The Tuesday 10: Footballers in bad adverts

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Jamie Redknapp – Thomas Cook

No stranger to ads, Redders was loved by everybody in those playful Nintendo Wii commercials, arguing with his dad and losing with humility to his missus.

Then he went and ruined it all with his latest Thomas Cook effort.

Proving he can do nothing without his better half, Jamie drags along Louise for 60 seconds of pure, unadulterated, innuendo-laden cheddar.

The oft-referenced ‘It’ is meant to be the perfect holiday, filled with such everyday fun as: the wearing of designer suits on the beach, the aiming of golf balls at passing watersports enthusiasts or the riding of disorientated stallions in the Barbadian surf.

The breathless cockney voiceover, however, suggests that the Redknapps' preferred holiday activity is something else altogether.


Pat Jennings – Unipart

You can imagine the scene in the Unipart marketing meeting. The team sat around a large table, bouncing ideas around for their next TV ad, wondering how to bring car parts to life.

One of the team nudges his mate before loudly suggesting: "How about we get Pat Jennings to dress up as an oil filter while we shoot black footballs at him? He lives next door to me, and he’s been having car trouble lately."

Now imagine his surprise when he's given a promotion, a raise, and is charged with the task of shooting at the Northern Irish legend in his lunch break.


Gareth Southgate – Pizza Hut

Unfortunately for the former England star, three embarrassing moments define his career to date – relegation as Boro boss, that shocking Euro 96 penalty miss, and the Pizza Hut advert he did to cash in on that shocking Euro 96 penalty miss.

The ad shows a shameful Southgate munching a pizza with fellow shootout villains Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle with a paper bag on his head.

When done, he removes it, heads for the door and hits his head against the wall.

Cue Pearce: "this time he's hit the post!" Priceless.

(Unfortunately those who haven’t seen it will have to use their imagination, as Southgate’s agent has obviously scoured the net to remove all traces of evidence that his client was ever involved...)

George Best – Milk

Adverts for generic, everyday items such as milk inspire many questions.

For example, who is the Chief Executive of ‘milk’? Who felt its image needed a boost?

And who, after deciding to use a TV ad to motivate kids to be healthy, chose a footballer who was in his prime decades before the target audience was born, and was renowned for his fondness of ‘the brown stuff?’

Neat animation, though.


Bobby Moore – Pubs

Ah, it all makes sense now. In a plot stolen straight from a Hollywood comedy, Generic Adverts Ltd obviously sent the wrong cars to the homes of Bobby Moore and George Best.

While the clean-cut image of East End legend Moore was clearly meant to promote the nutritional benefits of a glass of milk, surely Bestie was supposed to be the one encouraging the UK to "Look in at the local"?


Gary Lineker – Walkers

Old jug-ears’ association with crisp giant Walkers is legendary.

For a decade and a half, the face of MotD has also been grinning inanely from muddy potato fields, crisp-stealing missions and, most recently, buses full of naked people.

Some of these situations have even been for advertisements.

His links to the brand are so strong that in the late 90s, Walkers temporarily renamed the star’s favourite flavour of crisps to Salt 'n' Lineker.

'Links' has roped in several co-stars like Terry Venables (world-renowned title-winning coach), Paul Gascoigne (the finest English player of his generation) and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson (erm...).

The ad we've picked on shows Gary ridding himself of his ‘nice-guy’ image by preventing a greedy Gazza from nicking his scoff… the consequences for Gazza are painful, but hilarious.


Kevin Keegan – Brut

Years before King Kev’s mullet inspired a funny tickling sensation 'down there' in the male populace of Newcastle, Keegan was a housewife’s dream – a sex symbol, screamed at wherever he went.

Obviously disappointed to only attract the fairer sex, Mighty Mouse embarked on a 30-second mission to change all that.

How? Why, with this astonishingly homoerotic advert for Brut deodorant, in which he gets all sweaty with Henry Cooper.

Anyone else get tingles? No? Oh...


David Beckham – Motorola Aura

The face of Adidas, Giorgio Armani and Sharpie pens, Becks is happy to use his profile to sell anything that fits his image. And why not?

Thanks to his latest campaign for Armani (which saw him stripped to his underwear alongside wife Victoria on 40ft high billboards) and his missus’ high-end fashion label dVb, Becks’ golden nads are becoming increasingly jewel-encrusted.

While all of the above make sense – he kicks footballs, he signs autographs, and he and his wife are ridiculously good-looking – this ad for Motorola last year must have fallen in the "too much money to refuse" category.

In it, by holding a telephone which looks like a cheap bike light, Becks turns into the Terminator.

‘Nuff said.


Thierry Henry – Renault Clio

Cheating the Irish may have led to the boycott of Gillette shaving gear, or the destruction of cute little vacuum cleaners, but one thing stands out above all others – it tarnished the cheeky, fun-loving, nice-guy reputation established by the Va Va Voom ad.

But perhaps we should have learnt about the Frenchman’s honesty from this footage.

"Look, I don’t make the rules," he declares, as the £100,000+ per week striker drives around in a Clio.



Ian Wright – Chicken Tonight & Asda

Despite appearances on Live From Studio Five, Wrighty is no newcomer to toe-curlingly cringeable TV.

It's more than a decade since Elton John announced on primetime vehicle Friday Night's All Wright that he wanted to sh*g the ex-Arsenal man.

In his long career, Wrighty has been a frontman for Crystal Palace, Arsenal, England, West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Celtic, Burnley, Friends Like These, What Kids Really Think, This Is My Moment, The National Lottery Wright Ticket, Sing It Your Way, Wright Across America, Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack, Gladiators and Football Behind Bars.

But beside attempting a one-man monopoly of the light entertainment schedules, Wrighty has had no qualms at all about appearing in the bits between the programmes.

Years before Nintendo targetted the heartstrings by showing Wright playing console-footy with his adopted, the former Gunners goal-machine was the face of the nation’s cuisine.

Chicken Tonight: WATCH IT HERE

He willingly feigned a Tim Nice-But-Dim English accent and pranced around like a chicken to sell curry sauce, before taking his cheeky-chappie charm to his local Asda, where staff pretended they were happy for him to ruin their daily sales targets and terrify Health & Safety with a fish knife.


And yet, despite his willingness to do anything requested of him by a camera, he's still more widely popular than the suave Frenchman who overtook his Arsenal goals record.

There's a lesson there, Monsieur Henry. 

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