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October 6, 2015


Watch Julianna Margulies in a McDonald's Commercial From 1991 (VIDEO)

by Chris Harnick, posted Aug 17th 2011 12:30PM
Julianna MarguliesBefore she was 'The Good Wife,' and even before she was an Emmy-winning 'ER' nurse, Julianna Margulies was an enthusiastic McDonald's patron. Well, in a commercial at least.

In this hilariously early 1990s commercial found by The Insider, Margulies shills for Mac Jr., a smaller Big Mac. She just wants a Big Mac that fits her appetite at a reasonable price, you guys.

Margulies pals around with two other actresses clad in oh-so-bright simple colors, seemingly pleased with their Mac Jr. for 99 cents.

'The Good Wife Star' isn't the only one who got her start in commercials. Tina Fey's 1995 bank commercial recently surfaced, proving she's pretty much Liz Lemon. Watch Margulies' commercial below, plus check out a few others featuring stars before they hit it big!

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'Oprah Winfrey Show' Finale Garnering $1 Million Per Commerical Spot

by Chris Harnick, posted Apr 12th 2011 4:45PM
Oprah WinfreyIt's no secret Oprah Winfrey is a major power player in the industry, but this latest news is still surprising. Commercial spots during the series finale of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' are commanding $1 million a pop -- yes, 30-second ads.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, that's close to par with the finales for beloved sitcoms 'Everybody Loves Raymond' ($1.22 million) and 'Seinfeld' ($1.42 million).

Last year's 'Lost' finale pulled in $900,000 per spot.

However, the 'Friends' finale saw advertisers paying $2.4 million for a 30-second ad. More than 50 million viewers watched the episode.

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Gilbert Gottfried Fired As Voice of Aflac Duck Over Japan Tsunami Jokes

by Catherine Lawson, posted Mar 15th 2011 9:25AM
Gilbrt GottfriedControversial comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried has been fired from his longtime job as the voice of the Aflac Duck in TV commercials.

The insurance giant severed ties with Gottfried Monday after he Tweeted several crude jokes about the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan last week.

In a statement, Aflac Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna said, "Gilbert's recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac."

Zuna added that, "Aflac Japan -- and by extension Japan itself -- is part of the Aflac family. There is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times."

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Choddies and Four Other Ad Clichés That Need to Stop Now

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 17th 2011 7:00PM
Stop The Choddy!You may not know what a Choddy is by name, but you've seen them everywhere on your TV screen.

They're not hard to spot: they're commercials -- mostly PSAs -- that have the same format: They depict a combination of people, shot from the waist up against a bland background, looking straight into the camera while giving a piece of the ad's copy. The ad is edited to make it sound like one complete statement.

Choddies are so pervasive that a website was created to help stop the trend. Stop the Choddy, which looks like it was set up by a consortium of creative types at small advertising firms and production companies, documents what the elements of a Choddy are -- apparently, one of them is the presence of Whoopi Goldberg -- and asks users to send in examples of Choddies found in the wild. Oh, and they also sell t-shirts and trucker caps. What's an internet meme without merchandising attached?

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Super Bowl Commercials 2011 Preview

by AOL TV Staff, posted Feb 4th 2011 4:45PM
Super Bowl commercials 2011

Super Bowl XLV is almost here, but more importantly, the Super Bowl commercials of 2011 are ready for prime time. (Actually, some of them have already made their way onto the Internet.)
This year's Super Bowl commercial lineup includes ads from Audi, Best Buy, Careerbuilder, Coca-Cola Doritos, E-Trade, GoDaddy, Pepsi, Skechers, Snickers, Volkswagen and, of course, Bud Light.

And since a good Super Bowl commercial often includes celebrities, look out for Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Roseanne Barr and Ozzy Osbourne, among others.

Check out some already "leaked" commercials, after the jump ...

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What Makes a Great Super Bowl Ad (and What Should Be Avoided)?

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 4th 2011 3:00PM
The infamous Leno-Letterman-Oprah ad from Super Bowl XLIV
On Sunday night, tens of millions of people will hunker down in front of their TVs to take in an entertaining pastime that has left people enraptured for decades.

