Olympic athletes: The worst commercials

Categories: Film and TV
phelps.jpg
Hey you guys, the Olympics started this weekend. Just thought you should know.

For the next two weeks, we're all going to be glued to our television sets, getting amped up about sports we wouldn't normally watch, and vowing to name our unborn children after gold medal winners (shout-out to my two-year-old cousin, Apolo). But do you ever wonder what happens to all of those Olympic heroes after they get off the podium?

They end up pimping avocado for Subway.

Right this second, there are rich old dudes scouting which athletes they want to plop in front of the camera to promote their product to the masses. And while some Olympians have appeared in classy, tasteful commercials, there are a lot more that are not quite "Olympic-caliber."

This week, we decided to take a look at some of America's heroes-turned-sellouts. Hey, even Olympic dudes have got to eat, right?

Dan & Dave: The Olympics most famous non-achievers

Note to companies: Don't invest millions of dollars into a couple of guys who no one has ever heard of, unless you have already rigged the Olympics ahead of time (in which case, good hustle). 

Back in '92, Reebok infamously launched the "Dan & Dave" campaign, featuring American decathletes Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson. The campaign was actually pretty slick, and closed with the question, "Who will be the world's greatest athlete? To be settled in Barcelona." It was going to make Double-D (they were never actually called that, but it feels like a blown opportunity) the talk of the games. There was just one problem: Dan and Dave shit the bed.

Dan didn't even qualify for the team, and Dave limped his way to a bronze. More embarrassingly, however, were the dynamic duo's acting skills. 


Bruce Jenner: Huge OJ fan*

Before he was the creepy looking head of the Kardashian household, Bruce Jenner was the creepy looking 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medalist. And more importantly, a shameless product pusher: Wheaties, his very own workout DVD, and, best of all, Tropicana orange juice. What makes this ad especially awesome is the number of times B.J. (again, not a real nickname that we're aware of) nods his head while talking about the benefits of orange juice. Enjoy.


(*See what we did there? Because OJ Simpson's lawyer was Robert Kardashian. And now that dude is dead, and Bruce Jenner is banging his wife! Word play for the win!)

Tonya Harding has the energy to "go further"

To be fair, this is actually a step up for T-Hard (legal name) given the downfall she's seen since her figure skating shenanigans prior to the 1994 Winter Olympics. And in fairness to Texaco, this commercial is fairly epic. Mountains? Check. Scientists? Check. Tonya Harding looking beautiful? Checkmate.



Undoubtedly this year's Olympics will lead to a whole new crop of awful TV spots. We just hope one of them is Michael Phelps promoting adult braces. 



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2 comments
chris.lautenschlager
chris.lautenschlager

"Dan didn't even qualify for the team, and Dan limped his way to a bronze.'  This is a puzzling sentence.

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