Watch Muhammad Ali's Ad Pitches
Muhammad Ali's early career was as polarizing as it was powerful. His views on political matters, like opposing the Vietnam War, drew praise and rebukes across the political spectrum. But over time the boxing great, who died on Friday, evolved into a beloved figure widely embraced by establishment forces in America.
Look no further than Madison Avenue, where Mr. Ali delivered product pitches well into retirement. Over the course of many years he partnered with brands such as Gatorade, Apple, Pizza Hut, Coke, Louis Vuitton and more.
Here is a chronological look at some of Mr. Ali's ad appearances.
In 1981 he pitched Bird's Eye Quarter Pounders in a spot that declared "it takes a big mouth to eat a big burger."
BBDO used the boxer in this Pizza Hut spot from the late 1990s:
Apple also turned Mr. Ali in the late 1990s, putting him in the classic "Think Different" campaign that included other icons such as Gandhi, Albert Einstein and Jim Henson.
In 2000, WebMD and Ogilvy & Mather, New York used the present-day Ali shadow boxing and "fighting time" in a Super Bowl spot that came during the so-called "Dot-com Bowl."
In 2001, Coca-Cola inked a marketing deal with Mr. Ali meant to benefit its community and youth development programs around the world.
When IBM and Ogilvy & Mather, New York in 2003 launched a global advertising campaign for its open-source operating system Linux, ads declared that "The Future is Open." In one spot, Mr. Ali asked viewers to "shake things up."
Adidas turned to the boxing great in 2004 with this ad by 180 TBWA, Amsterdam using the slogan "Impossible is Nothing":
When Gatorade rebranded itself as "G" in 2009, Lil Wayne narrated a spot by TBWA/Chiat/Day that included Mr. Ali and a bevy of other stars.
The PepsiCo-owned brand later used Mr. Ali's famous line "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" in this spot:
In 2014, Mr. Ali was among the stars appearing in a campaign for the Partnership for a Healthier America by Y&R New York. Ads featured water and the role it has played with historic icons.
Mr. Ali's voice was used in this 2015 Toyota Super Bowl ad by Saatchi & Saatchi, L.A.
That same year, Mr. Ali starred in an ad by Cramer-Krasselt for another automaker, Porsche, in which he was shown boxing himself: