Crypto, the Final Frontier: William Shatner Pitches Blockchain.com

Why rob a bank when you can trade cryptocurrency?

William Shatner leads an extremely silly botched bank robbery to introduce The Pit, a new cryptocurrency exchange from Blockchain.com. 

The legendary Star Trek actor and an accomplice don masks and wield tacky toy guns in an attempt to get some quick cash. 

"Trying to secure your financial future with plain old money, huh?" asks the unimpressed teller. "If you really want to grow your portfolio, you should probably be trading crypto—in The Pit."

Introducing The PIT with William Shatner

"We tried trading crypto," Shats laments, "but our exchange was sooo slow…" 

Some dude on the floor suggests, "You should try trading in The Pit … it's actually fast and reliable." 

Shats' mask comes undone, and he gets feisty. The tagline: "Don't get held up. Level up in The Pit." 

Agency Oberland created the minute-long ad for Blockchain.com, best known for its popular crypto wallet. 

"After years of turbulence and hype, euphoria and disillusionment, we're at a stage where real-world applications of cryptocurrencies are having tangible impacts around the world," says client head of growth Haider Rafique. "Campaigns that drive education, awareness and that first purchase of crypto are vital to keeping this momentum moving forward and growing the community of crypto users."

Shatner, it seems, is a crypto fan for real, and his self-consciously goofy presence drives Blockchain.com's message, which scores by staying non-technical and focusing on the value proposition in very simple terms.

"His voice is ridiculously recognizable, so keeping his identity a 'secret' is absurd and funny," agency founder and creative chief Bill Oberlander says of the campaign. "Bill is such a professional, it was easy to let him improvise on set. The lines he added when confronted about being seen at spin class were hilarious."

At this point, the legendary octogenarian can do no wrong. (Heck, he makes SoClean's CPAP spots come alive!) When you beam Captain James Tiberius Kirk/T.J. Hooker/Denny Crane into a commercial, you can count on a winning performance (warped factor 10), and a hearty helping of ham. 

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.