Considering that the average person watches around 47 television commercials a day — roughly 17,000 a year — most of us probably couldn’t name more than a handful that we actually enjoyed. Rather than focus on those rare advertising gems that remain surrounded in The Man’s sea of brain-shrinking adverts, I’m shifting attention to fake commercials. Because nothing makes fiction better than fiction within the fiction.
Made-up commercials have been a staple in movies for years. They’re often surreal and allow the filmmaker to create a smaller movie, often serving no other purpose than plain silliness. Of course, there are plenty of great phony commercials in TV shows as well, but for today movies are the focus. So don’t expect to see any Mac and Charlie originals.
Now onto the best commercials for nonexistent products in cinema…
Soul Glo – Coming to America
Definitely one of the best fake commercials to come out of a 1980’s comedy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Eddie Murphy was using Soul Glo himself during the decade.
Ghostbusters – Ghostbusters
It’s got all the bare bones production that you would expect from a struggling paranormal extermination company.
Lacuna Inc. – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
There’s probably a German think tank working on a memory erasing technology like Lacuna Inc. this very second. Until that day comes though, we’ve always got trusty old alcohol.
MagnaVolt – Robo Cop 2
If a car alarm embarrasses you, you’re probably going to find pulling a dead body out of your car especially mortifying.
Cunning Visions – Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko’s “Cunning Visions” feels almost too real. From the testimonials and generic music to Patrick Swayze’s cult leader persona, catching this on TV at 4 a.m. seems totally plausible.
Aveda – Zoolander
Nothing rinses away the dinginess of black lung like the refreshment of Aveda.
Thorton Melon’s Tall and Fat Store – Back to School
An obvious play on the big and tall sections of department stores, Rodney’s signature “no respect” shtick shines through in this spoof.
Spatula City – UHF
Just as wacky as any of Weird Al’s songs, “Spatula City” captures the essence of what makes spatulas just so much fun.
Booty Sweat – Tropic Thunder
“Booty Sweat” was Tropic Thunder’s answer to Nelly’s Pimp Juice energy drink. And it’s exactly what you need to wash down a Bust-A-Nut bar.
Betelguese – Beetlejuice
The leading bio-exorcist on the market today and a testament to how good Michael Keaton can be, “Betelguese” is one of Beetlejuice’s many fine moments.