10 Ads Featuring Past & Present Star Trek Actors

From Old Kirk to New Spock, Here Are 10 Ads For Star Trek Fans.

Everyone in the ad world is buzzing about the new ad for Thomson Travel featuring the dulcet tones of Mr. William Shatner. This time, he’s turning his unique style of singing to a cover version of Bohemian Rhapsody. You can see the ad here. Whether you can stand to see it more than once depends on your level of Trek adoration.

However, this is definitely not the first time Shatner, or other Star Trek actors, have appeared in commercials. Here are ten from recent years. 

William Shatner – The Commodore VIC-20

The VIC 20. YouTube

Hands up if you remember the VIC-20! It was soon taken over by the Commodore 64 (which stands for 64k…hard to believe these days) but was reasonably priced at just under $300. At the time, it would be the equivalent of spending over $700 on a computer today. Considering you can get two laptops for that price, both more powerful than the computers that put man on the moon, it’s safe to say technology has really advanced.  More

Chris Pine – Giorgio Armani Code

Armani. YouTube

“Hey, here’s a great idea…let’s use that Chris Pine guy who plays the new Captain Kirk.” That pretty much sums up the idea behind the spot, which is all show and no soul. Of course, it’s for a cologne and there’s not a lot you can say that’s deep and meaningful. Short of comedy, this is the next stop for fragrance ads.  

George Takei – Social Security

Takei. YouTube

At first glance, you may think these ads were filmed in 27 minutes on a crappy soundstage by a bunch of 5th graders. That may, in fact, be overselling the quality. Sure, government ads shouldn’t cost a lot, but they shouldn’t look like something from amateur hour either. However, George Takei is charming and makes up for the cheese

Leonard Nimoy – Westside Beepers

Beepers. YouTube

For those of you under 35, a beeper was this bizarre thing you carried on you that made a beeping sound if someone called it. You would then find a phone and call back the number on the beeper. Yes, it’s archaic. But in this ad from the late seventies, Nimoy makes it sound like you can’t live without it. “Tell them Leonard Nimoy gave you the message.” More

Frakes Meets The Original Crew – MCI

MCI. YouTube

Perhaps the most well-known commercial amongst Star Trek fans is this gem for MCI circa 1990. At the time, Star Trek: TNG was huge, and the original cast was still pumping out movies. This one ad brought Riker into the Kirk and Spock universe, and it would not have been cheap to do. The laughing is nice.   More

New Spock and Chekov – Comcast Xfinity

Xfinity. YouTube

As Super Bowl ads go, this is a prime example of all budget and no idea. Well, the idea is to heavily rely on the Star Trek franchise to sell people a bunch of cable package deals, also called bundles. The dialog is cheesy, even from a Trek perspective, and one cannot help wondering how the actors felt about doing this. Probably not too happy to say the least.  More

Kirk and Scotty - National Power UK

National Power. YouTube

As is more typical for a British ad, there’s a lot more irreverence in this one. When Scotty beams down an umbrella to Kirk to cover him in a meteor shower, then barks “I don’t have the power,” you know the writers were happy with that one. Did it get people to buy shares? Yes, it helped actually.   More

Kirk and Chekov – DirecTV

DirecTV. YouTube

The dialog is spoon-fed, the acting is wooden; it could be any original episode of Star Trek! Actually, it’s a fun spot from DirecTV’s campaign that brought real movie scenes to life for their advertising. It’s got some obvious product claims jammed in, but the overall tone of the piece feels good. The client did well. More

William Shatner – Priceline

Priceline. YouTube

People mock Shatner for doing the Priceline ads, but he has made more money from that deal than the rest of his career. Hundreds of millions of dollars richer, he may be passing the torch to Kaley Cuoco, but he’s made some fun ads and a ton of money. 

Old Spock Meets New Spock – Audi “The Challenge”

Audi. YouTube

A Super Bowl ad running over two minutes, this one must have cost Audi a small fortune to make and air. Was it worth it? Well, the ad is certainly fun to watch (although Mr. Nimoy is really starting to look his age) and both performances are solid. The car comparisons are a bit blatant, but it works.