Friday, 31 October 2014

Unlikely Endorsements

Celebrities who lend their fame and standing to advertisers have featured here in the past but mainly as brand ambassadors for tobacco or beauty products – the nicotine jungle and the fragrant realm of cosmetics were the natural habitat for the Hollywood star in need of extra pocket money. Today we present a selection of some of the more unlikely product endorsements to cross our path. Starting with automotive products where the ethereal glamour of Madeleine Carroll seems a long way from the oil and grease of the motor service bay. No surprise to see Bing Crosby lend a hand – never known to turn down a request. Jack Carson (memorably egregious in Mildred Pierce) does his bit for Ford Trucks in a movie tie-in but Alan Ladd’s enthusiasm for the diminutive charms of the Whizzer takes some believing. In the home of two-wheeled monsters like the Harley-Davidson and the Indian Chief Black Hawk it seems almost un-American to sing the praises of the humble Whizzer. Food products were unfamiliar territory for the average star and while Gene Kelly presiding over a barbecue is quite credible, it’s difficult to accept the idea of Rita Hayworth preparing a round of sandwiches. Bing’s lugubrious expression suggests that the kitchen table is a long way from his comfort zone. Finally – we have Rita (a lady who hated to say no) again and Shirley Temple commending some very basic items of furniture before Ray Milland closes the show with some family fun with power tools. 

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