YouTube // robatsea2009
YouTube // robatsea2009

Watch 8 of William Shatner's Early TV Ads

YouTube // robatsea2009
YouTube // robatsea2009

Long before William Shatner become a "The Negotiator" for Priceline, he sold lots of great stuff on TV. Now join me as we boldly go where no pitchman has gone before!


In 1974, Shatner donned a gorgeous hairpiece and sold margarine on a street in New Jersey.

2. & 3. COMMODORE VIC-20

"The wonder computer of the 1980s...plays great games, too!"


In 1993, William Shatner published an autobiography-slash-oral history called Star Trek Memories. In 1996, the book was adapted and expanded into a video production (which is now on YouTube in its entirety).


Shatner teamed up with Leonard Nimoy for this 1985 Western Airlines commercial just before filming Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Western merged with Delta in 1987.


Paramount shot some bonus material around that Western Airlines ad above. (Note that Star Trek IV almost starred Eddie Murphy and has a terrific blooper reel.)

Nimoy: "Twenty years, we've been doing this!" Shatner: "You little cute Vulcan!" Delightful.


The final run-through around the three-minute mark is truly fun. On YouTube, Matthew Litwin explains:

This is a reel of outtakes from a spot Bill did circa 1982 for a distributor training film for the Kero-Sun company. Back in those days, the kerosene heater was a seriously hot item.

My father was the president and founder of Kero-Sun. Since Star Trek was pretty much my favorite thing at the age of 10 (which led to a tough childhood) he had marketing get Bill do some commercial spots as well as a few bumps for distributor conference. This was one of them. My mom told me that Bill actually called her up to say thanks for having [him] do the spot. He was of course, high on Bill Shatner when called, but thought he was a classy guy to show gratitude like that. I was pretty bummed that I wasn't home at the time and didn't get a chance to talk to him.


Working with penguins is never easy.

How Google Chrome’s New Built-In Ad Blocker Will Change Your Browsing Experience

If you can’t stand web ads that auto-play sound and pop up in front of what you’re trying to read, you have two options: Install an ad blocker on your browser or avoid the internet all together. Starting Thursday, February 15, Google Chrome is offering another tool to help you avoid the most annoying ads on the web, Tech Crunch reports. Here’s what Google Chrome users should expect from the new feature.

Chrome’s ad filtering has been in development for about a year, but the details of how it will work were only recently made public. “While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we've increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive,” Google wrote in a blog post. “As we announced last June, Chrome will tackle this issue by removing ads from sites that do not follow the Better Ads Standards.

That means the new feature won’t block all ads from publishers or even block most of them. Instead, it will specifically target ads that violate the Better Ad Standards that the Coalition for Better Ads recommends based on consumer data. On desktop, this includes auto-play videos with sound, sticky banners that follow you as you scroll, pop-ups, and prestitial ads that make you wait for a countdown to access the site. Mobile Chrome users will be spared these same types of ads as well as flashing animations, ads that take up more than 30 percent of the screen, and ads the fill the whole screen as you scroll past them.

These criteria still leave room for plenty of ads to show up online—the total amount of media blocked by the feature won’t even amount to 1 percent of all ads. So if web browsers are looking for an even more ad-free experience, they should use Chrome’s ad filter as a supplement to one of the many third-party ad blockers out there.

And if accessing content without navigating a digital obstacle course first doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry: On sites where ads are blocked, Google Chrome will show a notification that lets you disable the feature.

[h/t Tech Crunch]

Why Subliminal Messaging Doesn't Work (Unless You Want It To)

Subliminal messages—hidden phrases in TV programs, movies, and ads—probably won't make you run out and join the Navy, appreciate a band's music, or start smoking. That's because these sneaky suggestions don't really change consumer behavior, even though many people believe otherwise, according to Sci Show Psych.

We say "don't really" because subliminal messages can sway the already motivated, research shows. For example, a 2002 study of 81 college students found that parched subjects drank more water after being subliminally primed with words like "dry" and "thirsty." (Participants who weren't already thirsty drank less.) A follow-up experiment involving 35 undergrads yielded similar results, with dehydrated students selecting sports drinks described as "thirst-quenching" over "electrolyte-restoring" after being primed for thirst. Experiments like these won't work on, say, chocolate-loving movie audiences who are subliminally instructed by advertisers to purchase popcorn instead.

Learn more about how subliminal messaging affects (or doesn't affect) our decision-making, and why you likely won't encounter ads with under-the-radar suggestions on the regular.


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