When it comes to technology advertising, there are two time-honored schools of thought. The first touts the many virtues of the featured product in an attempt to show that it’s superior to competitors. The second makes an end run around reason, hires a celebrity, and has them do something ridiculous in the general vicinity of the product. From Mr. T playing nonexistent classes in World of Warcraft to Chuck Norris passing out, we’ve found the weirdest celebrity tech ads on the Web.
1. Nicolas Cage for Sankyo Pachinko
Let’s start off nice and slow. Nicolas Cage has basically made a career out of being weird for money, so the oddest thing about this totally out-there Japanese clip for Sankyo’s pachinko games is that everybody else manages to be even weirder than he is.
2. Brad Renfro for Resident Evil 2
For the release of the second Resident Evil game (called Biohazard in Japan), Capcom went all out. Not only did the company budget for Brad Renfro to play one of the game’s main characters in this commercial’s live-action adaptation, it also got George Romero, the man who invented the zombie genre, to direct it.
3. Quincy Jones for Hitachi
I understand wanting Quincy Jones to promote your audio products. I don’t get having him just sit in a chair and wink at the camera once you’ve got him.
4. Quentin Tarantino for PerfecTV
Now, here’s a commercial that knows how to use a celebrity spokesperson. The proper way to use Quentin Tarantino is to put him in an awesome fight scene, even if what you’re selling is cable television.
5. Cameron Diaz for SoftBank Mobile
These SoftBank Mobile commercials are utterly mystifying to me. What are they attempting to say about the service? That you can walk while using it? That sometimes you will drop things if you do that? Whatever the message is, Cameron Diaz sure seems to be delivering it enthusiastically.
6. Mr T. for World of Warcraft
Not the most obscure celebrity tech ad, but still one of the best. By the way, Mr. T is apparently pretty good with computers, since WoW now includes Night Elf Mohawks in the game.
This ad teaches us the classic lesson that while nature is pretty good, Leonardo DiCaprio and mobile phones are much, much better.
8. Andy Warhol for TDK
Although it may seem weird to see an artist doing ads for an electronics company, take a moment to consider how especially weird the ad itself is.
9. Brad Pitt for SoftBank
Here’s another celebrity ad with not just a famous actor but also a famous director. Spike Jonze put together this SoftBank clip with Brad Pitt that, despite its oddness, is at least more comprehensible than the Cameron Diaz ad.
10. Chuck Norris for Czech T-Mobile
This final ad is part of a series of Czech T-Mobile ads that Chuck Norris did on the strength of his tough-as-nails, Internet-meme persona.
While these may be the weirdest celebrity tech ads for now, stay tuned–a whole new generation of celebrities is growing up, ready to continue the tradition. I bet Justin Bieber is preparing to record an ad for Sony Japan as we speak.