Ferrell pitches Old Spice and Bud Light for movie

Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:08am EST
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By Gail Schiller

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - In a rare feat for film tie-in partners, Will Ferrell is starring in commercials for Old Spice and Bud Light as part of the advertisers' promotional deals for Ferrell's upcoming basketball comedy "Semi-Pro."

While Ferrell appears in character as shaggy-haired Jackie Moon from New Line Cinema's February 29 release, the association with the comic actor is nevertheless unmistakable.

It's still rare, but getting film stars to appear in tie-in partners' commercials is seen as a practice on the rise. A select number of actors such as Ferrell, John Travolta and Angelina Jolie have been willing to join in.

Nevertheless, many A-list stars still refuse to have their images depicted on any promotional materials for brands.

Starting Monday, Old Spice will run a number of spots on networks with predominantly male audiences such as ESPN, Comedy Central and MTV.

In one of the spots, his character tells viewers to "cauterize their sweat glands shut" with Old Spice's new Pro-Strength anti-perspirant; in another, he calls himself a "sweat scientist" and says "perspiration serves no purpose much like the appendix, man nipples or most of the human brain."

Ferrell asked that Old Spice donate his fee for appearing in the spots to the Cancer for College charity.

For its part, Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light premiered one of its spots during the Super Bowl. Its featured the voice of a director off camera shouting "cut" repeatedly after Moon says things about the beer like: "refreshes the palate and the loins"; "a lot of sweat goes into every bottle ... not literally, that would be gross"; and "Bud Light, suck one."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Will Ferrell attends the Los Angeles premiere of "Blades of Glory" held at the Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood March 28, 2007. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>