10 Great Ads That Used to Be Movies

To celebrate Oscars weekend, grab some popcorn and enjoy these commercial homages to Hollywood films

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Everyone loves a good movie reference, and advertising is full of them. Witness the success, most recently, of Honda's tribute to Ferris Bueller's Day Off on the Super Bowl. There are many others, too. To celebrate this Sunday's Academy Awards, check out some of our favorite commercial homages to Hollywood movies below, from The Godfather to Wayne's World.

HONDA • Matthew's Day Off

A big crowd-pleaser on the 2012 Super Bowl, this RPA spot for Honda's CR-V struck all the right notes—a loving tribute with a great performance reprising a classic role by Matthew Broderick.


What can you say about this one that hasn't already been said. Deutsch's Star Wars tribute is the most-watched commercial of all time, and Adweek's favorite spot of 2011. Agency and client went back to the well in 2012 with "The Dog Strikes Back."

NIKE • Back 4 the Future

If you've been waiting for 2015 since 1989, this one's for you. Last year, Nike auctioned off 1,500 pairs of the Nike MAG self-lacing shoes, the same shoe worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future II, to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research.

FEDEX • Delivery to Oz

A classic Wizard of Oz tribute from the 2000 Super Bowl, this spot from BBDO New York showed a FedEx truck delivering helium balloons to Munchkins who've lost their high voices. The ad was pulled a few weeks later, when some people complained, ridiculously, that it might prompt kids to try inhalants.

AUDI • Horsehead

One of the great movie scenes ever, from The Godfather, was spoofed by Venables Bell & Partners in this 2008 Super Bowl spot, putting "old luxury" on notice.

After the jump: The Shining, Wayne's World, Misery and more.

BING • The Shining

Stanley Kubrick's legendary film based on the Stephen King novel is always good fodder for parody. JWT New York did a great job with this spoof for the Bing search engine.

DIRECTV • Wayne's World

Perhaps the best movie parodies in commercials of recent years have been the DirecTV spots from Deutsch L.A., which re-create classic scenes using the same actors (digitally altered to look like they haven't aged), who then break character to deliver the sales pitch. Wayne's World was a great one—and the three below are classic, too.

DIRECTV • Misery

DIRECTV • Aliens

DIRECTV • Tommy Boy

Also, check out this video companion piece, showing all these spots and more:

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
Publish date: February 24, 2012 https://dev.adweek.com/creativity/10-great-ads-used-be-movies-138479/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT