Charlie Sheen Storms Back With Great Ads for DirecTV and Fiat

Whatever doesn't kill you makes you funnier

Headshot of Tim Nudd

There was always a pretty good chance that Charlie Sheen, if he made it through last year's haze alive, would eventually make a return to reputable advertising—meaning not just borderline-incoherent sponsored tweets. And sure enough, here he is in new commercials for DirecTV and Fiat. Both are actually pretty damn good. Of course, to be credible whatsoever, both spots had to make fun of Sheen. The DirecTV spot, from Grey in New York, does the best job of this—suggesting that a personal encounter with Sheen only happens at the end of a long slide into degradation (set in motion by the frustration of having regular cable TV). The twist ending is nice, too—instead of doing blow off some model's backside, the protagonist and Sheen wind up play-acting Platoon like a couple of schoolboys. The Fiat spot, by Doner in Detroit, is a little more obvious—as Charlie squeals and spins in his Fiat Abarth around his own mansion. Later, as he stands next to Romanian model Catrinel Menghia (who starred in Fiat's Super Bowl spot by The Richards Group), Sheen blurts out: "I love being under house arrest!" The ad, which had a shot at airing on the Super Bowl but reportedly wasn't finished in time, would be better if Sheen had ever actually been under house arrest. (He hasn't been.) Still, not a bad comeback for a guy who, by any objective measure, should probably be dead.

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