Jerry Seinfeld's recent team-up with Bill Gates for a bizarre set of advertisements has put me in mind of other famous celebrity endorsements — especially when it comes to Star Trek. The show's futuristic setting has left Star Trek relatively immune to product placement, but that hasn't stopped the franchise from appearing elsewhere to promote services both related and otherwise. I'm not speaking of the show's actors, taken out of their galactic context, hawking wares such as the Commodore VIC-20, but actual in-character sales pitches.
The most recent and famous example may be William Shatner plugging DirecTV:
Of course, once you find the DirecTV channel you want, put down the remote and get your hands busy with some finger-lickin' goodness:
Unfortunately, not all Star Trek tie-ins have such a healthy sense of humor. In much the way Mr. T puts the 'T' in 'IT', Jonathan Frakes appeared in this excruciating commercial in which the commander of the Enterprise sells enterprise software. Yet the impression the ad leaves is not of any particular IT solution, as its name is seldom, if ever, mention. (I'm told it's "Main View Enterprise Management software, and the commercial is from Blooper and Babbage")
Fortunately, Frakes later redeemed himself and the rest of the TNG crew when they applied their talents to a charitable cause:
Just like technology, eugenics, and Tribbles, commercial endorsement can be used for good or ill. May all our bottom lines live long and prosper.
(Hat tip to Dayton Ward)
3 thoughts on “The Enterprise Enterprise”
I was impressed at how closely the actors in the Kentucky Fried Chicken advertisement resembled the cast of the classic Star Trek television series. While they were no doubt lip-synching, the likenesses showed what's possible.
The acting and writing in several fan-made Star Trek videos is equally impressive, even if their casts don't look like Bill Shatner et al. Let's hope that the upcoming Star Trek reboot movie manages to evoke the original space opera as well as take us "where no one has gone before"…
Great collection of Trek-flavored ads. I had seen the one for DirecTV, but not the others. Especially liked the one for Comic Relief that was created while the series was still in production.
I've seen the Comic Relief clip before. It's pretty hard to forget the reference to Hoo-pie! :-)
And you're right, the Enterprise Software clip was pretty bad. However they did say and then show the name of the company right at the end, although I knew it already from my mainframe computing days. The software is MainView, from Boole & Babbage. (I think "Blooper and Babbage" becomes a rather recursive misnomer!)
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