Formula 1 and TV advertisements are like a match made in heaven for big-wig business, marketing and advertising executives. In reality, however, F1 stars on TV is more awkward to watch than a I slept with my brother’s, girlfriend’s mum episode of Jeremy Kyle.
Driver contracts are packed full of sponsor and public appearance agreements, which is why we will continue to endure such adverts for a while yet. So to celebrate the cringe that is F1 stars in ads, here are the six worst ads with F1 stars:
1. Mark Webber – Canberra Milk
You’d never know it, but soon-to-be-retired Webber’s a dab hand at singing. Actually, that’s a lie as you’re about to hear in this classic advert for Canberra Milk.
2. Jenson Button – Head and Shoulders
All that driving must play havoc with a racing driver’s hair. Thankfully for Button, Head and Shoulders has the perfect product for him. What isn’t so perfect is this painfully awkward – particularly the “wow, it’s bracing” line – 30 seconds of TV hell. It was rightfully voted as the worst celebrity endorsement avert by Campaign magazine and it’s easy to see why.
3. Schumacher and Rosberg – Mercedes
Mercedes was renowned for casting current racer Nico Rosberg and former driver Michael Schumacher in its advertisements. This one is perhaps the worst. One positive is that they barely talk, but the concept is just down-right cheesy; your wife is going into labour and you come across an F1 race winner and a seven time world champion. On the same road. Which do you choose to take you to the hospital? Cringe to your hearts content…
4. Hill and Walker – Pizza Hut
Damon Hill and Murray Walker are good mates. But appearing together in an advert takes that to a whole new level. Murray just can’t get out of commentator mode, leaving Damon Hill deeply irritated. It’s so bad it’s funny but a good effort from both, although Hill’s TV presence has improved considerably since this 1996 ad. Roll the clip:
5. Button (again) – Santander
Ever wondered why Jenson Button is hiding in your house? Your car? Behind your fridge? Why, he is promoting Santander’s latest 1 2 3 current account, of course. Button makes his second appearance on our list with this ad that also includes Olympian Jessica Ennis, as well as golf pro Rory McIlroy. It’s usually shown in small chunks but here is the full cut, just for you.
6. Raikkonen and Fisichella – Shell
This list was going to be a Top Five, but to omit a Kimi Raikkonen advert would be plain rude. Also featuring Giancarlo Fisichella – who switched to the team mid-season – the advert is a mix of the latter trying too hard and the former not trying at all. Two stark contrasts that make one hell of a bad advert.