And there's also going to be a game on.

Yes, we're talking about the ads during the Super Bowl, the only time during the year when a collective "Shhhh!" goes up when the commercials start. For over 30 years now, we've been programmed to expect big, ambitious ads during the game, and almost every year at least one or two get stuck in our brains.

But there are also hundreds of ads that have been forgotten, either because they went for broke and missed, tried to amp up the laughs to the opposite effect, or were just plain boring.

So, what are the keys to a good Super Bowl ad? What makes one suck? Follow us after the jump to find out.

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Best and Worst Infomercials on TV Right Now

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 30th 2011 11:00AM
Chaz DeanWhat exactly makes for a "good" infomercial? Aren't most infomercials "bad," even if the product is good? And bad products are sometimes showcased in highly entertaining infomercials. In fact, an entertaining infomercial is better than a really unfunny sitcom.

All that makes choosing the best and worst infomercials a little tricky. So this is a list of infomercials that are running right now, with their good points and bad points. There isn't a "best" list and a "worst" list, they're all a "best and worst."

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Do You Skip Commercials on Your DVR?

by Jean Bentley, posted Dec 22nd 2010 11:30AM
TivoTo fast forward or not to fast forward? That's the question faced by DVR users about eight times an hour -- every time yet another commercial break rolls around. Do you watch as if you didn't have the power to move time forward (woah, it sounds really serious when you put it like that), or do you zoom through those suckers on 3x speed?

Back in the Tivo heyday, one of the main selling points of the service was the power to pause live TV. The lesser-advertised benefit was the fact that an hourlong show took just 42 minutes to watch when you skipped through the commercials -- though it's understandable why they wouldn't be too vocal about that fact, since the networks (and their advertisers) would likely get cranky.

According to a report in The New York Times, Nielsen ratings for commercials in primetime shows actually go up by 44 percent when DVR playback within three days is taken into account. "Some people still say, 'Nobody watches commercials.' That's not true," said Patricia McDonough, senior vice president of planning, policy and analysis at Nielsen.

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Top 10 TV Commercials of 2010

by Pat Gallagher, posted Dec 18th 2010 11:00AM
E Trade Baby CommercialSince television first became available to Americans (circa 1947), people have been able to relax in the comfort of their own homes to watch a variety of programs – sitcoms, soap operas, sports, made-for-TV movies, variety shows, dramas, talk shows, games shows, reality shows ... well, you get the picture.

The one thing all of these programs have in common? Ugh! Commercials. But wait, hold the phone. Some aren't so bad and actually quite often serve a purpose. They use creative concepts to grab our attention, all while telling us why we should buy their car insurance, apply for their credit cards or watch their upcoming movies. Some commercials actually give us some comedy relief to go with our head cold or heartburn.

We looked back over the year and chose our 10 favorite TV commercials for 2010. See if you agree, then let us know which ones we missed!

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Vampire Weekend's 'Holiday' and Three Other Songs Ruined By Repetitive Commercials

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 7th 2010 10:00AM
Cover of Vampire Weekend: ContraAdvertising agencies are desperate to show that they're "with it," which is why they cram ads with the latest radio-friendly alternative songs. The songs -- the more emo-ish, the better -- give the product a sheen of hipness that no visual can convey quite as well.

Over the last decade, alternative songs on ads have become so prevalent that it is one the main ways I discover new music to buy. I would have never found Kings of Leon back in the mid-'00s without that VW ad featuring the song 'Molly's Chambers,' and Apple's relentless use of Feist's '1234' on an iPod ad made me go and download it from iTunes.

But, for the most part, the repetitive nature of advertising has ruined my enjoyment of a number of songs over the last few years, with no more egregious example than the song 'Holiday' by Vampire Weekend. This song is featured in not one but two holiday-themed ads this December, both of which are being played in heavy rotation. Those ads, and some more songs ruined by commercials, after the jump.

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Congress Bans Loud Commercials, 'Dora the Explorer' Actress Withdraws Lawsuit and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Dec 3rd 2010 11:30AM
Commercial volumeDid you hear that? Maybe not -- It's the sound of millions of Americans falling asleep peacefully with the TV on, then not waking up with a start when an obnoxiously loud commercial assaults their ears.

