogan was actually the first entertainer to be approached about endorsing what later became the George Foreman grill, but he apparently didn’t respond to the offer in good time, so it was rescinded. Hogan now has an energy drink named after him, as well as a line of burgers, nutrition products and even a beach!
13. Snoop Dogg (Hot Pockets)
When Snoop Dogg first started out in the music world, his reputation was that of an underground and gritty artist who wasn’t afraid to rap about uncomfortable realities.
It’s fair to say that Snoop’s brand has softened a bit since then, with him having done everything from cameoing in Pitch Perfect to releasing a Christmas album.
Snoop’s more comedic and laidback brand has translated into a spate of commercial appearances and product endorsements, with the most recent being his takeover of the UK’s Just Eat adverts.
It’s scientifically now impossible to hear Snoop’s rendition of the Just Eat theme, complete with food-related rhymes and puns, without getting the song stuck in your head for hours… and also getting hungry.
The precursor to these Just Eat commercials came much earlier in Snoop’s career, though, when he remixed his popular song Drop it Like It’s Hot into Pocket Like it’s Hot in 2012.
The parody and accompanying music video might have been a thinly-veiled advert for Hot Pockets, but it still went mega-viral, which is no surprise since it also featured a Hot Pocket in a fur coat and sunglasses rapping inside a microwave.
12. Penélope Cruz (Nintendo DS)
Penélope Cruz was at her peak one of the most famous actors and models in the world, racking up frequent photoshoots and appearances in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.
In 2012, it’s hard to imagine she had much free time on her hands, and yet she was apparently susceptible to the same hit hobby as the rest of us, at least according to the commercials.
Cruz was one of a number of celebrities who apparently could not get enough of the Nintendo 3DS, along with Beyonce before her (Bey famously harboured a serious love for Nintendogs).
Cruz featured in an advert for the portable gaming system that begins much the way you might expect, with the Oscar-winning actor lounging by a pool and passing the time by playing Super Mario Bros 2.
However, things take a weirder turn when Cruz loses a race to complete the level against her sister, and in doing so triggers a pretty embarrassing bet.
It’s weird to see a woman who both graced the cover of Vanity Fair and starred in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise dressed as Mario complete with a fake moustache, but that’s exactly what we get.
11. John Lydon (Country Life butter)
Some celebrities have always had a pretty family-friendly and brand-safe persona, so it doesn’t feel jarring to see them pop up in the advert breaks of your favourite TV show.
There are some famous figures, however, who definitely make you do a double-take when you see them promoting something, and the most famous example of this is John Lydon.
Lydon is most famously known as Johnny Rotten, the frontman of controversial punk band Sex Pistols, which is why it was so odd when he first began doing commercials for Country Life butter.
The juxtaposition was made even weirder by the fact that Lydon spent the whole advert rebelling against his previous persona, by wearing a smart tweed suit and waxing lyrical about his love of all things British.
Today, Lydon has deviated significantly from his original anti-establishment image, so it’s less surprising to see him espousing the benefits of a good cuppa and a slice of toast in between reruns of Murder, She Wrote.
Still, it was no doubt a bold choice on the part of Country Life to choose one of the UK’s most famous punk figures to pose in front of a field of cows for their commercials.
10. Whoopi Goldberg (bladder control pads)
There are some brands that already have such a huge amount of prestige, it actually confers value on the celebrity to be chosen to do an endorsement for them.
Whenever an up-and-coming model secures a billboard or magazine campaign for Burberry or Gucci, it’s seen as confirmation that the model has just entered the big leagues.
There are some brands and products, though, that will always be seen as less than glamorous and that rely on big-name celebrities to get the message out.
One of the best examples of this is Whoopi Goldberg, who at 55 years old decided to make a stand by teaming up with Poise bladder control pads to speak about the normality of incontinence in women.
As if wanting to make what could potentially be an embarrassing topic of discussion as grandiose and impressive as possible, Whoopi Goldberg talked about leak-proof underwear while dressed as some of history’s most legendary female figures.
If Whoopi Goldberg dressed as Eve, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra and even Mona Lisa doesn’t make the purchase of bladder control pads more appealing, then nothing will!
