Famous Authors Who Pimped Products
Look, if I ever make it big, like commercial-worthy big, I’ll be totally fine with endorsing a product that I actually use–that is after I poop myself for being commercial-worthy big. I doubt that will ever happen.
There’s a certain temptation with a lot of writers/artists to “stay true” to themselves by not turning their art into something commercial. It’s kind of like the indie band who refuses to sign with a major label. Anyway, The Awl put together this eye-opening list (with videos) of famous authors who appeared in commercials to endorse product. Some are quite surprising.
For instance, did you know that…
Kurt Vonnegut appeared in a Discover commercial?
Or that Stephen King endorsed American Express?
And appeared in a pretty funny “This Is SportsCenter” skit for ESPN?
William Burroughs (Yes, that William Burroughs!) pimped Nike?
Or that George Plimpton endorsed a video game console (Intellevision) in the 1980s?
I’ll never criticize someone for endorsing a product–as long as they haven’t said something like “I hate the man,” and then appeared in a commercial for the man (i.e. Discover).
It’s kind of like Alec Baldwin. I think Alec Baldwin is hilarious as an actor. But how ridiculous is it that he’s the spokesman for Capital One and also came out in full support of the Occupy movement last year? Give me a break.
From this list of authors, I’ve got to say I’m most surprised by the appearance of Kurt Vonnegut and William Burroughs in commercials for companies like Discover and Nike. A little odd, maybe, for guys who were so anti-mainstream throughout their lives?
Are you surprised by any of these? Would it change your mind about an author if they appeared in a commercial for some mega brand or company?
Go to The Awl to see a few other commercials from famous writers.