Throwback Thursday: Brands Who Booked ‘Em Before They Were Famous

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Television commercials–while they might be great at getting brands in front of consumers, they’re equally as good as getting actors to build a portfolio. In fact, many of today’s A-listers got their starts in various print and television ads.

Brands will pay big money to have celebrities endorse their products, but sometimes brands luck out, and the model they hired for an ad becomes on of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Check out these brands who brought A-listers to the small screen before they were famous this Throwback Thursday.


Cameron Diez–Coca-Cola



Well, this Coca-Cola commercial might not make much sense, at least audiences get to see a pre-The Mask Cameron Diez and her quest for a Coke.


Lindsay Lohan–Jell-o 



Ten years ago, Lindsay Lohan was at the top of her game, starring in films such as Freaky Friday and Mean Girls. While she’s had a bit of a bumpy road since then, who would have known the little freckled-faced, redhead would go on to star in some of the ’00s greatest teen films (with the exception of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, of course).


Robert De Niro–Ambassador



“‘Ey Mama”… Classic De Niro. This ad, perfect. I’m pretty sure this is the only thing De Niro has ever had to put in his portfolio to get any part he’s ever wanted.


Dustin Hoffman–Volkswagen



Before spending a summer with Mrs. Robinson, Hoffman shared the screen with a Volkswagen that had not one, but two trunks.


John Travolta–Army



Ten guesses where Travolta caught his Saturday Night Fever.


Brad Pitt–Pringles



Speaking of fevers, what on Earth is going on in the Pringles commercial; did Brad Pitt just steal a car? Not very philanthropic.


Matt LeBlanc–Heinz



Maybe it’s because I’m a Chicagoan and it’s a mortal sin to put ketchup on a hotdog, but this commercial is a hair scratcher. Apparently it wasn’t in the ’80s though as the ad actually won a Cannes Lions Award. Is it me or were you imagining that this wasn’t Matt LeBlanc, but Joey Tribbiani pre-Dr. Drake Ramoray.


Ben Affleck–Burger King



Before he was Batman– he was Burger-boy. Saving all hungry, female teens for mild hunger while flying under the radar as a typical high schooler. The story’s almost Oscar worthy–just like Argo.


Demi Moore–Diet Coke



Again, who knows what’s going on in this Diet Coke commercial, but Coke must have served up that can from the fountain of youth because Demi Moore hasn’t aged a day since she shot this commercial.


Dakota Fanning–Tide



Little Dakota fanning, these are the good role choices she made before Twilight.



Kristin Stewart–Porsche 911



Speaking of Twilight… looks like K. Stew has always had a forte for fast cars (cue Edward Cullen and his Volvo).


Cover Photo Source: vita khorzhevska

Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.