9. Jackie Chan (Woolworths)
Woolworths is an unusual brand. In some countries, it is a thriving company that brings to mind associations of luxury and financial comfort; in others, it’s not even operating anymore.
However, the fact that they have managed to succeed in some countries while failing in others, and that they have embraced such wildly diverging branding over the years, isn’t even the oddest thing about Woolworths.
By far the strangest thing that Woolworths has ever done came in 2008, when they created an advert to promote their incredibly low-priced jeans and T-shirts.
For seemingly no reason, the advert starred Jackie Chan, who called attention to the Woolworths mascots’ horrifying nakedness and then sent them away to buy clothes.
While one mascot went off in search of reasonably-priced clothes, the other one seemed to confuse the Chinese kung fu master with fictional Japanese karate master Mr Miyagi.
Not only that, but the other mascot returns with no jeans or T-shirts, and is instead wearing a WWE costume that he proceeds to fight Jackie Chan in. The advert is a roller-coaster from start to finish, and it’s impossible to guess how many T-shirts Woolworths sold as a result of it.
8. David Beckham (Burger King)
By 2012, David Beckham was way more than just a famous footballer – he was one of the most instantly recognisable people on the entire planet.
His face was on every magazine, he was in the headlines every other day and he had numerous fragrances to his name, along with a fashion collaboration with H&M.
As one of the world’s most famous people, seeing David Beckham pick up product endorsement after product endorsement was no surprise, but maybe the weirdest one of his career came in 2012.
That year, the professional footballer famed for his healthy lifestyle and commitment to exercise appeared in a new advert for Burger King.
How did they reconcile Burger King’s fast food menu with Beckham’s personal healthy brand? They had him promote Burger King’s range of fruit smoothies of course!
Hilariously, the advert shows Beckham being taught how a smoothie is made by a Burger King employee, only to be begged to take his shirt off when he makes the dumb mistake of turning on the blender without the lid, spraying himself and everybody else with strawberry.
7. Keanu Reeves (Kellogg’s Corn Flakes)
Keanu Reeves’ career has spanned decades, with the actor seemingly managing to take on more and more prestigious roles the older he gets.
Nowadays, he is most well known and respected for his work on the John Wick series, despite previously being associated most with the Matrix and Bill & Ted series.
In the late 80s, Keanu Reeves already had quite a few high-profile movie credits to his name, from Dangerous Liaisons to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
It feels weird, then, to see him around that time starring in a wholesome Corn Flakes advert, in which he does nothing more than eat a bowl of cereal and gaze into the camera.
We don’t often think of Keanu Reeves in the same pantheon of late 80s heartthrobs as Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt or Robert Downey Jr, but this Corn Flakes advert proves that he belongs there.
With his fluffy 80s hair and impeccable suit and bowtie, Reeves no doubt convinced a legion of teen girls to have Corn Flakes for breakfast the next morning.
6. Matt LeBlanc (Heinz ketchup)
A lot of people tend to assume that Matt LeBlanc’s acting career started when he burst onto television screens as Joey Tribbiani in Friends in 1994, but that’s not actually the case.
From 1987 to 1993, LeBlanc starred in numerous TV shows, from Married… with Children to Red Shoe Diaries (he also appeared in two Bon Jovi music videos!).
If you want to know who to thank for the future Friends star’s first appearance on the small screen, however, the answer is actually Heinz.
In 1987, a young LeBlanc made his television debut with a delightfully pointless Heinz ketchup advert, with the actor appearing complete with fluffy late 80s hair and a cheeky grin.
In the advert, a determined LeBlanc seems to want to avoid paying for ketchup on his hot top at all costs, so he balances an open ketchup bottle on top of a building and keeps it in place with a brick.
Then he runs back down to the ground, orders his hotdog sans ketchup, and gets the last laugh when a perfect line of tomato sauce falls out of the air. The question is, what happened after that? Did a whole bottle of ketchup empty itself onto the ground? Did he even go back to retrieve the bottle?!
5. Helen Mirren (Wii Fit)
There’s a whole genre of adverts that just consist of celebrity women in middle age selling some form of product designed to improve health and well-being.
