Pop culture fans are today mourning the death of Stan Lee, the comic book legend who helped bring to life such iconic superheroes as Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk and X-Men. Much like the characters he created, Lee appeared in commercials from time to time over the years. He also had a disdain for certain kinds of advertising--namely, bad car ads.
In one of the "Stan's Rants" he delivered on YouTube, he complained about the predictabiilty of the category.
"I want the advertising group of the automobile association to take this to heart," he said. "I will not buy a car the television ad of which shows it driving around. If that's all it can do, I don't want it."
This might explain why when Lee decided to do an Audi ad, it was the furthest thing from a sheet metal play. In April 2015, he appeared in a short film promoting Audi's sponsorship of the then-upcoming "Avengers: Age of Ultron." The spot riffed on Lee's famous pastime of appearing in cameos in the various Marvel films.
In the film, Lee serves as the professor of a performance school in which he teaches a class of regular old actors like Lou Ferrigno, Jason Mewes, Tara Reid and Michael Rooker the nuances of a great cameo versus regular old acting.
It was a rare taste of Lee's on-camera talents that went beyond the three seconds of his big-screen appearances. The film was created out of Muhtayzik Hoffer (which recently rebranded to M/H VCCP) and directed by Kevin Smith of "Clerks" fame.
Lee also went on to do a Honda Super Bowl commercial in 2017, an ode to "chasing dreams" from RPA that brought to life the high school yearbook pictures of Lee and other celebrities, including Viola Davis, Tina Fey and Steve Carrell. "If you want to make a universe, make a universe," Lee says. And many of those, he did.