Doing foreign commercials is a great way for a famous actor or musician to make a lot of money in a small amount of time for a market that represents only a fraction of their worldwide audience. After all, it's not like these embarrassing cash grabs would ever make their way stateside. Until the internet came along, that is. Thanks to YouTube, we present to you 15 famous celebrities and the foreign commercials they cashed in on.
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Brad Pitt has been doing foreign commercials since the 90s. Of the celebs on these lists, he’s one of the few to hone his commercial projects down to a fine art, collaborating with high profile directors like Wes Anderson and Spike Jonze, who helmed the commercial for SoftBank below.
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Before Snoop “Lion” traded his integrity for Hot Pockets promotions, he made the following 2008 commercial for Germany’s VibeMobile. In it he plays a German folk singer named Roy Black. Surreal doesn’t begin to describe it…
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Eddie Murphy selling out for foreign territories? As a longstanding fan of Best Defense, I refuse to believe it. Unfortunately it’s hard to refute the evidence below. Check out the comedian hocking Toyota Celicas to Japanese TV audiences and remind yourself this is the same guy who thought making Beverly Hills Cop III would be a good idea.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger has done over 30 commercials for foreign territories (!), the most famous of which is a commercial for Japanese beer you can find below.
Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones may be known as an Academy Award winning actor to Americans, but in Japan he is also known as the spokesman for Suntory Boss canned coffee.
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No one will ever accuse Ben Stiller of turning down a paycheck. Just ask the makers of the Japanese Kirin beer he’s promoting below. It’s got everything you commonly associate with Stiller’s career—football, cheerleaders, and a product that’s so refreshing it traps its drinker in a sheet of ice. Truly, this is the culmination of the comedian’s collective artistic efforts.
Sean Connery did this Suntory Whiskey commercial at the height of his career. Fans of Lost In Translation will recognize the brand as the whiskey Bill Murray's character is promoting throughout the film.
George Clooney joins his pal Brad Pitt in promoting banks in the commercial below. However, the following ad is for a Norwegian Bank, not a Japanese one. I think you’ll find there’s a world of difference…
Kirin Beer continues to claim its celebrity victims with the next commercial, which sees Harrison Ford knocking back a cold one with dinner.
Julia Roberts reportedly earned $1.5 million for the commercial below. In it, she promotes Italian coffee brand Lavazza Coffee without uttering a single line. That’s star power, people…
Okay, he’s well known for doing commercials in the U.S., but Expendables 2 star Chuck Norris is reportedly leading the hottest advertising campaign in the Czech Republic for T-Mobile.
The House star has schilled for Schweppes, as you can see in the Spanish commercial below. Unfortunately, the company dubbed over his iconic voice, thus robbing the internet a chance to hear Laurie go bi-lingual. Curse you, Schweppes!
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Schweppes strikes again! This time with Australian beauty Nicole Kidman. In a rare celebrity sighting bonus, Rubina Ali, who played young Laitka in Slum Dog Millionaire, joins her.
During the height of his success as Rambo and Rocky, Sly Stallone was schilling meats in Japan. Based on the hair, you can date this one around the time of Rocky IV or perhaps Over The Top.
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Now, for the crown jewel of our collection—Nicolas Cage, the cinematic king of crazy, in a montage of Japanese commercials he did in the 90s for Sankyo. The commercials advertise the company’s pachinko arcade machines, which are sort of like slot machines that exchange silverballs for prizes. This detail will be especially critical for you around 1:16 in.