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Unlikely Spokesperson Of The Week: Michael Vick For Nissan (Now, With Video)

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Unlikely Spokesperson Of The Week: Michael Vick For Nissan (Now, With Video)

In the world of celebrity endorsements, matching personalities to products is tricky business. First, there's the matter of tone. Jennifer Aniston and bland bottled water? Perfect. Ozzy Osbourne and faux butter? Hmmm.

There's also the tricky matter of the celeb's lifestyle. Does the celebrity's personal life reflect the product's image, and is that personal life likely to go off the rails? Tiger Woods' text-friendly ways forced many companies to drop him as a shill, just as most brands (but not Mazda!) dumped Michael Phelps after he revealed a profound love of bongs. And now, there's Michael Vick.

Even if you're not a sports buff, you probably remember Michael Vick, the former quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons who was busted and sentenced to nearly two years in prison for running an illegal (not to mention brutally cruel) dogfighting business. Well, Vick is back, and he's ready to turn over a new leaf and repay his debt to society -- by selling cars.

Yes, Woodbury Nissan in Woodbury, New Jersey has hired Vick to be its on-air pitchman. In exchange, Vick gets no cash, but he has unlimited use of a $54,000 Nissan Armada. It's important to note that Vick isn't actually selling cars for the dealership, just fronting commercials like this one:

As business moves go, this is a fairly risky one. Football fans -- especially Eagles enthusiasts -- may be willing to forgive Vick. In fact, they might even find ads like this funny. But many others will look at Vick and see a man convicted not only of racketeering, but also of nearly incomprehensible degrees of animal cruelty. It's a gutsy play for Woodbury Nissan, and we'll be curious to see how -- and if -- it pays off.



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Video: Michael Vick hawks for Nissan dealership, skirts shame

by Chris Shunk (RSS feed) on Dec 21st 2010 at 12:31PM


When Michael Vick went to prison for bankrolling an illegal dog fighting operation, sports journalists and fans the world over threw dirt on his once highly successful career as an NFL quarterback. Vick did his time and eventually made his way back to the big time, but it appeared that his days as a starting quarterback were over. Not so fast. An injury to Philadelphia's starting quarterback meant that Vick got a second chance to run an NFL offense. And he's been excelling; perhaps enough so to become the league's MVP. But can he sell Nissan vehicles? Not a national campaign, mind – we're talking about a local dealer.

Woodbury Nissan, a dealership in New Jersey just outside of Philly, has hired Vick to hock new and used vehicles. The move probably doesn't endear the dealership to dog lovers (or animal owners in general), but the hope is that Eagles fans really won't care. Interestingly, USA Today notes that Vick isn't getting paid for his appearance, though he is getting use of a $54,000 Armada for his troubles.

Hit the jump to watch the commercial (scripted to mimic The Office)l for yourself. Vick isn't wearing a cowboy hat and he's not yelling about amazing deals. Instead, the nearly two-minute spot is very well done for a local add, and it's pretty funny, too. The dealer even takes a shot at the diminutive Versa, which may not sit well with corporate, but it gave us a chuckle.



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