Is Gary Lineker a tad too old for Walkers Crisps bad boy role?

BBC sports presenter Gary Lineker has been fronting Walkers Crisps ads in the UK for what seems like years in a campaign originated by BMP (now DDB) and carried on by AMV BBDO.

Playing an (out of character) bad boy Lineker has embarrassed numerous celebs, most notably fellow England player Paul Gascoigne in one of the early versions.

Now Motown crooner Lionel Ritchie, still just about A-list, gets the Walkers/Lineker treatment, singing a made-to-measure soupy ballad about “sharing Walkers Extra Crunchy” and ending up being defenestrated on to the street as Lineker makes off with the crisps.

This has already riled some Ritchie fans on YouTube (yes, he still has them) and chucking people through windows is normally frowned upon in commercials.

And Lineker turns 50 in November so maybe his bad boy days should be reaching a dignified conclusion.

The ad is funny enough to survive such caveats but maybe they’re signs that the campaign is, finally, running out of steam.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.