The New York Independent

Jennifer Garner, Hollywood A-Listers Turn to Commercials (video!)

Jennifer Garner, Hollywood A-Listers Turn to Commercials (video!) 1

Jennifer Garner shills for Capital One in a series of commercials. A number of other A-Listers are doing the same. (Photo: ScreenCap)

Jennifer Garner is one of Hollywood’s A-listers who have suddenly began popping up in domestic television commercials, a line of work once thought to be the domain of Hollywood has-beens and obscure celebrities.

She is currently shilling for Capital One, the credit card company that has been accused in the past of charging exorbitantly high interest rates.

But she’s not alone. Another A-lister, Matthew McConaughey, who just won the Academy Award for best actor for his role in “The Dallas Buyers Club,” is currently appearing in domestic commercials for carmakers.

The carmakers are apparently getting their money’s worth. One McConaughey commercial for Lincoln has been viewed more than half a million times on YouTube.

Conan O’Brien even lampooned it on his show.

Amy Poehler, who cut her comedic teeth on “Saturday Night Live” and now stars on sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” has appeared in commercials for Old Navy.

Ellen DeGeneres makes TV commercials every Christmas selling sheets and towels for J.C. Penney.

If there is any exception to the rule, it’s usually for fashion brands and luxury goods.

Brad Pitt, one of the most celebrated A-list actors, raised eyebrows when he made a commercial for Chanel No. 5 perfume. In contrast, new wife Angelina Jolie has never made a U.S. commercial.

Robert Pattinson also starred in a widely publicized campaign for Dior Homme with French model Camille Rowe.

Celebrities, of course, have appeared in commercials for years. But those at the top of their game have traditionally shunned such work, unless it was confined to overseas.

George Clooney, for example, has been a spokesman for years in Europe for coffeemaker Nespresso.

Clooney has also enlisted celebrities such as Matt Damon, Camille Belle and John Malkovich to work with him. Damon was paid a reported $3 million for the deal.

But Clooney has never done a commercial that has aired in the United States.

Pitt reportedly cut a deal last year to hawk Cadillacs in China and Julia Roberts appeared in a 45-second advertisement for Italian coffee house Lavazza in 2010.

Roberts, however, is also not known to have made a commercial in the United States. But the era when “serious” actors wouldn’t deign to shill products apparently is a thing of the past.

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