[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Borge Specifies Verbatim

January 25th, 2010 by Benj Edwards

Victor Borge Verbatim Floppy Disk Ad - 1979So that’s how you write music.

Yes, it’s Victor Borge hawking Verbatim floppy diskettes. Despite his goofy grandpa-humor presence, “Specify Verbatim” still stands as the geekiest slogan in advertising history. It’s almost begging for the nerdy hipster t-shirt treatment. I’ll let you wear it for me.

If you want to see more computer ads featuring celebrities, check out this slideshow I did for PC World back in April 2008. Unfortunately all those scans are tiny due to image size limitations PC World had back then. You can see larger versions of a few ads that were taken from previous Retro Scans here: 1 2 3 4

[ From BYTE, November 1979, p.25 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Who’s your favorite celebrity computer or video game spokesman of all time?

9 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Borge Specifies Verbatim”

  1. Zoyous Says:

    I don’t know if this would qualify as ‘favorite,’ but I remember having a dreadful feeling whenever George Plimpton would haughtily intone the superiority of the Intellivision over the Atari 2600.

  2. Moondog Says:

    I remember IBM ads with the entire cast of M.A.S.H. in an office setting.

    Second would be William Shatner selling the Vic-20.

  3. Dale Says:

    I was going to say something about Jeff Goldblum on the iMac, but I didn’t really like those commercials. I guess Ellen Feiss doesn’t count since she only became a celebrity AFTER doing commercials for Apple. So, I’m going to go with the commercial where Phil Hartman wanders into a video game shop to buy a copy of Hockey for the Atari 2600. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lROb1vWNiig

    Ok, so he wasn’t really all that well-known when that commercial aired, but it’s still something to see!

  4. BDD Says:

    Issac Azimov hawking the Tandy CoCo was cool in a sci-fi sort of way.

  5. Geoff V. Says:

    John Cleese for Compaq, hands down.

  6. Matt Says:

    We still watch the M.A.S.H. IBM ad every year! It’s on a taped copy of some Christmas show my parents taped and saved. The eerie thing is, all the cast still looks the same as on the show-maybe the only place they were alls een together after it ended. And dressed up to boot.

  7. Bob Says:

    My favorite was B.B. King who did print ads for the Amiga!

    Or the “Stevie” ads for the Amiga where astronauts, the Pointer Sisters and all wanted Stevie to help them via his Amiga.

  8. SirPaul Says:

    For me, it is either Issac Asimov for the Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer, Bill Cosby for the TI-99 4/A, or William Shatner for Commodore.

  9. Moondog Says:

    @Dale: speaking of Atari 2600 games, how about the Pitfall ad starring a 13 year old Jack Black?

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