Sports Stars Embrace The Weird In Celebrity Endorsement Ads


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We’re all too familiar with the classic ad featuring a celebrity athlete: the sweat dripping down, the thud of music getting louder as the athlete runs faster, trains harder (usually in the rain/snow/heat), and wins the game. But what about the other side of the spectrum than the solemn or mundane?

Hollywood Branded takes a look at celebrity endorsement ads that show a different side of professional athletes like Rob Gronkowski, Blake Griffith, Odell Beckham Jr., and Todd Gurley.


Hollywood Branded Jolly Rancher, Kia, Fathead, and jetBlue

jetBlue: Rob Gronkowski

This ad spot features a fully-uniformed Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots, sitting on a plane begging his uncle, who also happens to be the chief pilot, to let him fly the plane since jetBlue is now the official sponsor of the New England Patriots. After he gets denied, he asks “Then what am I supposed to do?” Flash to Gronk getting down to some hip-hop music with a full light show at the front of the plane. The campaigns' hashtag? #GronkIsMyCopilot


Jolly Rancher: Todd Gurley

Being a rookie in the NFL comes with some playful initiation rites, like wearing a tutu as Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams rookie running back demonstrates in this ad from Jolly Rancher. “Being a rookie sucks,” declares the narrator as Gurley gets laughed at by his teammates. “Being a rookie sucks more with Jolly Rancher” the narrator continues, as TG pops a Jolly Rancher in his mouth and performs “I’m A Little Teapot” for the rest of the team. This commercial is so weird – and that’s what makes it memorable.


Fathead: Odell Beckham Jr.

OBJ, the New York Giants receiving prodigy, channels his inner nerd undercover as an IT nerd. As a cubicle worker’s computer goes wazoo, Beckham pretends to be the IT guy while assuring the worker he most definitely is not Odell Beckham Jr. He finds the “problem” and tells the worker to go to and orders a few Fatheads. As the spot closes, he reassures the worker, “Nah bro, I’ve worked here for years. I just helped Cindy last week.” We plan to see Cindy with an Odell Beckham Jr. Fathead on her wall, but smoking, sparking computer in front of her. She exclaims, “I… I think it’s still broken!”

Kia: Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin has been a spokesperson for Kia for a while now and has made doing silly commercials his mainstay. This particular one features a driver in a dreamlike world revealed as “the zone.” He asks why he’s there and Blake Griffin says he’s “in the zone” because he’s behind the wheel of the new luxurious Kia Optima. As to why Griffin is “in the zone” as well? Well because he’s in the middle of making a perfect PB&J of course.

 Humor Proves More Effective Than Anything Else

Humor can be real in an audience like no other – we’ve known that for years. But there’s something about seeing a professional athlete in that light that makes them relatable and hilarious that is so enticing. These celebrities' ad endorsements perfectly capture the out-of-the-box ideas they were challenged with portraying.

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