18 vintage ads that featured your favorite TV celebrities

See Kojak, Wonder Woman, Spock and Bilko pitching everything from breakfast cereals to safety glass.

Television and commercials have always been together. Decades back, comsumer products sponsored and produced TV programs. Remember, they were called soap operas for a reason. It's no wonder that the stars of the small screen made natural spokespeople for American goods. Who was more trustworthy than Sheriff Andy Taylor? Would he really lie about his favorite breakfast?

Let's take a look at some vintage print advertisements that utilized familiar faces from Star Trek, Bonanza, The Twilight Zone and beyond.

Andy Griffith for Post Toasties Corn Flakes

Post Cereals sponsored The Andy Griffith Show, and its stars in turn pitched its flakes. Today, there would be fine print at the bottom of the ad warning people to not actually put their cereal boxes in the toaster.

Image: Belynda J. Shadoan via Flickr / Pinterest

Jay North for Rice Krispies

Dennis the Menace can't help but sneak a snack. Wouldn't a true menace take one from the bottom?

Image: Kellogg's via Vintage Ad Browser

Howdy Doody for Rice Krispies

The beloved puppet was a (paid) fan of the marshmallow treats, too.

Image: Kellogg's via atticpaper.com

Patty Duke for Breck

Cybill Shepherd, Jaclyn Smith, Kim Basinger, Farrah Fawcett and Erin Gray were all "Breck Girls" after teenage Patty Duke pitched the shampoo. 

Image: Breck via Classic Film / Flickr

Phil Silvers for Camel

The fine print at the top explains how Silvers smokes to relax while filming as the long hours can "get pretty rough" on the set. The British version of the ad featured different text.

Image: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco via DustyDiggerLise / Etsy

Dan Blocker, Michael Landon and Lorne Greene for Chevy

A true cowboy would get leather seats inside the Impala or Bel Air.

Image: Chevrolet via atticpaper.com

Betty White for Luzianne Coffee

Living legend White was between Life with Elizabeth and Mary Tyler Moore, appearing on game shows like Match Game, when she promoted this chicory enhanced java in 1964.

Image: Luzianne via clickamericana.com

Leonard Nimoy for Magnavox

We'd buy anything from Mustache Spock.

Image: N.A.P. Consumer Electronics Corp. via stillsoftime.com

Rod Serling for Interwoven Esquire Socks

"It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears, and the summit of his knowledge…" It is… socks?

Image: mrsdentonorahippopotamus.wordpress.com

Raymond Burr for E-Z-Eye Safety Plate Glass

Perry Mason sees things clearly.

Image: atticpaper.com

Lynda Carter for Sanders Boots

Give her credit for not rolling her eyes at that double entendre.

Image: bellybuzz.squarespace.com

Jack Klugman for Yoplait Yogurt

The man known as Oscar Madison helped intoduce Yoplait to America in 1979.

Image: Yoplait via The Jumping Frog

Ward Bond for Winegard TV Antennas

You couldn't watch Wagon Train without an antenna. You can still get Wagon Train for free today from MeTV with a digital antenna.

Image: Vintage Ad Browser

Veronica Hamel for Pond's Fresh Start

Long before she played Joyce on Hill Street Blues, Hamel was showing off her clear skin in the mid-'60s. 

Image: Pond's via Classic Film / Flickr

James Garner for Kaiser Foil

Maverick seems to have been a big fan of baked potatoes. Kaiser Foil also offered Maverick belts with "secret money pockets" to kids, as seen in this vintage commercial.

Image: bookscans.com via Pinterest

Robert Young for Sanka

Father knows best about decaf.

Image: Sanka via Riche Mosser / Pinterest

Carol Burnett for Blackgama Mink

Would you rather wear a fur coat or the curtain dress?

Image: Blackgama via Tim Cameresi / Pinterest

Dick Van Dyke for Kodak

Polaroid was none too pleased with Kodak's instant camera, "The Handle," and took legal action, leading to a major recall in 1986.

Image: Kodak via popsugar

Telly Savalas for Gillette

It was either this or Tootsie pops.

Image: Gillette via clickamericana.com

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TroyLowe 47 months ago
How about a follow up featuring sports celebrities like Pete Rose pitching a baseball training toy, Johnny Bench selling Hostess Twinkies or OJ Simpson hawking Dingo cowboy boots? Not to mention ABA stars Dr. J and Rick Barry showing some Jack Davis' drawn teenagers the fun you can have with Spalding basketballs?
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