Action stars and cold beers go together like Tango and Cash or Turner and Hooch, and just to prove it Jean Claude Van Damme has been sending himself up in the latest Coors Light ad campaign. With this in mind, THN thought it may be pertinent to delve into the archives for other beer-guzzling celebrity advertisements.
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There are certainly plenty of them out there.
Ah, who wouldn’t want to be Bruce Willis? Just hanging out with your macho friends and supping a refreshing Seagrams. And oh yeah, using the bottle as a microphone to sing a cheesy blues song? Dum de de dum dum, woke up this morning. Dum de de dum dum, thought I would make a fool of myself. That’s being harsh, though. We can forgive Bruce for singing on the porch, for serenading a scruffy, rough looking dog. We could even forgive him for (*cough* *cough*) HUDSON HAWK. After all we are talking about the man who gave us MOONLIGHTING’s David Addison and, of course, the vest-wearing, helicopter-killing, yippee-ki-yaying John McClane. Saying that, however, if Hans Gruber and his men would have seen this display of advertising cheese, then old John McClane could have just walked right through the Nakatomi Plaza, rescued the hostages and got out of there whilst everybody was rolling about on the floor in fits of laughter.
If Bruce Willis re-enacting a teenage girl getting ready for that big date is not your thing, how about visualising yourself as a pupil of Action Jackson himself, Carl Weathers? Using the power of Bud Light he would give you those life lessons that you need dearly – man up and bring the pain. Weathers, perhaps most famous for his role as Apollo Creed in the ROCKY movies, brings a certain level of dignity and old-time gravitas to the advertising campaign. Playing the part of a sports coach, you practically jump up and get to it yourself when he appears on screen. No more pen-pushing Dillon of PREDATOR fame, Weathers is about the business. And what is that business? Well, slacking and getting drunk seems to be the main theme. Not a bad idea but perhaps not one to encourage at the office. On the other hand, if Action Jackson says it… hey Jim, pass me that beer!
The (ex) Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, even gets in on the action saving the day in a Japanese beer commercial where, it must be said, the sight of a pumped up, Japanese-speaking Arnold is a terrifying thing to behold. You should see him laughing like a maniac, surrounded by like-minded Japanese businessmen. Now, Arnie, it could be argued, is the definitive action star – the main man. I don’t think it’s fair, therefore, to highlight anything negative about the advert. You could say it’s as overacted as a certain icy Batman villain. You could say that the whole thing doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense. You could even say that it’s a surreal and terrifying experience that burrows down to the very core of your natural fears and anxieties. I won’t though. For a Japanese audience – and, after all, that is who it is intended for – the advert is a spiritual journey, a comedy of unique perfection. Well done, Arnold. Your Midas touch has worked again.
Speaking of Mr Schwarzenegger, RED SONJA star Brigitte Nielsen has also flexed her advertising muscles with Carlsberg. Now, as we all know, Ms Nielsen is… erm, a real character. She’s an individual, content in herself and living by her own rules. She is after all an action star. Who among us would tell her she was anything but perfectly lovely and sane? If Ivan Drago couldn’t speak up to her, and would rather kill a perfectly decent chap like Apollo Creed (who should have spent more time training and less time slacking and getting drunk) than stand up to her, who are we to open out mouths? In that case, back to the advert where the magnificent and beautiful Ms Nielsen serves a bar full of sheep (it’s best not to ask) something to wet their beaks. The generously proportioned heroine ends the advert by removing a bottle top with her… assets. The scary thing is – it wasn’t even a twist top.
Coors Light is not new to the celebrity fad. A previous campaign had none other than John Wayne take pride over his love of the beverage. True, it was one of those posthumous CG affairs but, if anyone was going to drink beer, and lots of it, then it would be The Duke. The advert even had everyone’s favourite drill sergeant, R. Lee Ermey, appear as… well, a drill sergeant. Sounding off about the culprit who stole his beer, our angry sergeant (he needs to see Kelly’s Heroes Oddball about some relaxing techniques) berates the privates in line. His attitude soon changes when he finds the miscreant in the shape of Mr Wayne himself. With that laconic way of speaking and slightly off kilter walk the man is a perfect partner for the sweet taste of alcohol. If they do another one where he wears a Stetson and boots with spurs, they will have covered his two main characters – John Wayne in an army outfit and John Wayne in a cowboy outfit.
Who knows when the next action star beer commercial will appear? Perhaps Chuck Norris will turn up on the television with a pint of John Smith’s in his hand, or Dolph Lundgren with a half of Shandy Bass. Or perhaps THE EXPENDABLES 3 will be about a Heineken factory gone bust due to mob pressure.
We can’t wait!