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?
Raymond Burr for E-Z-Eye Safety Plate Glass
Perry Mason sees things clearly.
Lynda Carter for Sanders Boots
Give her credit for not rolling her eyes at that double entendre.
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