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Chris Chase

Commercial classics: Dan & Dave

Chris Chase
Fourth-Place Medal

Because you're probably tired of seeing the same five commercials (less Goodyear, more Office Olympic promos!) over and over again during NBC's Olympic coverage, today Fourth-Place Medal will look back at the most infamous Olympic advertising campaign of all-time.

In the annals of sports advertising, Reebok's 'Dan and Dave' campaign is probably remembered as one of the all-time busts. Reebok invested $30 million in an eight-month ad campaign designed to promote two previously-unknown decathletes on their way to the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. The ads debuted during Super Bowl XXVI -- Hail to the Redskins! -- and made household names of Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson.

Of course, disaster struck at the U.S. Olympic Trials when Dan O'Brien missed all three attempts on the pole vault, scored no points on the event and subsequently missed the team. Reebok had to shelve ten ads that were scheduled to run during the Olympics and quickly created three more that wrote Dan's mistake into the story.

Dave eventually won bronze in Barcelona, while Dan went on to become one of the most successful decathletes of all-time. He won gold in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

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