The Selling Power of Country Music: Female Country Artists in Commercials

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Country music has been one of the most popular genres of music since its inception in the early 1900s. Some of the best-selling albums in American history came from country artists. Additionally, the genre’s biggest stars play to sold-out arenas and draw hundreds of thousands of dollars per appearance. With country music’s vast selling power, it is no wonder that so many artists have lent their faces and songs to commercials over the years.

A while back, we looked at some of the Outlaw Country icons who did commercial work. Today, though, we’re exploring the female country artists who have appeared in television commercials.

Loretta Lynn: The Legendary Country Artist Had a Series of Commercials

Loretta Lynn is nothing short of an icon. Her career spans decades and her music has inspired multiple generations of country singers. As one of the most recognizable artists in country music, it almost feels natural to see her in commercials. Television audiences in the 80s saw Loretta, her husband Doo, and the rest of their family cooking with Crisco.

These commercials take us inside the legendary country artist’s kitchen. Between the Southern hospitality that drips from every frame and the sweet family interactions, these ad spots are pretty much the most wholesome thing you’ll ever see on television.

These days, they say vegetable shortening is bad for you. However, Loretta just about has me convinced to add a can of Crisco to my grocery list. I mean, just look at those cakes and that fried chicken!

The video below includes several of Loretta’s Crisco spots.

Dolly Parton Advertises for Her Home State

You can’t talk about iconic female country artists –whether they did commercials or not – and not mention Dolly Parton. Most recently, Dolly starred alongside her goddaughter Miley Cyrus in a T-Mobile ad that aired during this year’s Super Bowl. Last year, she reworked her classic song “9 to 5” for a Squarespace ad. However, these weren’t the Patron Saint of Appalachia’s first forays into the world of advertising.

The earliest example I can find features Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner. Back in the early seventies, the pair of big-name country artists teamed up for a commercial for Breeze laundry detergent.

In the intervening years, Dolly Parton has lent her face to a whole pile of ads. Most of those, however, were for things that are near and dear to Parton’s heart. For instance, she did a commercial to bolster Tennessee tourism with fellow country artists Ricky Skaggs and Bill Monroe.

However, this pair of ads for Pigeon Forge, Tennessee might be the best of the bunch.

Reba McEntire: Everyone’s Favorite 90s Country Artist is the Queen of Commercials

Reba McEntire is one of the least surprising country artists to do commercials. After all, she’s shown her acting chops several times over the years. Through her movie and television roles, we learned that the Oklahoma native does just as well in front of a camera as she does behind a microphone.

Let’s start with this late-80s commercial for the beef industry. Reba grew up on a ranch, so she knows a thing or two about beef.

Getting a little more recent, we see Reba McEntire teaming up with LeAnn Rimes to sell Dr. Pepper. In the commercial, the pair of hitmaking country artists a duet about how great Dr. Pepper is.

Reba released “I’m a Survivor” in 2001. Not long after that, she lent the song as well as her face to an ad for Whirlpool and its partnership with Habitat for Humanity. I can’t remember a more touching commercial that didn’t include sad animals at the pound.

However, Reba’s ad for KFC is probably my favorite of the bunch. In fact, it’s one of my favorite commercials featuring a country artist. In it, we see Reba hilariously stepping into the role of Colonel Sanders and proving that there’s nothing she can’t do.