TV's Captain Kirk To Marketers: Live Long...And Innovate

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William Shatner has put in 50 years before the camera, including his trademark role as James T. Kirk, Captain of the Starship Enterprise, in TV’s “Star Trek”. When Kirk wasn’t battling Klingons or wooing green-skinned alien women, he was often – in a sense -- marketing the Enterprise’s 5-year mission…to boldly go where no one had gone before….

(CLIP FROM STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES:) “…..risk…RISK is our business! That’s what the starship is all about! That’s WHY we’re aboard her!”

These days, Shatner’s mission isn’t so different . The 82-year-old Canadian-American has been a pitchman for many products and companies, including Priceline-dot-com and State Farm Insurance….

(SHATNER NARRATES PSA ON COOKING SAFETY): “Fire, metal, oil, and turkey…are glorious when in harmony (Man: “Turkey fryer! I’ve always wanted to try that.”) But their power is unrelenting….”

Speaking at the Content Marketing Institute’s convention in Cleveland yesterday, Shatner didn’t see his eclectic career as one of reinvention….

“I think it’s more like evolution. In that if it doesn’t work, it dies. And if it works, it works," Shatner told the crowd of roughly a thousand attendees. "You just keep trying to do something good. And whether it’s my field or yours, you keep trying, to get the thing right, and eventually, you will.” (APPLAUSE)

Shatner drew on examples of innovation, humor, and passion in his presentation, saying viral campaigns and social media also figure into successful marketing efforts. His own show, “Star Trek” became a cult sensation after its cancellation after only three seasons.

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