Maria Sharapova, Andre Agassi, Michael Landon, James Garner, Dick Van Dyke and the Muppets, among many others, have hawked cameras and photo gear through the years. And not all of these commercials have aged gracefully. They shoot hippos, do they?
Watching tennis over the weekend led to talk of the current Ashton Kutcher ads for Nikon, and other celebrity camera ads through the years, including Maria Sharapova's Canon Elph and Andre Agassi's Canon EOS Rebel campaigns and the conclusion that celebrity camera ads, are almost to a one, kind of campy totally campy, no matter the product or era they reflect. Here's a small collection of commercials we found hanging out on YouTube:
Ashton Kutcher for Nikon
Celeb tweetmeister extraordinaire Ashton Kutcher packs for Paris with a Nikon D90 kit, some skivvies and not much else. His maid/assistant doesn't seem superdazzled by his goldfish video, but you will be!
Maria Sharapova for Canon
That's a whole lot of framed shots of Maria's fluffy little dog in this Elph piece. Note the ultra-subtle "Rebel" allusions in the dog's disobedience. That's deep branding!
Andre Agassi for the Canon EOS Rebel
Remember when Andre had hair? Could this commercial scream late '80s/early '90s any louder?
Before he was House, Hugh Laurie had a Polaroid
Ok, technically not a celebrity spokesperson ad, because this was very early in Hugh Laurie's career, but wow, what a shirt, what hair, and what great physical acting in this English Polaroid advert!
Avril Lavigne & the Canon EOS Rebel XSi shots in the Great White North
Not sure if these were ever shown in the US, but in Canada, Avril Lavigne is making memories with her Rebel. Anyone have any idea why these aren't playing down this way?
James Garner and Mariette Hartley for Polaroid
Nowadays, it's a good idea to ask permission before randomly snapping other people's children in public parks. (As a footnote, "Not Mrs. James Garner" and the Rockford files star were also victims of a paparazzi scandal way back when.)
The Muppets for UK Polaroid spot
Kermit and the gang hawk instant gratification. Even Statler and Waldorf are a little less grumpy in this spot.
Dick Van Dyke for Kodak
Ever the easy-going goofball, Dick Van Dyke loses the Kodak instamatic in his pocket in this holiday piece. Some Gingko Biloba perhaps, Mr. Van Dyke?
Michael Landon for Kodak Photo Paper
I for one remember seeing Michael Landon's mug at pharmacies and camera shops when I was a kid. Do you?
Ed Sullivan at Disneyland for the Kodak Brownie Automatic movie Camera
Things were different way back when: It's a black and white ad for a color movie camera. And poor Mr. Hippo!
We're sure there are other celebrities out there in camera ads either before or after their star turn. Feel free to leave a link in the comments below if you've uncovered one we missed!