10 Best Celebrity Computer Ads of the 1980s

Headshot of David Griner

Most celebrity-backed technology commercials of the 1980s were pretty terrible. These 10 were pretty awesome. Or at least, in some cases, awesomely terrible.

  1. Dick Cavett

    Advertiser: Apple

    Why would such a bright guy ever sign up to portray himself as a sexist throwback from the 1950s?

  2. Jack Black

    Advertiser: Atari’s ‘Pitfall’

    A comedic legend in the making. And in a pith helmet.

  3. King Kong Bundy

    Advertiser: Headstart Computer

    You can just picture the pro wrestler putting emphasis on a different word with each take. He obviously settled on “unsuspected.”

  4. George Plimpton

    Advertiser: Intellivision

    Truly one of the strangest endorsement partnerships of all time.

  5. Phil Hartman

    Advertiser: ‘Ice Hockey’ by Activision

    I’m sorry, I mean “ICE HOCKEY BY ACTIVISION!”

  1. Bill Cosby

    Advertiser: Texas Instruments

    What can I say, the man makes a computer about as exciting as a Pudding Pop.

  2. Alan Alda

    Advertiser: Atari Writer

    The Atari: So powerful it can make the typewriter obsolete and rewrite the Declaration of Independence.

  3. Kevin Costner

    Advertiser: Apple

    Costner seems to work about as hard at the office as he does in his movies.

  4. William Shatner

    Advertiser: the Commodore Vic-20

    Admit it, when he rub-taps the keyboard with those two fingers, you’ve never wanted to be a Vic-20 so much in your life.

  5. John Cleese

    Advertiser: Compaq

    When every other computer claims to be the best ever, you might as well just hire John Cleese to scream about how yours is heavy and comes in a nice box. And then kill a guy.

@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."