'Impossible is nothing,' Muhammad Ali's greatest advertising moments

By Gillian West | Social media manager

June 4, 2016 | 2 min read

Former world heavyweight boxing champion and one of the world's most influential sports stars, Muhammad Ali, has died aged 74.

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay in Louisville, Kentucky, Clay made his competitive debut in 1954 in a three-minute amateur clash. His amateur career progressed steadily winning a number of awards including the Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions in 1959.

In 1960 he was selected to be part of Team USA at the Rome Olympics beating Poland's Zbigniew Pietrzykowski to become Olympic light-heavyweight champion.

A steady succession of victories followed bringing Ali fame and notoriety. October 1974 saw Ali's greatest moment, defeating George Forman in the 'Rumble in the Jungle'.

Retired at the age of 40, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the 1980s.

Like most sports personalities Ali was not short of an endorsement deal or two working with sports brand Adidas, a 90s Super Bowl ad for Pizza Hut and, more recently, a CGI spectacular for Porsche.

Adidas' 'Impossible is nothing' campaign taps into athletes desire to push themselves further, to surpass limits and break new ground.

Louis Vuitton

In 2012 fashion brand Louis Vuitton paid tribute to Ali with a classy video from Ogilvy France featuring Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) and Niels Shoe Meulman. The accompanying print ad saw Ali pose alongside one of his grandson's.

Cramer-Krasselt's Porsche 911 ad sees Ali lace up his gloves, step into the ring and square up against himself.

In 1981 Bird's Eye recruited Ali to promote its quarter pounders stating "it takes a big mouth to tackle a big burger" poking fun at Ali's self-promotional nature.

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During the 1997 Super Bowl Ali popped up in this ad for Pizza Hut.

Apple

For its iconic 'Think Different' campaign Apple aligned itself with greats like Bob Dylan, Albert Einstein, John Lennon and - of course - Muhammad Ali.

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