They don't call Madonna the Material Girl for nothing. She's definitely a self-promoter when it comes to her music.
Better yet, when she does this, it's never the same advertised persona. Take, for example, when she first came onto MTV and performed "Like A Virgin" at the 1985 VMAs versus her perceived persona in 1997 when she released Ray of Light.
That's what makes Madonna a rather timeless figure in music and pop culture history: She knows how she's selling her product -- her music. In this case, however, she's trying to sell you onto a various product by using both her name, likeness and overall persona. Smart move, Madge.
I Want My MTV: Without MTV, Madonna would not have the nearly 30-year career that's she's enjoyed. Additionally, she wouldn't have made MTV so controversial (or for that matter, gave them Nielsen ratings) by pushing the envelope many times.
Some of her videos have been banned, put into late-night rotation, or even censored due to their content. But Madge, along with other artists like David Bowie, Michael and Janet Jackson, and a few others made MTV the go-to spot for the latest and greatest in pop music.
Madonna MTV VIP contest: Would we enter this contest? Maybe, but probably not because your chances of winning a contest on MTV.com are pretty far-fetched. But it would be pretty cool to learn a thing or two on the dance floor from Madonna. It would be one of those moments that you could tell your children about. Better yet, they'd probably know who she is because like the lady rockers before her, she's not going anywhere.
Motorola Rokr commercial: Kids, back in the dark ages this was considered a smartphone. It had a program on it where you could play songs from iTunes. However, it was a slow phone but nevertheless considered high-tech for 2005.
So what does a high-tech company do when they want their product to sell? Hire an international superstar. Enter Madonna, Iggy Pop, Little Richard, Alanis Morissette, and plenty more. Clearly, though, Madge is the one that steals the show.
Interesting tidbit about this commercial: If you look closely, you will notice her arm is in a well-concealed sling. That is because prior to shooting the commercial, she injured herself when she was thrown off her horse at her estate in the United Kingdom. According to Entertainment Tonight, the accident caused her to break her hand, collarbone and three ribs. That's got to hurt!
Super Bowl ad for the Tonight Show starring Jay Leno: This is a near-brilliant take on the idea on the "awkward moment in the elevator." We have all had that kind of moment because we are all humans.
Mitsubishi VHS player (Japan): In 1986, Madonna released her third album True Blue.Though this particular commercial is severely dated, it's still pretty cool in its own cheesy little way. Now if this VCR actually came with a copy of Live - The Virgin Tour, it maybe worth getting -- if it were 1985.
Madonna H&M commercial: If you ever saw The Devil Wears Prada, you will know that this commercial is a take on that 2006 film. However, Madonna is playing the Meryl Streep character and an unknown is playing the Anne Hathaway character. This is an almost-nice parody.
Rock the Vote 1990: Madonna has often been somewhat vocal about her various causes throughout her career. I was only three when this particular ad came out. But I have a feeling that hearing "if you don't vote you're gonna get a spanking" got quite a few men to vote in the election.
2003 Gap commercial with Missy Elliott: There's no doubt about it, Madonna has influenced the world of fashion. From her boy-toy belt days to the sleek style that defined her in the late '90s, Madge has transformed herself into a timeless fashion icon. Her team-up with Missy Elliott was pretty good because it was essentially the worlds of '80s pop meeting the world of rap and hip-hop, a very nice blending.
1989 Pepsi commercial: This was perhaps one of Madonna's most controversial television ads. However, it's not due to the content within the ad itself, but rather the music video to the song that is being played in the ad.
In 1989, Madonna released her fourth studio album, Like A Prayer. While the commercial is rather tame itself and plays on the idea of memories and childhood, the video is what got Madonna in hot water with religious groups due its mixture of sex, religion and burning crosses. Due to all the controversy surrounding the video and the threats of boycotts from religious groups, Pepsi pulled the ad after only a few airings.
Honorable Mentions: 1999 Max Factor commercial; 1995 Takara commercial.
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