16 February 2012

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Top 5 Embarrassing Adverts Starring Rock Stars


Rock stars are notoriously cool. Aside from their uncanny ability to score with chicks and earn their ‘money for nothing’ (it’s a Dire Straits reference...ask your mum!) the rock elite are also respected – unlike average folk – for their blatant disregard for social norms and rebellion from mainstream culture.

Imagine the disappointment for many then, when their favourite rock personas turn up on the telly in adverts for products that they would not usually dream of associating with these musical heroes. Here are the five most shameful rocker-starring TV advertisements...

John Lydon: Country Life Butter




John Lydon – AKA Johnny Rotten – of English punk rock band the Sex Pistols shocked and bemused many people when he starred in this advert for Country Life butter back in late 2008. Lydon was highly criticised for this move considering his supposed punk credentials – Anarchy in the UK and butter evidently do not mix well!

Lydon defended his actions by claiming that he only agreed to star in the advert in order to raise funds for his dwindling side project Public Image Limited (PiL) which he started in 1978. Interestingly, Country Life butter sales increased a whopping 85% in the first quarter after the advertisements launch.

Iggy Pop: Swiftcover Car Insurance




Amusingly, this Swiftcover advert – starring the energetic Iggy Pop, vocalist for rock band Iggy and the Stooges – was later banned when critics realised that the ‘Stooge wouldn’t actually be able to receive insurance from the company, due to Swiftcover’s refusal to insure rock musicians full stop. An awkward mistake for both parties!

TV watchdogs also deemed its content as false advertising since Iggy stated “I got it Swiftcovered”, implying he had an account with the insurance company. Without car insurance, Iggy will have no choice but to remain ‘The Passenger’ (groan!)

Lemmy: Kit Kat




‘Ace of Spades’ Motorhead legend Ian Fraser Kilmister – better known as Lemmy – was just one of many celebrities that starred in this advert for the popular Nestle chocolate bar Kit Kat that aired in 2007 (other stars included Laurence Llewellyn Bowen, Kelly Brook and Roy Keane).

Lemmy can be spotted towards the end of the advertisement. Lemmy is in a tea room playing chamber music on a violin which is paradox to the brutality of the music created by his heavy metal band. Although some may criticise the mutton-chopped, mole-faced one for appearing in such an ad, the rocker claims that he has always been a fan of self-deprecating humour (and money too, assumedly).

Lemmy also starred in a commercial for Walkers crisps.

Alice Cooper: Staples




Eloquent Horror-rock superstar (and the world’s “most beloved heavy metal entertainer” according to The Rolling Stone) Alice Cooper appeared in this advert for stationary retailer Staples back in 2004 which comprised his 1972 ‘School’s Out’ anthem.

Mums around the world found the advert to be cute and witty whilst many a kohl-eyed teenager wept, smashed up their Cooper albums and locked themselves in their rooms until they found a new vaudeville icon to worship. Probably.

Ozzy Osbourne: World of Warcraft




Could you image Black Sabbath vocalist and Prince of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne settling in for an evening playing the incredibly successful MMORPG World of Warcraft game series? Considering the fact that he couldn’t even operate his TV remote (as seen on reality TV show The Osbournes) the answer to that is probably no! Despite this he starred in an advert for the online game in 2008.

The advert was amusing enough to see Ozzy receive minimal backlash from his fans.

A special mention of course needs to be given to Ozzy’s wife Sharon who starred in a Gala Bingo advert in 2006 during the height of her X Factor fame. We can only assume that this was Gala’s attempt to make bingo look glamorous and cool.





About today's Guest Writer:
The author of this guest post – Kat Cole – works in the business of musical instrument insurance with her specialism being guitar insurance.
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