words // Zack Schlemmer

Just like in the history of all advertising, there have been some pretty ridiculous sneaker ads throughout the years. The 1990's in particular were a hotbed of ridiculous advertisement, thanks to brands pushing hard to become "edgy", as was the marketing trend back then. Looking back now, many of these now kitschy commercials can be described as any of the following: funny, corny, cheesy, head scratching, strange, bizarre, perplexing, puzzling...you get the idea. But even if they seem ridiculous in the year 2014, they all seemed to be having fun—which is a bit refreshing now in the often too serious world of sneakers we live in today. Let's take a look at some of our favorite totally ridiculous—yet still totally awesome—sneaker commercials throughout the years.

 

Etonic - Hakeem Olajuwon "The Dream"

This awesome low budget commercial from Etonic and A&N sporting goods features a young Hakeem Olajuwon laying down in a bunch of smoke that is apparently supposed to represent a dream—but ends up looking more like he's lounging in a sauna. Also, why would he have to buy 50 pairs of his own shoe??

 

Converse - Magic Johnson Thrillin' and Chilin'

In this hilariously dated commercial we see Magic thrillin' and chillin' (and kissin') in his Triple Double signature shoe from Converse.

 

adidas - Dikembe Mutombo

One of the crappiest sneaker commercials ever. And what's the deal with Dikembe's trembling lip?

 

Dennis Hopper as the Crazy Ref for Nike Football

Legendary actor Dennis Hopper signed on with Nike Football in the mid 90's for a series of commercials where he played some kind of psychotic, crazy ex-referee. All are worth watching (look them up on Youtube), but none were weirder than this one.

 

Reebok - Shawn Kemp Battles in the Kamikaze

Shawn Kemp battling a basketball playing monster in a computer animated world. Need we say more?

 

FILA - Grant Hill Learning to Be Bad With the Help of Bill Laimbeer

Great commercial, but Grant Hill with nipple piercings is a bit disturbing. The sad thing is, this commercial wouldn't exist if the NBA was as soft back then as it is today.

 

Nike - Gary Payton for the Air Flight Turbulence

No idea what's going on here.

 

Nike - Gary Payton for the Zoom GP

Another strange GP commercial. The title of this video on Youtube, "Gary Payton crushing gooey midgets under his feet", pretty much sums it up.

 

AND1 - Kevin Garnett Interrogating Himself

In this commercial, we get inside KG's mind...and find out that it's (predictably) very scary in there.