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Durban Sandshark

Your Favo(u)rite Olympic Tv Commercials

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I now return you to your regularly scheduled subject.

Australian 1988 gold medalist swimmer Duncan Armstrong--man, has it been that long, damn I'm old--tries in vain (in slo-mo) to reach for the phone to the strings of Vangelis' Chariots of Fire for a 2000 Telstra Call Return ad.

2000 Telstra Return Call Commercial Starring Duncan Armstrong

A French-Canadian McDonald's commercial featuring hearthrob Alexandre Despatie...and supposedly his family enthusiasticly supporting his diving exploits. I more than know he's got fans both straight and gay who think he's hot.

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A French-Canadian McDonald's commercial featuring hearthrob Alexandre Despatie...and supposedly his family enthusiasticly supporting his diving exploits. I more than know he's got fans both straight and gay who think he's hot.

Tell me about it. Mmmmmmmmm, Despatie, I'd take a dive with him any day!!!!

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I was hoping there would be those black and white Ray-Ban commercials from 1992 featuring Olympians like Janet Evans, Wendy Lian Williams, and Matt Biondi out on YouTube. But they're nonexistant there apparently. Hope they appear soon. In case you haven't known, Ray-Ban was founded by Bausch & Lomb, a former worldwide Olympic sponsor.

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Heavily promoted during the Athens 2004 in TV coverage around the world, these Adidas TV commericals made by 180 Amsterdam make current Olympians signed to Adidas, through the use of computer technology, seemlessly compete against Olympic legends to show that "Impossible Is Nothing".

Haile Gebrselassie Competes Against Himself in Atlanta

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Been dormat for a few months, but I'm bringing it now with about a month from Beijing. It's full steam ahead.

To re-start things off, here's a Nike commercial featuring Olympians Cammie Granato, Marion Jones, Landon Donovan, and Lindsay Davenport

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Whaddya know? I was going through a search since I was in the mood for resurrecting this old thread that's been inactive for a couple of years, and I thought it was gone forever on these boards. But it's still here! :) Let's get on with, especially now that, with You Tube links, we can paste them.

I'll start this up again by bringing up a couple of Olympic-themed commercials dating from 1988 in Seoul on NBC's coverage.

Kodak was a well-known long-time Olympic sponsor, as we are aware. At its height of it, Kodak utilized for several years since 1986 Cindy Lauper's hit from that same year "True Colors", a song later covered by, of all people, Phil Collins, for its True Colors campaign with different vocalists (in this case here, a kids' chior). This captures and focuses on the youth in the Olympic sports, repping the future Olympians and future glory. A later one appeared with all references to the Olympics removed and having completely different narration.

Looking at it now, I wonder, since many of them are now in their early 20s, have actually tried pursuing their sports the narrator mentions and were their names actual. Chances are these are toddler actors and models with twins used for filming of these commercials to comply with child labor laws with stereotypical names used to associate the sport people think of (ex: Uta Grunewald, backstroke swimming; Sakio Tanaka, volleyball; Bob Watson, rings). Nonetheless, this McDonald's 1988 Olympics commercial sure had some staying power; it continued playing for eight more years up to Atlanta. A shorter 30 second one was later used. This is the full one-minute version. Apologies for the tracking.

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The Dream Team 1992, inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame last year, is the star of this post. I got a couple of commercials to show you. The first one from Visa shows the first 10 of the members doing their NBA thing often in punishing methods, ready to intimidate the world with their skills and take no prisoners style. And visa thinks the Barcelona ticket sellers were tougher. Always putting down American Express. This was released when Clyde Drexler and then-Duke All-American Christian Laettner weren't yet named to the roster by USA Basketball to round out the 12. Besides, since Laettner was still in college at the time, the NCAA would throw a hissy fit if his Duke footage was shown at the time. He was named after his Duke career was over. Of course, the Dream Team brought global awareness of the NBA to an all-time high, later influencing foreign stars like Dirk Nowitzki, Nene Hilario, Pau Gasol (a Barcelona native), Rudy Fernandez, Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Yao Ming.

