When it comes to sports figures who have served as great pitch men and women, few SEC schools can equal the star power of LSU.
Through the years, players and coaches who called Baton Rouge home have sold everything from hair spray to tennis shoes — and anything in between. Big in stature or charisma (or both), these Tigers carried a persona that appealed to the masses, and Madison Avenue.
Here are the top 5 commercials made by players and coaches with LSU ties:
“Pistol” Pete Maravich pitches Vitalis hair products
This commercial sells the universality of children playing a game of pick-up basketball along with the appeal of a beautiful woman, which was an unwritten necessity in hair-spray commercials in the 1970s.
The moment of truth comes when Maravich asks a lady: “How am I doing?”
She says: “Stick to basketball.”
Fortunately for the NBA and LSU fans, that’s just what he did until his untimely passing in 1988.
Shaquille O’Neal sells Reebok tennis shoes
This spot has the best line ever written in a commercial when the young O’Neal says: “Don’t fake the funk on a nasty dunk.”
It also gets major props from the appearance of hall of fame basketball centers Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
O’Neal shatters a backboard on a dunk, which kind of best sums up his limited acting skills.
But no one ever confused O’Neal’s acting skills with those of Denzel Washington.
And, like it or not, this commercial is unforgettable.
Les Miles promotes EA Sports NCAA Football 13
It’s hard not to smile when you witness the acting skills of The Mad Hatter in this commercial.
Miles doesn’t eat grass in this TV appearance, but he doesn’t have to. And when he tells Mike The Tiger to “put some pants on” and walks away, that’s the perfect exit stage right.
The person in the Mike The Tiger costume also should get an award for the best hand expressions by an actor in an animal uniform.
It’s a shame Miles didn’t do more commercials. Hopefully he will in the future.
Odell Beckham Jr. appears in a Buick commercial
It’s safe to say the Beckham wins the award for “The NFL Receiver Who Has Gotten The Most Mileage Out Of A One-handed Catch — Ever.”
The vehicle in the commercial is a Buick Cascada.
But between OBJ standing out in a mean black and gray tux and an appearance from actress/model Emily Ratajkowski, it is hard to notice the car or anything else.
And OBJ delivers his lines with confidence and charm.
Still, we all should hope that since receivers make one-handed catches on a routine basis, this is the last time we see OBJ talking about this play.
Lolo Jones sells Degree deodorant
Remember when Jones was a member of the U.S. bobsledding team?
Considering that her team finished 11th in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, maybe not.
But Jones, one of the few athletes ever to compete in both the Winter and Summer Olympics, made the most of the failed opportunity and got a spot for Degree deodorant in the much-hyped lead-up to her Sochi appearance.
Jones also has done a commercial for tennis shoes and was in a spot for a low-cost ab machine.
Her best line in this commercial comes when she says: “I want to win a medal.”
But since she didn’t, maybe being on this list will suffice.