The BIO Five
Five Great Celebrity Endorsements
Thanksgiving has come and gone and, like any good bargain shopper, you're probably rushing to grab the best Black Friday deals. But how do you know which products are worth buying, and which are all flash? You might scan customer reviews, ask friends, or do heavy research on consumer watchdog sites. Or, you could do what the rest of us do: Rely on the kind words of our favorite celebrities.
In honor of this auspicious day of shopping, we dug up some of our favorite celebrity endorsements. Whether it's butter and pizza or pantyhose and airlines, these stars have a knack for turning on the smile and making you feel like you're buying only the best.
Richard Simmons – Air New Zealand
In a bid to do something a little different this year, Air New Zealand hired fitness guru Richard Simmons to show airline passengers that safety can be fun—and just a little sassy. One view of this in-flight safety video, and you can't help but chant "grab, click, pull!" every time you buckle your seat belt.
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev – Pizza Hut
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is held largely responsible for the fall of communism in the USSR. So it seemed natural that Gorbachev would show his countrymen the many advantages of their new-found, capitalist freedoms. While the proceeds for this commercial went to Gorbachev's charitable foundation, his promotion of edge-to-edge pizza toppings didn't quite resonate with Russians, many of whom were angered by his appearance in the commercial. The spot never aired in his home country, but it did show up on U.S. airwaves in 1997.
John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) – Country Life Butter
Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) is remembered for his unkempt orange hair, his disregard for the established order, and his oft-disputed role as the figurehead of the punk movement. Oh, and apparently he's known for one more thing: loving Country Life Butter. Lydon, whose anarchist attitude never quite made him the spokesman type, decided to do his first product endorsement at the age of 52, because the ad "was made for me and I couldn't resist the opportunity." His ad, which was disparaged by fans, only served to encourage other rockers to jump on the promotional bandwagon.
Hulk Hogan – Hitachi Bigflow
When you think of Hulk Hogan, it's usually in the context of sparkly wrestling singlets, oiled muscles, and his WWE war cry of "Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you?!" So you can imagine the surprise of seeing the Hulk in this Japanese ad for the Hitachi Bigflow Air Conditioner, filmed in 1991. Maybe this was the inspiration for his starring role in Mr. Nanny?
Joe Namath – Beautymist Pantyhose
Champion quarterback Joe Namath was known as much for his daring plays and passes as for his flashy, Hollywood style. He made a trend of wearing full-length fur coats and low-cut white shoes while he waited on the sidelines during game day. He made special TV appearances on The Flip Wilson Show, The Brady Bunch and The A-Team. And he always knew just what to do to make the ladies swoon and the men admire him. His camera-ready smile and winning personality earned him the nickname "Broadway Joe," a reputation he easily lived up to.
But his reputation didn't keep this 1974 spot for Beautymist pantyhose from causing a stir with the general viewing public. In the end, however, Beautymist sales sky-rocketed, and paved the way for future athlete endorsements.
Which celebrity endorsement is your favorite? Let us know!
World Leader, Government Official / 1931 -
Mikhail Gorbachev was the first president of the Soviet Union, serving from 1990 to 1991. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for contributing to the break-up of the USSR.
Animal Rights Activist, Athlete, Reality Television Star / 1953 -
Hulk Hogan was one of the most beloved figures in the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s, known for his flamboyance and the frenzy of his fans—Hulkamania.