All The Times Science Fiction Authors Have Shilled Random Products

All The Times Science Fiction Authors Have Shilled Random Products

Celebrities endorsements have been around for a long time, but it’s usually actors, wrestlers, or athletes who are enduring a photoshoot with a random product. That said, every now and again, it’s a science fiction author who’s promoting something.

By the 1980s, some science fiction authors had become bona fide household names: Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and others. This made them perfect spokesmen for a bunch of products outside of the usual science fiction fandom circles, but in markets where their names had some meaning to consumers.

Isaac Asimov was the face of Radioshack for a while, putting his science fiction credentials to work with the Tandy computer - it was part of an exclusive deal that would see him abandon his typewriter for a computer, something he wasn't thrilled with. He appeared in a variety of print ads for the company:

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Asimov wasn't the only author to appear in advertisements: When

That's not the only time that Clarke appeared in an ad: a couple of years ago, BMW used the late author's voice to talk about the BMW i8:

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Frank Herbert's novel Dune was a major hit with readers in the 1960s, propelling him into the public spotlight in the following years. This prompted Pacific Bell to put him before a camera and have him talk about the future and the upcoming internet:

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Ray Bradbury appeared in his share of advertisements, including this bizarre one for Sunsweet Prunes:

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He also appeared alongside Kirk Douglas in this Japanese commercial for Maxim Coffee:

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Stephen King is probably the best-known speculative fiction author in the United States, and has appeared in a number of commercials over the years. In this one from SportsCenter, they make light of his work as a horror author and Red Sox fan:

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King also also appeared in an ad for American Express in 1985:

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More recently, he's appeared with IBM's Watson:

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Finally, there's Harlan Ellison, who was inexplicably brought on to shill for the Geo Metro as a 'noted futurist' in 1988:

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[h/t to Tobias Buckell]