I liked this one. I always looked forward to going to McDonald's back in the summer of 1992 multiple times and get myself some of the Dream Team cups. Didn't get a chance to collect them all. I had Jordan, Ewing, and Drexler when I bought the Gold Medal Meal that included the triple cheeseburger and large fries. Sadly, I lost them under tragic and disturbing circumstances. Won't go into that. Hopefully, I'll find and collect them all on eBay.

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Been watching the Games for so long, most of my favorites have already been mentioned, especially the McDonalds Past Olympians ad from 1992.

There was an ad, I think from the 2006 Games, that I was fond of, I believe by Chevy, where you heard the trucks blowing their horns in the mountains and the sound of the horns eventually merged into the Olympic theme.

Oh and there's this ad, overly sweet as it is, that I liked from Beijing:

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My favorite is the 2008 Derek Redmond Visa commercial. I just about cried the first time I saw it. Some of my not so favorite would include the Vanessa Atler Reese's commercial (she never qualified for the games), and the Reebok Dan and Dave commercials from 1992. There was so much hype around these athletes and then they didn't qualify or win.

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I never saw that one. Cute!!

But who are those creatures?

I have no idea, they LOOK like they could have been based off a mascot idea for Beijing.

Actually, I think Coke missed an opportunity here. Their last commercial of the Games should have had one of the birds fly down, pluck a "twig" off the nest and fly off...

... and we see it land in London, adding the twig to the next Stadium for the 2012 Games.

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I do remember the Vanessa Atler Reese's commercial back then with her on the balance beam. Too bad she didn't make the 2000 US Olympic gymnastic team at the US Gymnastics Trials in Boston that was sponsored by Reese's that was selected by Marta Karolyi. Ironically, it was the beam that killed her dream. But Vanessa's commercial isn't there yet on You Tube. In fact, I remember seeing it during the Sydney Olympics NBC broadcast. I think she would've made them even better had she went. She retired shortly afterwards. A shame.

Dan and Dave Reebok will come later. It's way too obvious for now.

A 1996 Bud Light Atlanta Olympics commercial starring former UIC (Illinois-Chicago) gymnast Steve Peszek doing his thing to the gymnastics TV commentary at a bar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osXMt8KuUsU

They may be much maligned, including many posters here on these boards. But I personally liked a few of the apparel items. Welcome the 2008 Hudson Bay Beijing Canada Olympic collection.

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May I present to you the first non-English TV commercial featuring an Olympian. The following comes from Germany and 1994 bronze medalist in speed skating Franziska Schenk. Briefly interspersed with footage at the top of her speed skating game, she appears in a 15 second 1998 commercial for Golden Lady pantyhose explaining the focus she has on the ice doesn't always translate for men when she wears comfortable Golden Lady, which incidently causes a waiter to lose his attention to his guest as she walks by, smiling at the attention. There's another and longer Golden Lady commercial featuring her. But it's not on You Tube. Like with another (and more famous) German Olympic medalist also named Franziska, Schenk since transitioned into a TV personality like co-hosting the German version of the Guinness Book of World Records, hosting TV shows, and providing commentary for speed skating on ARD. I think Schenk is hotter, part of which why IMO is her short hair.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArgWWpewu2c

Here she is again. This time in a German PSA for rollerblading safety set in a Munster park that also stars Maik Ottemeyer, who is trying to his ultimate misfortune impress Franziska by showing off to her. Franziska of course shows how it's done and looks good doing it, channeling her speed skating roots.

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I always liked the John Hancock commercials from 1996 (I think); they used footage from Sarajevo from before and after the war - powerful stuff.

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I meant to say the "first non-English commercials here on this thread"...

Vancouver Dutch speed skating superstar Sven "What, are you stupid?!" Kramer becomes a laughingstock to his friends when his embarassing moment of his speed skating suit rips in the back after a victory and a world record gets replayed over and over and over again as a digital TV recording in this commercial for Dutch telecommunications commercial KPN's Generatie KPN digital TV programming service. Fellow Dutch superstar gold medalist Olympian from the world of field hockey Naomi Van As enjoys this moment very much in it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe_PUxGPUq4

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I always liked the John Hancock commercials from 1996 (I think); they used footage from Sarajevo from before and after the war - powerful stuff.

