Automakers spend hundreds of millions every year on celebrity endorsements. Overseas, actors like Uma Thurman and Patrick Stewart bring sex and gravitas to brands like BMW, and here in the States, Jeff Bridges and Robert Downey, Jr. have teamed up with Hyundai and Nissan to add their familiar voices to television commercials. But when you think of real star power, only one name comes to mind: Don Knotts.
From the late 1960s to the early 1970s, Don Knotts was the pitchman for Dodge trucks. Because, after all, there’s no better character to associate with the tough, work-horse nature of a Dodge pickup or van than Barney Fife.
Jeff Bridges likes to think he’s the Dude, but in 1970, The Shakiest Gun in the West was the Dude, pitching the new Dodge Sweptline trucks with a series of television and print ads.
Who needs the brooding Daniel Craig when Range Rover could’ve selected a suave, sophisticated Mr. Furley?