by JR Raphael, IT World

Vintage Tech Ads: The 15 Funniest Videos

May 04, 2010
Data Center

Just wait 'til you see what we found in our hunt for the most entertaining old tech commercials.

Tech ads just aren’t what they used to be.

Sure, you have your robot phone wars and naked spokeswomen in bathtubs (what was she selling, again?). But missing are the cheesy songs, silly slogans, and giant gadgets that made the tech ads of yesteryear so wonderful to watch.

OK — maybe “wonderful” is the wrong word. But looking back on them now, it’s hard not to find them amusing. And, yes, a little embarrassing.

Don’t take my word for it. Check out these 15 vintage tech commercials for yourself. If all the obsolete technology doesn’t put a smile on your face, surely the cameo by a young William Shatner will bring you some joy.

For more retro tech laughs, be sure to take our tour of the best magazine tech ads from the past, too. The Bee Gees, Bill Cosby, and a 20-something Bill Gates all await you.

1. Mario on Atari

See, now if Microsoft had hired this guy instead of Seinfeld, that churro campaign could have really taken off.

See also:

Priceless! The 25 Funniest Vintage Tech Ads

19 Weird but Real Gadgets and Gizmos

Geekiest Houses: When tech obsessed geeks build their dream homes

2. Sony Super Walkman

I wore this to the gym myself just the other day. If you think people looked at me funny for the Walkman, you should have seen the glares I got for the green leotard.

3. Atari Pole Position

Er, thanks, but I’ll pass on the whole “skidmarks on your soul” thing.

4. Magnavox Videowriter

Say goodbye to typing mistakes. Say hello to creepy garbage trucks in unnecessarily dark tunnels.

5. MS-DOS 5.0

Just think: Our pal MC C-Prompt paved the way for generations of goofy white rappers. You know, like Vanilla Ice. And Eminem.

6. Commodore Vic-20

If that’s the “wonder computer,” William Shatner, you’re the wonder spokesman. Now go get yourself a cookie.

7. Commodore Vic-20 (Alternate Edition)

Our old pal Shatner would’ve never been so hard on the poor kid.

8. The Original Apple Macintosh

So we’ve got a powerful leader forcing people to do things the way he sees fit — and Apple coming in to save the day. Is it just me, or is there something oddly ironic about this?

9. Prodigy

An encyclopedia that’s updated quarterly, you say? Well, shucks — I’m calling to cancel my CompuServe subscription right now.

10. Windows 1.0

By most accounts, this was actually an internal promotion and not a full-fledged TV commercial. Even so, it makes me want to stand on my desk and shout “DEVELOPERS!” with glee.

11. IBM PS/2

It’s all fun and games until this song gets stuck in your head for four days. Trust me.

12. Radio Shack Cell Phone

Try to tell me the kid who appears 20 seconds into this clip isn’t a young Bill Gates. Go ahead, try.

13. IBM 5100

You’re looking at a small portable computer. Assuming, that is, that you’re the Jolly Green Giant.

14. Apple IIc

This ad brought to you by the After-School-Special Actors Association of America.

15. Commodore 64

Ah, yes — but do three out of four dentists agree?