34 Apple Commercials Starring Celebrities

Zooey and Sam are the latest in a long line of personalities

Headshot of Tim Nudd

In our review of Apple's new iPhone spots with Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson, we said the company doesn't often use celebrities. Technically, that's true—the vast majority of its ads are celeb-free. However, Apple isn't averse to tapping the brand equity of actors, musicians, etc., for its commercials. Below, check out 34 Apple spots featuring celebrities—as complete a list as we can muster. (All the work is by the former Chiat/Day, TBWA\Chiat\Day and TBWA\Media Arts Lab.) We're including celebrities who weren't celebrities at the time. This includes Kevin Costner, who was all but unknown in 1983 (the same year he didn't appear in The Big Chill, despite having shot scenes as Alex, the friend who has committed suicide), and Ellen Feiss, a regular teenager who of course became a sensation because of her "Switchers" ad.

  1. Kevin Costner

    Spot: "Lisa" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 8/30/83

  2. Alan Greenspan

    Spot: "Greenspan" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 2/1/85

  3. Various

    Spot: "Think Different" • Product: Apple

    Celebrities: Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Branson, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison, Bernt Balchen, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Pablo Picasso

    Airdate: 10/2/93

  4. Jeff Goldblum

    Spot: "Beige" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 10/2/98

  5. Jeff Goldblum

    Spot: "Email" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 10/2/98

  6. Jeff Goldblum

    Spot: "Again and Again" • Product: iMovie

    Airdate: 11/9/00

  7. Various

    Spot: "Concert" • Product: Mac

    Celebrities: Liz Phair, Brian Transeau, Smash Mouth, Deep Dish, Iggy Pop, George Clinton, Ziggy Marley, De La Soul, Louie Vega, Chuck Berry, Barry White, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, Jeff Tweedy, Lil' Kim

    Airdate: 3/8/01

  8. Mark Frauenfelder

    Spot: "Mark Frauenfelder (Switchers)" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 6/3/02

  9. Ellen Feiss

    Spot: "Ellen Feiss (Switchers)" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 9/5/02

  10. DJ Q-Bert

    Spot: "DJ Q-Bert (Switchers)" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 9/26/02

  1. Kelly Slater

    Spot: "Kelly Slater (Switchers)" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 9/26/02

  2. Tony Hawk

    Spot: "Tony Hawk (Switchers)" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 9/26/02

  3. Yo Yo Ma

    Spot: "Yo Yo Ma (Switchers)" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 9/26/02

  4. Will Ferrell

    Spot: "Will Ferrell (Switchers)" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 10/3/02

  5. Will Ferrell

    Spot: "Parfait (Switchers)" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 10/3/02

  6. De La Soul

    Spot: "De La Soul (Switchers)" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 10/25/02

  7. Will Ferrell

    Spot: "Santa (Switchers)" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 12/12/02

  8. Yao Ming and Verne Troyer

    Spot: "Big and Small" • Product: Mac

    Airdate: 1/23/03

  9. U2

    Spot: "The Band (Silhouettes)" • Product: iPod + iTunes

    Airdate: 11/20/04

  10. Eminem

    Spot: "Detroit (Silhouettes)" • Product: iPod + iTunes

    Airdate: 10/11/05

  1. Wynton Marsalis

    Spot: "Quartet (Silhouettes)" • Product: iPod + iTunes

    Airdate: 1/25/06

  2. Bob Dylan

    Spot: "Acoustic (Silhouettes)" • Product: iPod + iTunes

    Airdate: 8/25/06

  3. Various

    Spot: "Hello" • Product: iPhone

    Celebrities: Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, Jerry Lewis, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Peter Sellers, Steve McQueen, Richard Dreyfuss, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, Bea Benaderet, Robert Redford, Michael J. Fox, Harrison Ford, John Cusack, Audrey Tautou, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Will Ferrell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jeff Bridges, Billy Crystal, Cameron Diaz, Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Michael Douglas, Craig T. Nelson, Joe Budd

    Airdate: 3/2/07

  4. Paul McCartney

    Spot: "Mandolin (Silhouettes)" • Product: iPod + iTunes

    Airdate: 6/11/07

  5. Feist

    Spot: "Stacks" • Product: iPod Nano

    Airdate: 8/31/07

  6. Mary J. Blige

    Spot: "Queen (Silhouettes)" • Product: iPod + iTunes

    Airdate: 11/21/07

  7. Coldplay

    Spot: "Sonic (Silhouettes)" • Product: iPod + iTunes

    Airdate: 5/19/08

  8. The Beatles

    Spot: "All You Need Is Love" • Product: iTunes

    Airdate: 11/16/10

  9. The Beatles

    Spot: "Here Comes The Sun" • Product: iTunes

    Airdate: 11/16/10

  10. The Beatles

    Spot: "Coming to America" • Product: iTunes

    Airdate: 11/16/10

  11. The Beatles

    Spot: "Let It Be" • Product: iTunes

    Airdate: 11/16/10

  12. The Beatles

    Spot: "Covers" • Product: iTunes

    Airdate: 12/9/11

  13. Zooey Deschanel

    Spot: "Rainy Day" • Product: iPhone

    Airdate: 4/16/12

  14. Samuel L. Jackson

    Spot: "Date Night" • Product: iPhone

    Airdate: 4/16/12

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