2014 Super Bowl Ads: The Best and Worst Celebrity Commercials [Videos]
Like most things in life, the good can sometimes come with the bad. This motto can be even be applied to the highly anticipated Super Bowl ads that debut every year during the big game, one of the biggest sporting events in the world.
This year companies will dish out around $4 million for each 30-second commercial at Super Bowl XLVIII, making the Super Bowl the most expensive advertising event across the globe, according to Forbes. Many companies will also shell out big bucks to feature celebrities in their ads in order to help distinguish and validate their brands. However, using star power to help sell a product has not always proven to be a good strategy. Of course, there are a number of celebrity Super Bowl ads that helped elevate a product or service to another level, but there are also the times when that a celeb cameo has back fired on a business.
Here’s a look back at some of the best and worst Super Bowl ads featuring a celebrity in history.
Let’s start with the bad...
Last year, Go Daddy successfully turned off viewers with their not-so-funny sexist Super Bowl ad featuring super model Bar Rafeali. Not only was the ad criticized for objectifying women, but it also made fun of unattractive people. In the ad, spokesperson Danica Patrick explains that GoDaddy is both sexy and smart before Rafeali and nerdy guy named Walter makeout, making sloppy wet noises that grossed people out.
Another commercial that sparked negative feedback was Calvin Klein’s underwear ad featuring model Matthew Terry. The over-the-top ad illuminated Terry’s chiseled body and man parts, which according to some critics was too racy for the family audience.
Even though Fred Astair died in 1987, Dirt Devil decided to resurrect the deceased star for their red vacuum cleaner Super Bowl ad. Many people found the ad to be tasteless and morbid.
Back in 2002, Pepsi featured then 21-year-old pop star Britney Spears in their ad playing a Marilyn Monroe-like character in 1958. The ad seemed like a bad idea for two reason. At the time of the ad, Spears had yet to reach the status of pop royalty, so it seemed inappropriate for her to imitate the American icon. Then, within a year, Spears suffered a downward spiral when she got married and divorced in Las Vegas within 72 hours, shaved her head, went to rehab and lost custody of her children. Needless to say, Pepsi chose the wrong person at the wrong time to represent their brand.
Another celebrity Super Bowl ad that went horribly wrong was when Charles Barkley starred in a Taco Bell commercial in 2010. In the ad, he composes a poem called “Taco Bell rocks” and recites it while walking through a locker and into a city street. However, the nursery rhyme theme ad was less than amusing.
And now for the good…
There are a number of celebrity ads that made a good lasting impression on Super Bowl viewers and the brands that they were endorsing. For instance, back in 2011, Eminem tried to help give the Motor City an economic boost by starring in a non-traditional car ad featuring the 2011 Chrysler 200. The two-minute ad aired during the 2012 Super Bowl and delivered a powerful message that Detroit is resilient, tough and determined. At the end of the music video-like commercial, Eminem looks directly in the camera and says "This is the Motor City. This is what we do." The ad then ends with the words "The Chrysler 200 has arrived. Imported from Detroit."
In 2010, Betty White’s Snickers commercial helped relaunch her career into the mainstream. Months after the witty ad aired, White was featured on Saturday Night Live and made other high profile appearances.
While super model Cindy Crawford was in the peak of her career, she starred in Pepsi’s 1992 ad in which she chugs that soft drink in the sexiest way possible. ''It's beeeeyootiful,'' said the little boy in the commercial.
Back in 2005 Brad Pitt starred in a Heineken commercial where he risked a walk to the corner shop to pick up a six-pack as he's pursued by a madding crowd of paparazzi. The commercial aired around the time that Pitt broke up with Jennifer Aniston and began dating Angelina Jolie, making the final, mysterious phone call in the ad all the more intriguing.
And lastly, before Sean Hayes debuted in his starring role in “Will & Grace,” the actor appeared in an epic Doritos commercial in 1998. Actress Ali Landry also began her acting career in this Doritos 3-D commercial.