That's because Congress finally passed the bill that will make it illegal for companies to jack up the volume in their commercials, the AP reports. Senate already passed the bill in September, so it only needs President Obama's signature before it becomes law.

In other TV news ...

Caitlin Sanchez, the 14-year-old who voiced the main character on 'Dora the Explorer,' withdrew her lawsuit against Nickelodeon. She previously alleged that she was forced to sign an "unconscionable" contract without an experienced lawyer. [THR, Esq.]

Anna Chlumsky has signed on to play the chief of staff of Julia Louis-Dreyfus's vice president in 'Veep.' Also landing pilot leads were Dorian Brown ('Wilfred') and 'The O.C.''s Kelly Rowan ('Perception'). [Deadline]

The Oprah Winfrey Network got its first promo spots. The commercials star Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am and Oprah herself. [NY Times]

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Kevin Bacon Plays Kevin Bacon's Biggest Fan in New Ad

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 2nd 2010 3:00PM
Kevin Bacon plays Kevin Bacon's biggest fan in a new Logitech adKevin Bacon is not one of those movie stars that's above doing TV ads for American audiences; he did a really funny "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon"-themed ad for Visa in the early '00s and he got repeatedly rejected by Michael Jordan in a Hanes ad.

But there, Kevin was playing "famous actor Kevin Bacon." In this new ad for the new Google TV device from Logitech, Bacon takes it one step further, playing Kevin Bacon's biggest fan.

If this were just a random actor playing the 'Footloose' star's biggest fan, proudly displaying his needlepoint portraits of Bacon while surrounded by posters of his movies, the ad would be creepy. But because Bacon plays the guy, it feels even more creepy.

But, you know what? It's so creepy that it's circled back to being funny again. The ad and more after the jump.

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The Best Christmas Commercials of All-Time

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 30th 2010 8:00AM
Folgers adThere are two types of people in the world: those that love Christmas commercials and those that don't.

I've always been a sucker for all things Christmas, including ads, and I could watch them for hours. Actually, I just did! Here are eleven great Christmas spots. There are several you may remember fondly, and one or two you might be seeing for the first time.

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Is That Really Erin Gray of 'Silver Spoons' in a Pup-Peroni Commercial?

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 7th 2010 2:00PM
Erin Gray in a new ad for Pup-peroniIt might be stating the obvious, but actors are just like the rest of us. Just because an actor is famous for a role he or she played in the past doesn't mean that, when a job comes along in the present, they won't take it. Work is work, and for those in the acting community that are pragmatic, the paycheck is always welcome.

Still, it's disconcerting to see a familiar star of the past in a random ad in the present. This has been the case with a Pup-Peroni ad I've been seeing the last few weeks. In it, a woman takes a photo of her dog getting fluffed up at the groomers, and we see what the dog is really thinking: "This better not end up on Facebook."

The woman's face and voice were unmistakable to any fan of '80s TV: it was Erin Gray, who was the object of many a pre-teen crush when she starred in 'Buck Rogers in the 25th Century' and 'Silver Spoons.' The ad and more are after the jump.

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Behind the Scenes of Unilever's Retro 'Mad Men' Ads

by Kona Gallagher, posted Sep 3rd 2010 4:00PM
mad men smith winter vintage ad suave unilever
Maybe this happened to you: You're watching 'Mad Men,' and zipping past the commercials on your DVR. All the sudden, it looks like the show has started up again. Except, this isn't the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and these well-coiffed gentlemen are not ones that you have seen before. In fact, you're not watching 'Mad Men' at all -- you're watching a Dove ad.

Or maybe it's a Breyers ad. Or Suave, or one of half a dozen Unilever-owned products. Unilever, a multi-national corporation, owns over 400 brands. For this season of 'Mad Men,' they have chosen six to feature in minute-long retro vignettes. These vignettes take place in fictional ad agency, Smith Winter Mitchell, a slightly less-drunk version of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

Recently, TV Squad spoke with Stacie Bright, the communications marketing manager for Unilever, about how these vignettes came about, and what we can expect to see during future episodes.

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