Vintage ads with OJ Simpson: The ultimate celebrity endorsement gone bad

Vintage ads with OJ Simpson

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Before pro football player OJ Simpson was arrested and tried for the murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, he was one of America’s top celebrities.

As such, dozens of brands paid him well to advertise their products — endorsements that would eventually turn poisonous. In some cases, his old ad deals take on another layer of meaning when viewed through the lens of time.

For example, 25 years after this first ad was published, the answer to the question in the headline — “How can you catch OJ?” would be, “If you’re the police, go on a five-hour low-speed chase through the Los Angeles area.” (There would also have to be mention of a murder case, an arrest warrant, and a white Ford Bronco.)

Here’s a look at the other careers of Orenthal James Simpson — the pitchman and the actor.

Vintage football player O J Simpson

Sports Illustrated: How can you catch OJ Simpson? (1969)

Splurge a big 14 cents a week on a subscription to Sports Illustrated, that’s how! We’ll take you to every game OJ plays. We’ll keep you in there with Fran Tarkenton and Bart Starr and Earl Morrall.

We’ll show you what makes OJ Simpson run and what makes Vince Lombardi mad. We’ll bring you…

…Football, 1969. All of it, from September’s first glorious whistle to the last fading cheer in the Super Bowl.

27 weeks for $3.87 is ridiculously low. But we want you to get the habit of SI at the most exciting season of the year when the magazine is so packed with football’s crunch and color that it practically leaps out of your hands. (Not that we plan to ignore the other fall and winter sports, either!)

Act today and you’ll be in time for Sports Illustrated’s two spectacular preview issues on pro and college ball. When did 14 cents a week ever buy you so much action?

How can you catch OJ Simpson-1969

 O J Simpson and his first wife for Chevy Caprice Coupe (1969)

Not all big, comfortable cars have big, uncomfortable prices.

We realize there are things that come higher on most families’ priority list these days than owning a big, comfortable, expensive car. So we’ve come up with a happy solution. A big, comfortable car that’s not expensive. Caprice.

It looks and feels expensive, all right — from the formal elegance of its roofline to the riding ease of its computer-selected springs. Its new 235-hp 327-cubic-inch V8 is the largest standard engine in Chevrolet’s field.

And some of the conveniences it offers aren’t available on any other make at any price. Its self-washing head-lights, for instance. You can order them separately or get them as part of Caprice’s concealed headlight package.

So why not plan on having a talk with your Chevrolet dealer soon? There’s really not much point putting off until tomorrow what you can enjoy today. Not when the price is as painless as Caprice’s. Putting you first, keeps us first.

Heisman Trophy winner O J Simpson and his wife Marguerite with Caprice Coupe

MORE: See the 1970s Chevrolet Caprice Classic coupes & sedans

Vintage OJ Simpson and Chevrolet Caprice Coupe car

OJ Simpson for Hertz: You can get away fast (1976)

“On business trips these days, you’ve got to make every minute, every dollar count! That’s why you need Hertz more than ever.” – OJ Simpson

You can depend on Hertz. Hertz has more good people to take care of you, so you can get away fast into a clean, reliable car. More locations. More cars. More kinds of cars.

And with Super Saver Rates, you save money, too. With all this, wouldn’t you rather rent from Hertz?

OJ Simpson for Hertz (1976)

OJ Simpson for Hertz rent-a-car (TV commercial from 1978)

YouTube video

Vintage ads with OJ Simpson: Hyde Spot-bilt basketball shoes (1976)

“I set the NFL touchdown record. In basketball shoes” – O.J. Simpson

“This season, I scored 23 touchdowns. In Spot-bilt basketball shoes.

“When I wore ‘Hoops’ for the first time at The Super-stars I found that they were so comfortable I asked them to make me some with cleats. My results were 23 touchdowns this season, and 1817 yards rushing.

“If you want comfort on the court, wear the shoes I wear on the field. ‘Hoops’. Without the cleats, of course.”

Spot-bilt makes the shoes O.J. wears in the NFL and The Superstars. We’re with him every step of the way.

Vintage ads with OJ Simpson - Hyde Spot-bilt basketball shoes (1976)



OJ Simpson with a bonus leg for Dingo boots (c1978)

You don’t have to go West to go western. Take it from OJ Simpson:

“The way I see it, the western look is right for everybody. Just start off on the right foot in a pair of Dingo boots. ‘Cause nobody puts leather together like Dingo.”

ALSO SEE: H H Holmes: America’s first serial killer: Who he murdered, the way he operated, and how he was caught

OJ Simpson for Dingo boots

OJ Simpson: The Juice… Super Star, running through the airport (c1978)

OJ Simpson - The Juice

“I love acting, I know I can do it, and I’m looking forward to doing a lot more of it.” But it’s not so easy fora sports star to turn movie star. “They wanted to hire me because I was O.J. Simpson,” he says.

He played a security guard in “The Towering Inferno,” and an African tribesman on TV’s “Roots” (see the picture [below]). He has a good part in a new movie, “Capricorn I.” In that film, O. plays an astronaut sent on a mission to Mars.

On TV, OJ leaps over things to get to his Hertz Rent-a-Car (see the picture above). He sells Tree Sweet orange juice, too.

It’s hard to believe, but the man who has to face 280-pound linemen finds acting harder than football. “After practice, I can dance all night,” says O.J. ”

After a day on the movie set, I crash.” But O.J. Simpson is not going to be “tackled” by hard work. He’s off and “running a screenplay.”

OJ Simpson - in Roots

OJ Simpson for The Boys Club: Running for his life (1986)

“When I was growing up, I was the quickest kid on the block. But the streets were catching up with me. I’m sure glad there was a Boys Club around to help keep me a step ahead.

“You know, a Boys Club shows kids there are lots of ways to reach goals, besides scoring touchdowns. It gives them every chance to be leaders. And encourages something every bit as important as good leadership — good citizenship.

“They sure pointed me in the right direction, and I’ve been running my life ever since — running through lines, running through airports. Now I’m even running my own business!

“It’s no wonder so many Boys Club kids grow into productive, civic-minded adults, like teachers, politicians, business executives and professional athletes. Which gives more than 1,200,000 young people, at 1,100 Boys Club facilities across the country, something to look forward to.

“Hey, I’m not saying a Boys Club can turn every kid into a star. But a Boys Club sure can teach ’em how to reach for one.”

Boys Club: The Club that beats the streets.

OJ Simpson

ALSO SEE: Football legend Joe Namath for La-Z-Boy’s recliner chairs, and tossing around a little innuendo

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