Plenty of Super Bowl ads tap already-famous celebrities from myriad walks of life in their bid to get the viewer’s attention and drive sales. There was Laurence Fishburne for Kia just recently; there was Cindy Crawford for Pepsi in the 1990s. We’ve had comedians, singers, sports stars and more all stepping onto the little screen’s biggest show of the year shilling for all sorts of brands.

But today we’re not going to talk about the super stars that have lent their fame to Super Bowl commercials; instead we want to share with you the stories of a few folks who first made their splash in a Super Bowl commercial.

Let’s start off with an actress who was already known to many Americans before her Super Bowl commercial, but likely wasn’t recognized even by many of them. Alyssa Campanella was Miss America in 2011, but do you know who she was in 2013? The Kia “Hot Bot” in the automakers Super Bowl XLVII commercial!

Surely any Super Bowl commercial aficionado will long remember GoDaddy’com’s ad featuring super model Bar Refaeli making out with a nerd. But did you know that said “nerd,” character actor Jesse Heiman, had actually been in dozens and dozens of shows, films, and commercials in minor roles? It just took one provocative Super Bowl spot to make him unforgettable, though.

Not all the stars of Super Bowl commercials are people, of course. Bud Light’s Super Bowl spot from 2012 was called “Rescue Dog” starred an actual rescue dog. It was a star turn for the little guy, and the brewer even plugged an animal rescue program at the end for the win!

And lastly, you might find this a surprising fact about a Super Bowl commercial long, long ago: Farah Fawcett, one of the most glamorous and famous models/actresses of her day, was an unknown before she and Joe Namath shared the screen shilling for Noxema back in 1973. The “Let Noxema Cream Your Face” ads led to Fawcett’s acting career, including her run on the hit show “Charlie’s Angels.”