Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a new and mystifying role.
The 66-year-old former bodybuilder and “Terminator” actor is the star of two new attention-grabbing commercials designed to promote Anheuser-Busch InBev’s upcoming Super Bowl advertising campaign.
“Surprise,” Schwarzenegger says in one of two Bud Light “teaser” ads that debuted on national television last weekend.
In the spots, California’s 38th governor is wearing a shoulder-length blond wig, black-and-white athletic suit and a matching elastic headband -- a la 1970s Swedish tennis star Bjorn Borg.
In one of the 16-second ads, “Arnold Zipper,” Schwarzenegger zips up the athletic jacket. In the second spot, “Arnold Warmups,” the former governor does a few stretching moves, including appearing to touch his toes, before picking up a ping-pong paddle and taking a few combative practice swings in the air.
Anheuser-Busch is keeping under wraps the purpose of Schwarzenegger’s appearance in the beer company’s Super Bowl ad campaign.
“When you introduce a new campaign at the Super Bowl called ‘The Perfect Beer for Whatever Happens,’ there’s an expectation for the unpredictable,” Rob McCarthy, vice president of Bud Light at Anheuser-Busch, said in a statement. He hinted that the Schwarzenegger spots, as well as related ones featuring actor Don Cheadle (and a llama) and comedian Reggie Watts would document “an unforgettable adventure.”
The company said it has no plans to release the full Bud Light advertisements until the NFL championship game on Feb. 2.
“Our six Super Bowl ad teasers give viewers a peek behind the curtain, but fans will have to tune in during the game to see how these seemingly unrelated events form one cohesive story,” McCarthy said.
The New York Post reported that Schwarzenegger was paid $3 million for his appearance in the beer ads.
Schwarzenegger’s representative Monday declined to comment on the former governor’s involvement in the beer ads.
The ads, created by advertising firm BBDO, were shot this month in New York.
Anheuser-Busch, traditionally the Super Bowl’s largest advertiser, has raised the stakes for other advertisers in the run-up to the big game. In recent years, ad firms have concocted clever teaser spots to whet the appetite of viewers in anticipation of the year’s biggest advertising event.
This year, 30-second spots in the Super Bowl sold for about $4 million.
Fox will broadcast this year’s game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, which is scheduled to take place in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.