5 TV ads starring Hollywood action heroes

On Saturday, Sylvester Stallone’s latest offering premiered on UK TV. No, I’m not on about the highly anticipated Rocky spin-off Creed, but rather his new gig as the star of Warburton’s latest TV commercial. That’s right, good old Sly is backing the British baker, and I’m informed he got paid some serious dough to do so… Anyway, this gem follows Arnie joining forces with our favourite talking meerkats in comparethemarket.com’s new ‘Meerkat Movies’ campaign. Just when you thought you’d seen it all, eh? So with two great Hollywood action heroes currently starring in ads on the small screen, I bring you five of the best TV commercials that are fronted by awesome (albeit ageing) action heroes.


Sylvester Stallone – Warburton’s

If you missed the ad’s premier during Britain’s Got Talent on Saturday night, here it is. Listen out for great one-liners like “It’s bake or break time!” “Time to earn my crust!” and “The oven gloves are off” as Sly channels his Rocky training into delivering fresh bread to the nation. We see him strapping up his hands and sliding on his oven gloves in preparation and even parodying his famous steps scene as Eye of the Tiger plays. Yes, it’s cheesy but it’s supposed to be – and personally, I think it’s brilliantly written.

Arnold Schwarzenegger – Compare the Market

With the curtains drawn on the Orange Wednesday 2-4-1 cinema ticket promotion, those cheeky little meerkats over at comparethemarket.com are  luring in devastated and vulnerable cinema-lovers with their arguably identical offer. And they’re pulling out the big guns to promote it – by big guns I’m referring to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biceps. So here you have it: An advert for an insurance comparison site featuring a shouty Schwarzenegger and mischievous CGI meerkats.

Jean Claude Van Damme – Corrs Light

Karate-chopping and high-kicking his way through blocks of ice, this advert shows Van Damme building an ice bar in order to recreate the ice-cold refreshment of Corrs Light. Even in artic conditions, he’s sporting sleeveless double denim attire. Van Damme doesn’t do sleeves. Overall this ad works because he’s totally up for poking a load of fun at himself. For another Van Damme ad, search ‘Volvo Trucks, Epic Split’. Ouch.

Mr T – Snickers

Mr T kindly lent his catchphrases such as “quit your jibber jabber, you ain’t hurt!”, “crazy fool!” and “meet my friend pain!” to Snickers for their Get Some Nuts campaign. The best bit of the ad is where Mr T grunts while throwing a Snickers at a guy’s head. As if getting Mr T to front their campaign didn’t gain them enough street-cred, Snickers then got really bad-ass and produced a now banned advert in which Mr T tells a male speedwalker to ‘run like a man’. Oops!

Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger – Kowa Coffee

While Bruce Willis’ Sky Broadband ad didn’t make the cut, his appearance in a Japanese commercial for Kowa Coffee did. Bizarrely, Kowa Coffee managed to convince Arnie to lend his brand to the campaign too. In fairness, all they do is shout the word ‘power’ – so maybe easy money was the appeal? Still, they’re the sort of adverts you’d expect movie stars to look back and laugh (cringe) at when they’ve made it big. Only, these first aired last year. Awkward.