13 Celebrities and their Funny, Corky, or Weird Tech Endorsements
Article by George Norman
On 14 Oct 2015
Celebrity endorsements are a time-tested and proven means of promoting products. Does it work when the product you want to promote is technology or software? Sometimes it does, most times it doesn't.

You'll laugh, you'll think they're corky and perhaps a bit weird, and you'll even ask yourself "what were they thinking?" when you see the celebrity tech endorsements listed below.


When you’re a tech or a software company and you call upon a celebrity to advertise and promote your stuff, you have to handle things with care and you have to keep in mind that celebrities and technology don't always go hand in hand. The simple truth of the matter is that celebrities are always looking to make a quick buck and they don’t care what they endorse. If you care as little as they do, you’ll end up with a tech endorsement like the ones below.

In chronological order.

Commodore VIC-20 Ad Starring Star Trek’s Captain Kirk

Back in 1981, William Shatner starred in an ad for the Commodore VIC-20, the first computer of any description to sell one million units and the predecessor to the very successful Commodore 64. The ad focuses on the fact that the VIC-20, the wonder computer of the 1980s, will help you learn computing. Oh, and it plays games too! All for less than $300 bucks!

Windows 95 Video Guide with Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry

Remember the “revolutionary” Windows 95? Yeah, me neither. But you can get a refresher, courtesy of Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry from the immensely popular Friends TV series. Back in 1995, the two stared in an hour-long video guide for Windows 95. They go to Bill Gates’ office and use his computer to learn how to use Windows 95.

The video is full of 90s cheesiness, corny jokes, and awful acting. You’ll get a laugh or two out of watching it.

MR. T Pities the Fool Who Doesn’t Trust Hitachi’s Data Systems

Hitachi Data Systems, company that provides modular mid-range and high-end storage systems, software and services, chose an aging MR. T to save the world from corporate zombies, a cold-hearted consultant, and dumb disk arrays. Did you get all that? Perhaps you did. But I think Mr. T didn’t understand a word of what he said in this 2007 commercial.

Jerry Seinfeld Promotes Microsoft/Vista alongside Bill Gates

Back in 2008, Microsoft kicked off a $300-million ad campaign and selected comedian Jerry Seinfeld to be the pitchman for said campaign. Seinfeld was reportedly paid $10 million to star in a series of ads that aimed to generate buzz for Windows Vista.

So what do you get when you pay Jerry Seinfeld a ton of money and you get Bill Gates himself in on the action? A huge flop! The ads were too obscure, they were poorly received by the public, and Microsoft scrapped the whole thing in favor of the I'm a PC campaign.

What does buying shoes have to do with Microsoft and Windows?

Hey, that’s David Costabile who plays Daniel Hardman in Suits.

Nintendo Ads Featuring Nicole Kidman, Beyoncé, Penélope Cruz + Little Sis

I don’t know about you, but I don’t see Nicole Kidman, Beyoncé, or Penélope Cruz as gamers – not even as casual gamers. But who said you have to be a gamer to do a commercial for a Nintendo game console?

In this 2007 commercial, Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman says she likes to play'Brain Age 2 on a Nintendo DS Lite. But she’s not very good at it. Guess you don’t have to be very smart to be an actor.

In this commercial from 2009, Beyoncé is presented as a fan of the Nintendo DSi. She uses the dual-screen handheld console to play Rhythm Heaven.

The most noticeable new features of the DSi were the camera and downloadable software. Beyoncé doesn’t mention these in the “Behind the Scenes” video for the DSi commercial. Instead, she focuses on the fact that the DSi is portable and has a stylus. I think nobody on the set had the heart to tell her that the original DS and the DS Lite were portable and had a stylus as well.

And in this ad from 2012, Penélope Cruz and her younger sister Mónica are shown playing Super Mario Bros 2 on the Nintendo 3DS XL. The ad’s worth watching just to see Penélope Cruz dressed up as Mario.

Snoop and Warren G Are Crazy about the Samsung Galaxy Indulge

It’s 2011 and you want to promote the world’s first commercially available 4G LTE Android smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Indulge. How do you go about it? Samsung and MetroPCS thought it a good idea to get Snoop and Warren G to promote the phone. This is what they came up with. The G-Connection online video series.

“It feels good to be working with MetroPCS and Samsung for the launch of the Galaxy Indulge. I’m stepping it up to 4G’s so my phone can keep up with my demanding, always-connected lifestyle,” said Snoop back in 2011.

It could be worse. Snoop could be coming out of a fridge and singing in German. Because that’s what he did in 2008 to promote Vybemobile.

Oprah Really Loves Tablets. Apple’s and Microsoft’s!

Apple has the iPad tablet. Microsoft has the Surface tablet. Which one do you think Oprah loves? She loves them both! Or so she says.

Back in 2010, Oprah said on her show that Apple’s iPad stole her heart. What do you think Oprah loves most about the iPad? The fact that she can play Scrabble on it. Seriously? Of all the things you could do with a tablet, playing Scrabble would be last on my list.

The story doesn’t end there. Two years later, Oprah used Twitter to say that she’s in love with another tablet – Microsoft’s Surface. The funny thing is that she tweeted her love for the Surface using Twitter for iPad. Good one Oprah!

Apple Tags John Malkovich and Zooey Deschanel to Promote Siri

Nowadays, everyone knows Siri, Apple’s intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator. But that wasn’t always the case. When Siri first hit the market, she needed some celebrity endorsements to catch the public’s attention.

Apple introduced Siri as a feature for the iPhone 4S, back in the autumn of 2011. In 2012, Apple called on John Malkovich and Zooey Deschanel to help promote Siri. The results were…disappointing.

Malkovich laughs at a joke that is anything but funny.

And Deschanel needs Siri to confirm that it’s raining when she can clearly see that it’s raining. Get those bangles out of your eyes, girl!

In related news...

Speaking about Siri, do you know that you can change the way Siri talks? You don’t have to stick with the default English, female voice if you don’t want to. You can change Siri’s gender, accent, as well as language?

Read this guide to find out how to customize Siri’s voice.

Tags: celebrity, endorsement, tech endorsement, software, ad, commercial, William Shatner, Commodore, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Microsoft, Windows, Bill Gates, MR. T, Hitachi Data Systems, Jerry Seinfeld, David Costabile, Suits, Nintendo, Nicole Kidman, Beyonce, Penelope Cruz, Snoop, Warren G, Samsung, Samsung Galaxy, Oprah, Apple, iPad, tablet, Surface, Twitter, John Malkovich, Zooey Deschanel, Siri
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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