Remembering Yogi Berra, Baseball and Advertising Icon

Famed Catcher Pitched Miller Lite, Pringles, Aflac and Many More Brands

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Yogi Berra at Yankee Field in 2008
Yogi Berra at Yankee Field in 2008 Credit: Bloomberg
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Yogi Berra will always be remembered as a baseball legend, but the also did some great work in front of the camera as well as behind the plate.

Mr. Berra, who died yesterday at 90, started a long and illustrious advertising career well before linkups like Michael Jordan and Nike became commonplace. Over his long career, the Yankees catcher partnered with brands including Miller Lite, Stove Top, Pringles, Jockey, Aflac, Entenmann's, iXP Corp., Puss N Boots, Camel, Yoo-Hoo and even the city of New York.

In commericals, Mr. Berra's roles often played on his popular "Yogi-isms," witty, paradoxical, and sometimes confusing statements. Below, in an Aflac commercial, he states that the insurance is "the one you really need to have. If you don't have it, that's why you need it." After some word play, both the Aflac duck and Mr. Berra's barber shop companion are left slack-jawed.

Mr. Berra's quotes were used in more serious contexts, too. For example, his quote that "if you don't know where you're going, you will wind up somewhere else," was used in an AT&T spot when the company changed its name from NCR Corp. in efforts to rebrand itself and solidify its reputation as a leader in the tech space.

In this 1987 Miller Lite spot, Mr. Berra is credited as "famous baseball philosopher," and his Platonian musings baffle everyone around him, including a young Jason Alexander (who still had his hair.)

In this fan favorite Visa commercial with Yao Ming, Mr. Berra makes a surprise appearance at the end.

And here's a Florida Orange Juice spot from early in Mr. Berra's career.