James Lipton Lands Starring Role in TurboTax Super Bowl Ad, Then Is Abruptly Dumped

W+K teaser spoofs celebrity endorsements

Headshot of Tim Nudd

It was a plum role he might have eventually discussed at length with his fellow thespians on Inside the Actors Studio. But alas, James Lipton's chances at the biggest commercial stage have been unceremoniously dashed—according to this amusing TurboTax Super Bowl teaser from Wieden + Kennedy. 

W+K's meta Super Bowl campaign for TurboTax pokes fun at celebrity endorsements, teasers and teasers for teasers, beginning with "Someone Else," a 60-second spot that rolled out Tuesday (directed by Knucklehead's Ben Gregor)—showing the 89-year-old Bravo personality arriving for a meeting about a commercial for which, he believes, he has secured the leading role.

Alas, his dreams are destined to melt away, like the ice-cream cake he so thoughtfully brought with him. Just who the "Someone Else" is who will actually star in TurboTax's commercial on Sunday remains a secret. But expect more shenanigans along the way.

TurboTax will run a 30-second spot on Sunday in its third straight Super Bowl appearance. 

Lipton has done ads before, notably in a 2009 PSA campaign from LG and Young & Rubicam encouraging safe texting among young people; and a 2011 effort for Toyota in which he pondered what the plural of "Prius" might be. 

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.