Pretty much everyone complains about commercials these days, but the industry is necessary for the economy and it keeps businesses booming. You can argue the theory that people aren’t complaining about commercials because of the endless amount we see, but how terrible and boring they are. We can debate that if each commercial was more interesting, people would complain less about it. Just look at the Super Bowl, as people actually look forward to the commercials. If we have better commercials, the entire world would be better off. Until we reach that point, we have to just DVR and stream things if we don’t want to watch second rate commercials.
When it comes to commercials, professional athletes are always a prime target to help promote a product. We decided to research and find some of the dumbest and cringe-worthiness commercials ever created in the United States. Some of these commercials are so bad we might actually think they’re good. We all have our cult classic movie films that we adore, but people think are dumb, so the same can be applied to these commercials so don’t get upset if your favorite one is on the list. We also warn you that after reading this list, you may become more prone to doing the dumber things in life. Enjoy!
15. Charles Barkley Goes Fox Hunting
Was fox hunting a thing back in the ‘90s? This commercial forces us to cry tears of pain, as the audience has to listen to Barkley talk in a gentlemanly way to promote a deodorant product. He’s telling us we need the “proper air,” yet the guy is riding a horse that probably relieved itself more than enough times to stink up the entire set.
Seriously, does anyone care about deodorant when they’re riding a horse, while hunting foxes no less? After his spiel of why you should use Right Guard, a woman rides up to him and smiles. As if hunting foxes is the perfect place to try and hit on a girl. This is just more ammunition for LeBron James to make fun of Barkley.
14. What Carmelo Anthony Did In College
This commercial is most likely the accurate portrayal of what most Superstar collegiate athletes go through during class. It starts with a professor going off on a topic, while Melo doesn’t seem too interested in the subject. He flicks a paper football into a basket and shows a pretty detailed drawing of himself to another classmate. The whole point is that Melo is a winner at anything, including drawing and flicking paper footballs.
When the professor calls on him for a question, the shot cuts to Melo spinning the product, Isotonix Champion Blend Plus, with his finger. The CGI is horrendous and Melo explains, “All you have to do is say this stuff works.” The entire class, including the professor, agrees and the commercial ends. We’re pretty sure Melo probably pulled the same theatrics in college when he propelled Syracuse to a national title.
13. A Tale Of Magic And Fire
Before there were several Colonel Sanders telling you how great KFC chicken is, they used celebrities such as Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson. The commercial begins with a very shady and dark gym, where apparently it’s a good place to eat food. Who eats food right before or right after playing basketball? We’re also a little concerned with how passionate and curious these guys are when they see Magic with a bucket of chicken. It’s on borderline obsessive stalking.
The cheesy line, “Pass the chicken, I’m open,” probably made the writer think he was a genius. It ends with Magic spitting fire, burning a basketball which somehow goes into a hoop that explodes. The Hall of Famer then says, “They don’t call me Magic for nothing.” Really, you’re going to gloat after you just destroyed the basketball hoop? Now no one can play ball.
12. Wilt Chamberlain’s Mother Knows Best
Most people might be embarrassed that their mother is talking about the time they were constipated and needed a laxative, but hey, that’s life. Not Wilt Chamberlain, however, as that dude did it with pride. Sometime in the early ’70s, Chamberlain and his mother made a commercial for those dealing with constipation. While his mom is talking, you can easily see her reading lines from the cards.
They would cut back to Wilt, who doesn’t say a word, yet has a big grin on his face while fooling around with a basketball. There is no background audio, so the whole thing made the story that much more boring. They also put white text on a white background, making it hard to read. That’s the ‘70s for you ladies and gentleman.
11. Converse Weapon
The mid-80s really kicked off the age of hip hop and rap, so what better way to stay trendy then have a bunch of NBA professionals rap to your product. Converse came up with a great idea to have the best of the best in their commercial, but looking back on it now, it’s probably one of the most cringe-worthy commercials out there.
Starting off with Magic Johnson was a genius move, as the guy was treated as a God back then. Then you have Detroit Pistons Isiah Thomas spit a line promoting the sneaker. Then things get hilarious as Frankenstein lookalike Kevin McHale puts a shoe on Thomas’ head and begins to rap. Mark Aguirre and Bernard King then come into the picture, but it ends with Larry Bird gloating that he won the MVP award. You’ve got to love the 80s.
10. Trailblazing The Auto Industry
This is the real reason why both these players left the Portland Trail Blazers. After being a part of one of the worst commercials known to mankind, both players couldn’t bear to be anywhere near McLoughlin Auto Mall. The obvious green screen background is a sure giveaway of a cheesy commercial and the post edit job looked lackadaisical.
You literally have the text being cut off behind the players and the third title for their names is grossly out of place. The song is also terrible and we’re glad Aldridge said stop, yet they keep it up a few seconds later. They tried to make the commercial more lighthearted with Aldridge laughing at the end, but the damage was already done. It’s another terrible commercial that will probably turn into a cult classic.
9. What Did He Say?
Before Delonte West was involved with a conspiracy theory that revolved around LeBron James’ mother, he was doing his duty as a professional NBA player by promoting up and coming games. For some reason, the producers of this video decided West should talk about what he used to do as a kid.
This commercial is a tossup because it’s either the funniest thing in the world or the dumbest thing ever. You got to give him props for talking the way he normally does, but the way he says wire hanger is comedic gold. We guess creative decided that shouldn’t talk about the up and coming game, but rather what West did in his spare time as a child.
