When 'Star Trek' stars play product pitchman

Think it's just Shatner out there in ad space, plumping for Priceline? Actually, there's a long commercial track record for "Star Trek" stars, from Nimoy to Quinto.

William Shatner and the Commodore VIC-20
Yes, there was a time when Shatner was still young, and computers were still a novelty. YouTube/Screenshot by CNET

If Starfleet Academy has a Marketing 101 class, these commercials must surely be on the syllabus.

Twice in recent days, Earth's ad agencies have dispatched officers of the "Star Trek" franchise on missions not to seek out new worlds, but to sell new products.

First came a video clip from PC maker Acer using clips from the imminent "Star Trek Into Darkness," docking soon in a movie theater near you, to pump up the excitement for its new flagship Aspire R7.

Then Audi flew into view with a two-minute Spock vs. Spock spiel for its S7 sedan.

Which got us to wondering: Just how often have the best and brightest from "Star Trek" done duty as product pitchmen?

Yes, yes, obviously there's William Shatner's long-running gig for Priceline.

But we've been poking around, and have turned up some historical gems and oddities that you just won't want to miss. Remember the phone company MCI and its Friends and Family plan? Remember when our only "communicator" was a landline phone?

There's lots more out there in the commercial space of yesteryear, from Aleve to Oldsmobile.

And long before Priceline came along, Shatner was shilling for the Commodore VIC-20, "the wonder computer of the 1980s."

Featured Video
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

The WRT1900ACS is Linksys' new best Wi-Fi router to date

CNET editor Dong Ngo compares the new WRT1900ACS and the old WRT1900AC Wi-Fi routers from Linksys. Find out which one is better!

by Dong Ngo