Aaron Burr (advertisement)

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Aaron Burr
Agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Client California Milk Processor Board
Language English
Running time 1:00
  • Milk
Release date(s) October 29, 1993[1]
Directed by Michael Bay[2]
Country United States

"Aaron Burr" is a television advertisement created in 1993. It was the first commercial in the Got Milk? advertising campaign.[3]


Created by advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the ad takes place in a private museum filled with many artifacts revolving around the Burr–Hamilton duel. It is owned by a hapless history buff (portrayed by Sean Whalen), who is first shown spreading peanut butter over a piece of bread. He is listening to a classical radio station, which then halts to a radio announcer (voiced by Rob Paulsen) who then announces they will make a "random call" to a person to see if they can answer the question, "Who shot Alexander Hamilton in that famous duel?", making the man, while eating a curled bread slice, knowingly look around in his museum. His phone then rings, and he interrupts the radio announcer mid-sentence, answering the question correctly by saying "Aaron Burr". However, because of the peanut butter sandwich in his mouth, his answer is unintelligible. The man then tries to wash the sandwich down with some milk, but as he goes to pour a glass, he is horrified to discover the milk carton only has a drop left. He only has a few seconds left and tries to say the answer again and again, but as the announcer cannot hear him correctly, he hangs up. The ad ends with the history buff staring sadly at his phone, whispering "Aaron Burr...", as we fade out and the words "got milk?" appear as a man says them softly.


The ad helped increase sales of milk,[citation needed] totaling 23.3 billion pounds from 1994 to 1995. In 2002, the ad was named one of the ten best commercials of all time by a USA Today poll,[citation needed] and ran again nationwide the same year.[citation needed] It also appeared on the Reader's Digest VHS compilation Laugh? I Thought I'd Die!.[citation needed]

In popular culture

The commercial's premise was parodied in The Simpsons episode "Jaws Wired Shut", where character Homer Simpson knows the answer to a trivia question that would win him free beer for life, but, because his jaws are wired shut, he is unable to give the answer and doesn't win the prize as a result.[citation needed]

In 2015 the commercial was parodied by the cast of the Broadway musical Hamilton. In this video the history buff is played by Leslie Odom, Jr., who plays Aaron Burr in Hamilton.[4]

A bumper for the Sirius XM satellite radio station '90s on 9 parodies this ad.

In Good Eats (Celeryman, June 23, 2008) Alton Brown parodied this commercial with celery in place of the bread.[citation needed]

The commercial was featured (and parodied in the style of director Michael Bay’s movies) in the Nostalgia Critic episode, "War of the Commercials," from Channel Awesome.

A sketch on The Bozo Super Sunday Show parodied the ad with Bozo being unable to win a new bicycle from a radio station because his peanut butter and jelly sandwich renders him unintelligible.


  1. ^ "Aaron Burr Got Milk". May 15, 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Raine, George (July 9, 2002). "Popular 'Got Milk?' ad to return / Recycling of 'Aaron Burr' is unusual among TV commercials". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Oxoby, Marc (2003). The 1990s. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 30. ISBN 0313316155. 
  4. ^ Got Hamilton? Parody Commercial, retrieved 2015-12-31 
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