Me too. It actually aired in 1998 to coincide with the CBS broadcast of the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. Still, it's powerful stuff thinking Sarajevo brought the world together in the spirit of peace, sport, joy, and multiculturalism and descended into nationalism, war, violence, tragedy, sectionalism, hatred, and death years later for Bosnia to the long, hard road of rebuilding. It did indeed interspersed with footage of Sarejevo highlights. The ones talking here were kids at the time, thus illustrating the Olympics' deeper meaning. This Ernie Schenck-directed commercial was Emmy-nominated and shot over a span of 11 days. Now here it is. Hits home for me a little bit because I live in St. Louis, where there is a sizable Bosnian community. Really nice to see this again after a long time.

The same KPN commercial again. This time with Kramer, in a sense with this, having a chance to laugh at his Vancouver disqualification. But the Vancouver footage was seemingly tacked on.

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Vancouver was definitely not the first time the Royal Canadian Mint issued coins specific to the Winter Olympics when the Games were in Canada and acted as a sponsor. As this 1988 Royal Canadian Mint commercial promoting the Calgary Olympic coins can attest.

One of the Canadian government ads for Calgary 1988 touting the benefits of the facilities for futures Canadian generations and Winter Olympians as part of Celebration 88. You never saw them do likewise with Vancouver.

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Petro-Canada did this 1988 French language bobsledding preparation ad (with no dialouge) when it was a sponsor of the Canadian Olympic bobsled and luge teams airing on French language Canadian TV like on SRC, TQS, and TVA.

Yes, Petro-Canada, despite not being there as much back then in Canada, also did a glass set for Calgary too. Just like they did for Vancouver years later.

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A 2008 Mexican Coca-Cola commercial set at a Beijing karaoke bar promoting that you can get official Beijing Olympic glasses featuring the Fuwa mascots when you collect caps from any of the Coca-Cola drinks.

A couple of stuff from Regina's CKTV, a CTV affiliate, promoting CTV's coverage of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. One's a promo for the Canadian skiiers Rob Boyd, Brian Stemmle, and Karen Persie and the other is a sweepstakes for prospective spectators of Calgary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMJVwSB_cVM

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I just discovered this one on BBC World !

Nice Omega's one to celebrate Golf being back at the Olympics !

Edited by memorabilia

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Another Dream Team commercial from 1992. This time an animated one from Nike featuring all of the Dream Team players endorsed by the sports apparel and footwear behemoth--Jordan, Pippen, Mullin, Robinson, Barkley, and Stockton and the Nike Air Force 180 basketball sneaker. Thanks to the US Olympic Act of 1980, Nike, as a non-US Olympic team athletic supplier or sponsor at the time, was not allowed to use USA or Olympics with this commercial (that would be copyright infringement), but it could say Barcelona. Only reason why Barkley is a raving dog in this I can think of is ramping up the intimidation factor he possessed then.

This one is funny to me. This premiered during the Super Bowl in 1996. The following Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque Visa commercial has Hakeem Olajuwon ends up akwardly treating all the rival Olympic basketball teams for lunch at a fancy restaurant with the typical live classical music playing. His 1996 Dream Team teammate Scottie Pippen has to tell him that was they as Team USA "were supposed to eat these guys for lunch, not treat". The Dream ends up footing the bill with his Visa card. Accurate in how they got a few of the actual 1996 men's basketball participants right (Australia, China, Puerto Rico, and Angola). That is, the countries not the "actors" in them in terms of no Russia, Canada, Germany, or Britain (none of those actually qualified for Atlanta Olympics men's basketball)...except for the fact the Angolans don't dress like that coming from a southern African nation. What you see in "them" is more of the Nigerian traditional dress. This commercial was actually that show before the show's existence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lW2HpjNE5g

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It's realy funny because having the BBC as our olympic broadcaster I really do not associate ads with the Olympics. I cannot think of a single companies advertisement from the UK with an Olympic theme apart from recent London 2012 ones.

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