10 Weird and wonderful celebrity car commercials

Sam Bisby

By: Sam Bisby

Here I take a look at 10 fantastic television adverts that have been delightfully constructed to be as baffling and barmy as possible. What were some of these famous folk thinking when they signed up for these? Thrown in for good measure are a couple that aren’t actually that bad!

George Clooney - Daihatsu Charade

This advert is horrendous! We’re not sure if it’s the stereotypical 80’s music playing in the background, the inaudible whispering that Clooney and his companion undertake or when the advert ends with Clooney seemingly stuffed in the boot with his face pushed against the window! This advert may make total sense if you speak Japanese however, otherwise like me, you’re just left wondering. 

Jennifer Lopez - Fiat 500 Cabrio

This advert is a little more up to date, whether that’s a good or a bad thing, I’ll leave to you to decide. J-Lo travels from Manhattan to the Bronx where she was raised before her rise to fame, describing what the tough streets mean to her. She saunters along fiddling with features of the tiny Fiat 500, dropping the roof, and letting her hair down. Inspirational. 

Jackie Chan - Mitsubishi Zinger

Another advert in Japanese now and this time its Jackie Chan in the frame. I like the fact that we can’t understand what the advert is about, as it makes it truly ridiculous. A blender is involved, multiple Jackie’s and a whole group of Japanese people crammed into the Mitsubishi people carrier named after a KFC burger. It’s a majestic piece of advertising. 

Tom Hiddleston, Ben Kingsley & Mark Strong for Jaguar

This big budget commercial made its debut at half-time of Super Bowl XLVIII over in the United States, and features three of the most quintessentially British actors around at the moment in former Ghandi star Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston from Thor and The Avengers and Mark Strong from Sherlock Holmes portrayed as British villains. I’d like to know what the United States Super Bowl audience made of it…  

Ray Charles - Peugeot 306 Cabriolet

Short, sweet and slightly unusual. The late Ray Charles stars in a French advert for the Peugeot 306 Cabriolet. I’m not 100% sure he’s looking where he’s driving, or if he’s driving the thing at all for that matter. But he seems to be enjoying himself anyway. 

Leonardo Di Caprio - Honda Civic Miracle

Before Di Caprio landed the role of Jack in Titanic, this is what he did. He drove around to an out-of-tune version of ‘My Only Sunshine’ with his Japanese girlfriend, causing mayhem in off-track Diners. I’m not sure how much he got paid for this advert, but judging by his excited young face, it was probably a fair amount! 

Matthew McConaughey - Lincoln MKC

The comeback king in terms of acting, McConaughey starred in three separate adverts for the Lincoln MKC compact crossover. He gets all philosophical on us, rolls what seems to be a bogey around in his fingers and has a stand off with a bull. All in a days work. 

Jean-Claude Van Damme  - Volvo

Jean-Claude Van Damme perches between two Volvo lorries and proceeds to do the splits as the two mammoth trucks reverse slowly back into the sunset. Better than his all-denim Coors beer adverts anyway, and let’s hope he wasn’t doing this stunt in those extremely tight jeans!

Charlie Sheen - Fiat 500 Abarth

Now I’m not sure if this commerical was ever actually aired, but it does feature the media loved money making machine Carlos Estevez, otherwise known as Charlie Sheen, the ad plays up the actors reckless and party loving ways and see’s him screeching through his mansion in a Fiat 500 Abarth whilst under house-arrest. The tagline for the advert states: "Not all bad boys are created equal", and not all bad boys have an estimated $125 million in the bank either! 

Matthew Broderick - Honda CRV

A cheesy ode to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Matthew Broderick himself stars in this wacky Honda-ised version of the classic film. Riding roller coasters and singing karaoke throughout the day before having his car stolen, which he seems totally unmoved by! You’d be furious if somebody had stolen your CRV, wouldn’t you? 

On reflection, after watching all those ads, I’m just left perplexed as to who does the crazier commercials… the Japanese or the Americans?