The Annual 2004: The 10 Best celebrity appearances

1. Engelbert Humperdinck and Peter Kay for John Smith's

The ageing lounge lizard and the Northern comic genius turn in convincing performances to make this another belly wobbler in the "no nonsense" campaign from TBWA\London. Engelbert Humperdinck may be pushing 70 but you can see why he can still pack 'em in night after night on the Las Vegas strip, while Peter Kay is desperately funny as the working class straight-talker.

2. Alan Whicker for Travelocity

Proof, if it were needed, that a tired old hack really can provide the boost a blossoming brand craves. Highlights in the campaign, by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, include a secretary opening her desk draw to reveal Alan Whicker lying inside. Even better is when his dulcet tones are transformed into a thick Welsh accent.

3. Donald Sutherland and Gary Oldman for Barclays

Two of the finest actors of the past few decades sparkle in a spot that could easily have been made for the silver screen. Gary Oldman's cynical character is the ideal foil to Donald Sutherland's wise old man. Two serious heavyweights lend a strong endorsement to the Barclays brand. An impeccably crafted ad with an uncomplicated storyline; pure Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

4. James Dean, Steve McQueen and Elvis Presley for Sure

Lowe's use of Dean, McQueen and Presley is simple, clever and effective. The ads use photographic techniques to superimpose white marks on to the clothes of these usually impeccable, stylish icons, demonstrating to good effect how uncool white marks can be.

5. David Hasselhoff and Mike Reid for Sky Plus

This pairing of "odd couple" David Hasselhoff and Mike Reid is dynamite. When the spot, by HHCL/Red Cell, opens with the former Baywatch star asking whether it's possible to milk pigs, you know you're on to a winner. The burly Reid and the somewhat better groomed Hasselhoff clearly enjoyed working together on the commercial, which only adds to the entertainment factor.

6. Busta Rhymes for Virgin Mobile

In this spot for Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R's "the devil makes work for idle thumbs" campaign, the rapper Busta Rhymes gets sucked down the loo in his private jet.

7. Johnny Vaughan for Capital Radio

Johnny Vaughan gives voice to his lairy Londoner soul in this ad from Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners.

8. Muhammad Ali for Adidas

Adidas positions itself as sport's history maker with these ads by TBWA and 180. Old footage is superimposed on modern film so that the great fighter is seen boxing with his daughter.

9. Jonny Wilkinson for Boots

His wooden performance aside, the England rugby captain shows how successful celebrity endorsement can be in this ad promoting free cholesterol tests at Boots. Wilkinson persuaded so many people to get down to Boots, the retailer had to withdraw its original offer.

10. Michael Winner for First Alternative

Campaign begrudgingly allows Michael Winner a place in this list. His infuriating performance really stands out. The success of Winner's campaigns, this time with a deranged blonde Sloane holding up a sign saying she's not his sister, defies reason.


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