8. Birdman Is King Of The Matress
The Mattress King takes no prisoners when it comes to the bed industry, that’s why they decided to hire a half-man/half-bird to promote their product to the world. For the New Year, the company wanted to let everyone know they were having a deal. They decided to show off how good their beds are by having NBA basketball player Chris “Birdman” Andersen go one-on-one with a high school kid.
While the commercial explains how much money you can save, a split screen shows Andersen schooling the kid. What does a bed have to do with basketball, we don’t know, but the commercial lets Birdman give his famous bird call. The final shot has Andersen and the teenager telling us how great The Mattress King is. Apparently, the company is a slam dunk every time….
7. Spurring A Vehicle
Nothing beats a bad commercial about the local community. San Antonio residents may have come across this commercial advertising Northside Ford several years ago, starring former Spurs basketball players Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal. It starts off with Splitter asking three teenage girls about a car.
Why he chose to ask teenagers who probably don’t even have a license or knowledge about cars is beyond us, but we’ll play along anyway. After a cringeworthy time-lapse, we find Neal in a car full of teenage girls. Splitter asked why he’s in there and Neal puts up the “I don’t know” hands. It then cuts to Neal using a monotone voice to promote the company, while Splitter’s mouth is wide open in the driver’s seat. You’ve got to love local commercials.
6. Italians and Pasta
Primo is all about Italian dishes and what better way to promote their brand than with an Italian native who’s also an NBA basketball player. Andrea Bargnani could have been something great, but things didn’t work out for him with the Toronto Raptors. The entire commercial praises Bargnani, as his work ethic and skills are attributed to the Primo pasta he eats. In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all because his career has tanked and it possibly has to do with him eating too many Primo products.
After cutting to shots of him making easy buckets in a gym alone, the commercial focuses on Bargnani sitting down and eating his pasta. He takes his fork, gets a noodle or two, looks at the camera and says, “Primo pasta and sauce.” He doesn’t even take a bite and it immediately cuts away from him to Primo’s slogan.
5. Before There Was Subway
There are some great old school commercials and then there are some really terrible ones. This horrendous commercial falls in the terrible half. In 1991, Chicago Bulls Scottie Pippen was trying to make it in the commercial world. He had seen how well his teammate Michael Jordan was doing in commercials and figured he could be Like Mike. In comes Mr. Submarine.
The overhead shot of Chicago mixed in with graphics and the audio of the company’s slogan isn’t that bad, but it got worse. Pippen is seen dribbling up a court and then two cheerleaders that needed third titles for their names appear with a six-foot sub. It gets worse as all three sit in the middle of the court eating their subs and we don’t get why they’re not using a table? Pippen slam dunking a basketball that turns into a sub sandwich is the icing on the cake for the terrible graphics.
4. Larry Bird The Salesman
What’s with local car commercials and basketball players? It’s as if fate will always have them together. This 1985 car commercial involving Larry Bird is one of the most boring and low energy performances ever seen on television. Bird shows no enthusiasm in explaining why Rodman Car Dealership is amazing. The first two seconds of the commercial show Bird in a blank state before he starts his cue.
It’s not funny if you’re faking smiling Bird. The wide shot shows Bird so far away you can’t even make out his face. We understand they needed to show off the car, however, at least bring the guy a little closer. It ends with Bird saying he’s sorry because he’d rather own the car than sell it… Guaranteed he would sell it in a heartbeat.
3. Did They Just Hit On Me?
If these two stayed together with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who knows how much damage they could have done in the league. Before the split, the duo did a commercial for the ESPN Magazine that was coming out in March of 1998. We’re still confused as to why Marbury looks like he wants to have intercourse with the camera for the entire commercial.
They also talk about not having thongs or bikinis in the magazine, but just substance. I guess ESPN didn’t hear their cries as their Body Issue mags are probably their hottest selling publication to date. We’re just wondering why they are trying to act like Rico Suave when selling sports literature. It’s probably the worst ESPN commercial involving basketball players of all time and everyone’s IQ probably dropped a point or two after watching it.
2. Smash The Competition
This commercial is so bad that it might also the greatest thing ever made. While Los Angeles center, Timofey Mozgov, was with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he made a commercial for a local brewery and restaurant called Brew Garden in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. Not only does he smash an assortment of food, but he’s also wearing his jersey backwards.
You can compare the production level to that of a Division II college and his accent is brutal. We’re not hating on the Russian native, but it’s like Ivan Drago telling us to drink some beer. The best part of the commercial is Mozgov’s eyes looking away to a teleprompter for his lines. The commercial starts out great when he smashes some assorted food, however, it falls flat right after.
1. He Shoots…. Air Ball!
If you enjoy tripping on psychedelic drugs, this commercial is a gold mine to get you laughing and bugging out. Spike Lee arguably made the greatest basketball commercial ever with Michael Jordan, but he completely failed when he teamed up with Tim Hardaway in 1992. The court they use is straight out of a Nickelodeon cartoon and we doubt anyone could ever play on it due to the sheer brightness.
The hilarious part is Lee talking about how ugly everything Hardaway does, from his release of the ball to the spin of it. Maybe he should have noted the ugly setting and lines after he shamefully promotes both of his movies at the end of the commercial. This commcercial is number one because they had a large budget, an award-winning director, and still made a mess of it.
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