Aug. 23, 2012 at 1:36 PM ET
For a brief moment this week, the Internet was full of Kiefer Sutherland. He was starring in an action-packed thrill-ride about ... baking cupcakes. It was an Acer ad, and we loved it so much that, when the company inexplicably took it out of distribution in America, we practically growled. Then we got to thinking, what other recent strange celebrity tech endorsements have made us smile, laugh or cringe? Here's our list.
Sutherland's ad, screen-grabbed above — and ripped for your (possibly illicit) viewing pleasure by the good folks at AdAge — takes the, er, cupcake, and when you see it, you'll understand why. We asked an Acer spokesperson why the ad was suddenly blocked in the U.S. and we were told: "The Acer S5 campaign with Kiefer Sutherland was designed for use in other global regions, however it was not intended for distribution in US and Canada."
Jack Bauer. Action. Explosions. Cupcakes. It's hard not to want an Acer, at least for a minute or two. Pulling the promo was a bad move.
But there are more gadget-toting celebrities to be had on YouTube, and this week also brought actor/director James Franco ... with a Samsung tablet.
We were initially a bit surprised to see him shill the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, but maybe it's a good fit. Franco is known for having rather — ahem — eclectic range, after all. He's produced a documentary, published a collection of short stories, worked on various multimedia projects, hosted awards shows, had a part in a soap opera, directed some dance-theater performances, and ... well, you get the idea. Still, we'd peg him for more of a Google Nexus 7 sort of guy.
Then there's Zooey.
Oh, Zooey! Zooey, Zooey, Zooey. What is someone as delightfully cheerful and charming as this actress doing with a personal assistant like Siri? By contrast, Siri sounds sarcastic in her replies. "Is that rain?" "YES!" Siri practically shouts back. "It appears to be raining." We almost hear a "like, duh" in there.
And what about Charlie?
We can't claim to be surprised that Charlie Sheen would agree to do a DirecTV commercial. But we are somewhat surprised that DirectTV would want Charlie Sheen to do a DirecTV commercial. With a crossbow. Who's #winning now?
Screenwriters Lena Dunham and Alex Karpowsky — of HBO's "Girls" — team up with Jon Hamm (Don Draper himself) for a clip introducing the New Yorker's iPhone app, but as masters of awkward comedy, they leave us still wondering where the awkward stops and the comedy starts.
Quick, who would you expect to see in a saber duel with Darth Vader?
If you said Chris Pratt, the lovable doofus from "Parks and Recreation," you are either Chris Pratt's mom, or Chris Pratt's wife, the lovely Anna Faris. Still, it is nice to see someone finally address the question, "Why didn't Obi Wan just duck?"
Which brings us to ... Kevin Bacon. Not only is he the hub through which all actors have collaborated, he's the sole star of the most awkward celebrity tech ad of all time. He endorses the Google TV model released by Logitech — which adds extra embarrassment because of the horrible D.O.A. mess that was the first release of Google TV. Still, the ad reaches such heights of awkwardness, we're going to loop it on one of our spare monitors until something more wince-inducing comes along.
Or until Acer gives us back our Kiefer Sutherland.
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