Billy Dee Williams Is Back in the Ad Game

And He's Not Selling Colt 45

By Published on .

Smoove operator.
Smoove operator.
I don't know what's in the water in Portland, Ore. -- or what the people at Limbo Films and R/West are smoking -- but I can't argue with the results. The same geniuses who brought us "Trunk Monkey" have brought the great Billy Dee Williams back into the world of advertising. I'm sure Williams has a stellar body of acting work, but to my generation he's known for two things: selling out Han Solo (but later redeeming himself) as Lando Calrissian; and just selling out--but in the coolest way possible--as the spokesman for Colt 45. In those spots, he uttered such smooth phrases as "There are two rules to remember if you wanna have a good time. Rule No. 1: Never run out of Colt 45. Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No. 1" and "I don't claim you can have a better time with Colt 45 than without it, but why take chances." To get the full smooth impact of those lines, check out the spots.

And now Billy Dee is back in spots for Brondes Ford in Toledo. He's not actually the star of the campaign. Rather, the "star"--such as he is--is a hapless dealership guy known as "Rico," who's full of great ideas on how to move cars. These ideas include sumo wrestling contests with a real sumo wrestler and shooting little people out of cannons. (Check out all the spots here.) I didn't exactly find the spots all that funny--unlike the chimp in the "Trunk Monkey" spots, "Rico" just comes off as on the wrong side of the funny/creepy line. Still, they brought back Billy D. And for that I'm grateful.

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