We’re two days removed from the Super Bowl and folks are still talking about some of the high-priced commercials that aired during Sunday’s extended telecast of the longest Super Bowl in history. Some garnered attention for cuteness, some for tugging at heartstrings, some for shock value and maybe even one or two got some attention for offending some viewers.
If you ask me, some NASCAR commercials put out there over the last several years are comparable, at least in entertainment value, to the typical Super Bowl commercial nowadays. Some of NASCAR’s finest have even turned into multi-part series of ad spots from products and services provided by NASCAR sponsors and even advertising NASCAR, itself. Anyway, it turns out that some NASCAR drivers can be pretty entertaining when you put them in front of a camera, away from their element, hocking their sponsors’ or NASCAR’s latest and greatest product.
Here’s a rundown of some of my favorite commercials and/or series of commercials featuring NASCAR drivers from the last 15 years or so:
– Everybody wants Dale Jarrett to race the truck. One of Dale Jarrett’s last sponsors before he retired from driving was UPS, and UPS wanted Jarrett to drive the truck, as in a UPS delivery truck. Fans also wanted Jarrett to race the truck. This series of commercials went on for multiple seasons and scenes included several fans and UPS executives trying to persuade Jarrett to race the truck. My personal favorite in the series featured a young boy threatening to hold his breath until Jarrett agreed to race the truck. I think a great idea in wrapping up this advertising campaign would’ve been to field a UPS-sponsored truck for Jarrett to race in a single Camping World Truck Series event. Just a thought.
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip teach each other a few things. This series of commercials aired sometime during the early 2000s when Waltrip and Earnhardt were teammates at Dale Earnhardt Inc. These spots were NAPA ads that would feature a seemingly serious Earnhardt explaining all the great things about NAPA he learned from Waltrip. Then, Waltrip would chime in on what Earnhardt had taught him, and it would usually be some kind of dorky demonstration of Waltrip trying to look “cool.” Of course, a Waltrip in front of a camera is always good for a few laps. See below:
– Aaron’s commercials featuring Waltrip and one of his drivers of the moment. The most recent series of these Aaron’s spots features Waltrip and part-time driver Mark Martin. The two drivers talk about how they’re different, and the differences seem to annoy the two. My personal favorite among these is the one in which Martin says that Michael’s car is so dirty “dogs won’t even chase it.”
– Speaking of Aaron’s and Waltrips also brings to mind the series of Aaron’s ads from several years earlier featuring Michael and Darrell Waltrip. These commercials centered around Darrell wanting to driver Michael’s “Dream Machine,” the nickname given to Michael’s Aaronn’s-sponsored ride. Each commercial featured Darrell getting creative in trying to convince his younger brother to let him drive. Even Michael’s youngest daughter, Macy, seemed to be ahead of Darrell in line to drive the “Dream Machine.”
– Kasey Kahne can bust a move. Admittedly, I wasn’t too fond of this series of commercials in the beginning. I’m talking about those Allstate commercials in which a group of women pretty much stalk poor Kasey Kahne. He just can’t get away from them. For me, these commercials got really old, really fast, but I admit, they won me over when they made Kasey dance in that silly-looking firesuit. I’m kind of surprised they were able to keep Kahne from blushing from embarassment long enough to make that commercial. Maybe it was makeup.
– How bad have you got it? NASCAR was asking fans that question a few years ago through its own series of commercials. In these commercials, the fans were the stars, and these fans had it bad. Spots ranged from a family climbing out the windows of the family car after getting home from a trip out, and I’m pretty sure I also remember one that involved a guy stinking up his bathroom and waving the yellow flag.
– Earnhardt does the Dew. In all fairness, this one started out as a Super Bowl commercial, best I can remember. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is driving his No. 88 Chevrolet through the desert, on the run from some strange looking characters. In the end, you find out that they were chasing him for some Mountain Dew when Earnhardt stops, climbs out of the car and says, “Just because there’s Dew on the car doesn’t mean there’s Dew in the car.” Actually, I think the one that aired during the Super Bowl featured Earnhardt carrying a camel through the desert. If Red Bull gives you wings, I guess Mountain Dew gives you some kind of super-human strength.
There are several others, too many to mention here. The commercials listed above are just the ones that came to my mind first.
What have been some of your favorite NASCAR commercials from over the years? Let us know on Twitter (@AutoRacingDaily) or Facebook (Auto Racing Daily).