Proud to be a nerd? We should be. Never has there been a greater time to embrace geekiness. Science fiction and super-heroes rule the silver screen and Comic-Con attendance has never been healthier. The tech we once could only imagine now exists in the living rooms of every home. Movie and television studios develop productions that cater to our nerdiest tastes and computer nerds are among the wealthiest people in the world. Need proof of this Golden Age of Nerdiness? Check out the five nerdiest commercials by major advertisers vying for our attention.
William Shatner Promoting Priceline
Though these weren’t Captain Kirk’s first foray into commercials, the Priceline campaign was hugely successful. But none of them—not a single one—has the allure of this gem. Infamous for his unique brand of cover songs, Shatner once again steps in front of a mike to “Bust a Move.” And we’re talking a cover of rapper Young MC’s classic. Go ahead. Bust a move.
Max Headroom’s Coca-Cola Ad
In the 80s, Max Headroom was as nerdy as it gets. Too much so, in fact. He started as a popular VJ on MTV. The powers-that-be thought he could branch into mainstream venues. Unfortunately, his TV show was so far out there that hardly anyone watched—except for the nerds who loved it. Coca-Cola recognized some potential in this demographic and created a classic commercial that embraced nerd culture.
The satellite TV company gave us something we thought about all the time—putting ourselves in our favorite movies. Instead of hiring actors, DirecTV edited their ads into classic movies. This series included Chris Farley and David Spade in Tommy Boy, Poltergeist’s Heather O’Rourke and Christopher Lloyd from Back to the Future.
George Lucas’ Panasonic Promotion
What nerd wouldn’t follow the creator of history’s most beloved sci-fi universe into new technology? In this case, television technology. Unfortunately, this was for Japanese audiences. But even before the Internet, the nerd world had a way of getting its hands on these things. The dubbing on the commercial is outrageous, but it still made us giddy.
A marketing specialist with an online public relations degree says these commercials were some of the first to try and appeal specifically to the nerdy demographic. Whether they succeeded or not is up to history to judge, but they still provide a great glimpse into the way nerd culture is perceived from the outside.