Whether it’s Jamie-Lee Curtis selling Activia, Davina McCall showing you how thick and glossy Garnier allegedly makes her hair, or Claudia Winkleman encouraging everyone to use Head & Shoulders.
The stand out of this sub-genre of advert is definitely legendary actress Helen Mirren, who surprised the world when she went to bat for Nintendo in 2006.
Mirren endorsed Nintendo’s new Wii console, or at the very least Wii Fit, in a sweet and simple advert that still manages to be pretty funny.
It’s no doubt believable that Helen Mirren would do yoga or try to keep fit in other ways on the days she’s not required to be present on film sets, but the commercial is still unbelievable in little ways.
Why would Mirren have an alcove in her wall specifically for a Wii console? Why is the console not plugged into anything? Why is her living room so beige?
4. Bob Dylan (Victoria’s Secret)
Out of all the different kinds of celebrities, musicians tend to get the least amount of brand collaboration or product endorsement offers.
With the exception of pop stars sometimes repping a certain designer or promoting their own fashion line, make-up or fragrance, many musicians are considered too counter-cultural, self-serious or unpredictable to front ads.
It was surprising, then, that when it came time for iconic lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret to pick a celebrity to partner up with for their 2004 commercial, they chose a musician.
Not only that, but they chose a musician that you definitely wouldn’t traditionally associate with Victoria’s Secret at all: Bob Dylan.
That’s right, Victoria’s Secret released a lingerie commercial set in Venice, in which models dreamily wandered through old buildings while the romantic canals flowed past in the background.
Except, periodically, footage of the models gazing sultrily into the camera was interrupted by close-ups of Bob Dylan’s face, as he grumpily plays piano and looks vaguely confused.
3. John Cena (Crocs)
The whole point of advertisements featuring celebrities is to make the brand in question feel more aspirational and thus desirable to the average person.
Some brands already have a much more prestigious image than others, which puts some in far greater need of a celebrity ambassador to boost their clout.
Ironically, the less desirable a brand or product already is, the less likely a celebrity is to risk collaborating with it, and lowering their own reputation by association.
That’s why the collaboration between famously uncool shoe brand Crocs, and the lovable professional wrestler turned actor John Cena, is so delightfully surprising.
In fairness, Cena’s Crocs advert weirdly goes to extreme lengths to not mention Crocs at all. Instead, the ad just has Cena talk about his past experiences with bullying while he wears a pair of Crocs trainers that definitely don’t look like Crocs.
The idea is that viewers will get the association, as Crocs has historically been “bullied” as a brand, but it’s still a very weird approach to a commercial.
2. Justin Bieber (OPI Nails)
Nowadays, Justin Bieber is hardly the definition of brand safe. Shortly after his meteoric rise to fame came a spate of very public bad behaviour, leading to many possible endorsement deals vanishing.
In recent years, he has grown and rehabilitated his image to the point that he is slowly being approached by brands again, but it took a while for him to get back to that point.
This means that his prominent brand deals actually came right at the beginning of his career, when he was still a child pop star.
Many brands wanted to leverage the purchasing power of Bieber’s then-huge teenage girl fanbase, leading to his collaboration with OPI Nails.
Bieber released a line of blue, purple and silver nail polishes, which was called The One Less Lonely Girl Collection, in the most on-the-nose move possible.
There’s no telling how many teen girls showed up to Justin Bieber concerts with sparkly purple nails in the following months, but it was his first and last foray into nail polish design.
1. Tom Hiddleston (Centrum multivitamins)
When it comes to weird commercials featuring celebrities, there is only one advert worthy of taking the top spot, and that’s the Tom Hiddleston Centrum advert.
This advert for a multivitamin company aired in China and was received super well, even though many people have drawn attention to the fact that it’s actually pretty creepy.
The advert features an odd POV in which we wake up in the body of a woman, and walk downstairs to see Tom Hiddleston inexplicably making us breakfast.
We sit down at a table to eat, and Tom Hiddleston just watches, despite for some reason not having any of his own food to eat?
Last of all, it’s shot in the verticle phone camera format, making it feel even more like we have kidnapped Tom Hiddleston and are filming him as he goes about his day, working as our own personal assistant. Yikes.