In September 1987, Eric Clapton re-recorded the song “After Midnight” for use in a Michelob Beer commercial in America. Eric was also filmed performing the song in a club for the commercial. Promotional posters showing Eric in the club were distributed to liquor distributors and stores for display. At the time, it was quite controversial and seen as inappropriate as Clapton was a practicing alcoholic.
The new version of “After Midnight” was issued as a single in 1988 to promote Eric Clapton’s first box set, “Crossroads.” Although the single is long out of print, the box set is still widely available. The performance footage from the television commercial was later used to create a music video.
In 1990, Clapton filmed an advertisement for Honda cars in Japan. Filming took place in a New York City recording studio. In the commercial, Eric is seen and heard overdubbing extra guitar onto the song “Bad Love” (from his album 1989 album, Journeyman). For the commericial. Eric brought his famous Fender Stratocaster, Blackie, out of retirement at the request of Honda / Japan.
In 1998, a series of commercials ran in America on television and radio promoting Lexus’ sponsorship of Eric’s US tour. The spots included performance footage.
In early 2005, Eric’s music was being used in commercials for SBC / Yahoo DSL Internet service. He does not appear in them.
Starting on 20 January 2009, Eric appeared in print ads and a television commercial for the limited edition Fender myTouch 3G Smartphone from T-Mobile. (See the WE! news article T-Mobile, Eric Clapton and Fender Team Up on the myTouch 3G Fender Limited Edition Smartphone).
Additionally, commercials have run worldwide promoting the numerous TV shows Eric has appeared on over the years. There have also been advertisements for some of his albums and videos.
Finally, Eric Clapton’s music (and occasional performance or video clips) can be seen in advertisements promoting radio stations in the US. Clapton and other artists are sometimes featured in these commercials to demonstrate the type of music the station plays.